Fun things to do in Exeter

This rejuvenated cathedral city offers plenty of modern fun, so if you’re planning a long weekend, check out the must-read guide to where to eat, sleep and peruse.

Why go there?

Once an outpost on the far reaches of the Roman Empire, Exeter was later an important cathedral city during medieval times. It suffered considerable bombing during the Second World War but has lately seen some serious rejuvenation, with great eateries appearing on the scene and lots of success on the rugby pitch. Exeter is also only 20 minutes from the beach and close to Dartmoor National Park.

Where do I start?

First port of call has to be the city’s awesome Gothic cathedral, which is one of the finest of its kind in the country. Among its best features is an image screen on the west exterior wall, added to the existing structure way back in 1340. The screen is dominated by three rows of statues, with God, angels, kings and prophets all represented.

Where should I kip?

Southernhay House is a luxurious, independently-owned hotel in the city’s leafy Georgian quarter, close to the city centre. It’s stylish and comfortable, with a restaurant and a bar. For more details and rates, visit

What’s hip?

Get down to On the Waterfront at Exeter’s cool, revitalised Quayside, where you’ll find great food and drink, with outdoor seating for sunnier days. We recommend you keep it casual and share a couple of the venue’s awesome pizzas.

If I do one thing?

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum has a diverse collection and some excellent touring exhibitions, including Turner Prize-nominated George Shaw’s show My Back to Nature. Shaw’s meticulously-painted images of urban green spaces make them look like the kind of places where bad things happen (until 8 April).