5 Free Active Activities in Exeter
Exeter is a great place to explore and be active. Katy Leonard from Active Devon gives us her top 5 free activities that you can do with your family to get fit, have fun and spend time together.
1. Park Run
Parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone at any pace, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. Exeter Quayside parkrun takes place every Saturday at 9:00am and it is entirely organised by volunteers. Absolute beginners are always welcome - if you don’t think you’re fit enough, think again. There were over 2,500 new runners during 2016. There is also a Heavitree junior parkrun which is a 2k run for juniors (4-14 year olds) every Sunday at 9am at Heavitree Park. For more information please visit the Parkrun website.
Enjoy table tennis for free at 30 locations all around the city including Princesshay Shopping Centre, Exeter Library, Exeter Airport, Heavitree Park and many more. The tables are part of Ping! Exeter, a national programme from Table Tennis England delivered by Active Devon and Exeter City Council. Visit the Ping! website to find your nearest table and simply grab a bat from the side of the table and play - absolutely free of charge!
3. Urban exploring and guided walks
Walking is one of the simplest and easiest ways to get active, whilst allowing you to explore a city. The Exeter Green Circle is a twelve mile circular walk within the boundaries of Exeter - covering all sorts of interesting terrains from green countryside valley parks to the pavements of the quiet leafy suburbs. You don't need any specialist equipment to walk the routes and it is clearly signposted. You can walk the whole or part of the route, just choose the distance suitable for your fitness.
Red Coat Guided Tours are the perfect way to explore Exeter, one of the oldest cities in England. A variety of tours are available for free, each one focusing on a different aspect of Exeter's history. Discover the city's sites of interest and hidden treasures.
Walking for Health is England's largest network of health walks and Exeter has a great programme of health walks welcoming new members. The walks are free to join, led by trained leaders and cover a range of grades from 30 minutes to 90 minutes in length, so you can pick the walk suitable for your fitness. Visit www.walkingforhealth.org.uk to download Exeter's walk programme.
4. Exe Estuary Trail
This 26 mile purpose-built trail provides an exciting opportunity for people to cycle or walk around the entire Exe Estuary, appreciating the wildlife and passing through some beautiful riverside towns and villages steeped in maritime history. The trail is surfaced throughout to provide flat and easy cycling, and takes you from Dawlish to Exmouth, passing through the villages of Starcross, Topsham and Lympstone to name a few. With help from public transport and ferries you can get around much of the estuary in a day. Visit the Cycle Devon website for more information.
5. Haldon Forest
Haldon Forest have a wide range of walking trails including the Discovery Trail, a multi-use, all-ability trail with traditional and natural play features. There’s also the Butterfly Trail, a more challenging walk but with the potential to discover some rare butterflies in the peaceful depths of the forest. The cycle trails help you gain confidence in off-road cycling.
In addition there is a permanent orienteering course at Haldon, which has been designed by Devon Orienteering Club. Map packs are available from the Ranger's office for £1 or downloaded from the Devon Orienteering Club's website. You can also download Family Activity sheets from the website for free here.