5 Reasons to Visit Exeter this Autumn
1. Autumn colours
Exeter is a green city, with lots of open space, parks and gardens. The changing colours in Autumn make for a beautiful backdrop to the many historic buildings in the city centre. Head to Northernhay and Rougemont Gardens for tranquillity away from the hustle and bustle of the main High Street, or take a walk from the city’s quayside along the River Exe to explore the Riverside Valley Park.
2. Indoor attractions
Autumn brings some bright, crisp days, but when it’s a little colder or wetter, Exeter has plenty of indoor attractions to explore. Exeter Cathedral, the Underground Passages and Royal Albert Memorial Museum are must-visit attractions in the city. Feeling active? Exeter is home to the south west’s largest indoor climbing wall at the Quay Climbing Centre.
3. New restaurants
Exeter is a real foodie city; there are numerous eateries covering pretty much every cuisine possible! Queen St Dining opened at the end of the summer in Exeter’s Guildhall Shopping Centre, bringing 7 new restaurants to the city. Choose from Caribbean spice at Turtle Bay, gourmet burgers at GBK, Scandinavian treats at KuPP, rooftop fine dining at The Terrace, pizza and cider at The Stable, Lebanese cuisine at Comptoir Libanais and London chicken restaurant Absurd Bird, who have chosen Exeter as their first location outside the capital.
The city has also attracted several new independents in recent months, including Exeter’s first vegan café – Rabbit, the Rum & Crab Shack in Catherine Street, Cuba Cantina in Gandy Street and the south west’s first board game café in South Street!
4. Festive markets
What better way to get into the festive spirit than with a visit to a Christmas market? Browse for unique gifts and sip mulled wine against a backdrop of Christmas lights and music…. The city starts gearing up for Christmas in November, with the Exeter Christmas Market returning to the Cathedral Green from Saturday 19 November, and smaller Christmas Markets in Fore Street and Castle Street on various dates in the run up to Christmas. On the 24 November, the cobbled Gandy Street will host a spectacular Christmas Festival, with festive food and drink, street performances and snow!
Exeter Street Food will be hosting the Very Festive Christmas Market in Southernhay Gardens on the 2 & 3 December, and 8 – 10 December. Head to Magdalen Road on the 3 December for their annual Christmas Fair, when retailers spill out onto the street, offering festive street food and drink, with live music and entertainment.
5. Independent shopping
In Exeter we love local, and numerous independent traders offer a unique shopping experience in the city. Start on the Quayside, where you can see crafters at work in historic, bonded warehouses then pick up one-of-a-kind gifts. The West Quarter is home to over 50 independent shops high above the river on Fore Street and tucked away in interesting shopping arcades. Visit on Sunday 27 November for the Fore Street Flea, when the West Quarter will be filled with lots of bargains from local indie traders plus trash to treasure stalls, live music and street food.
Cobbled Gandy Street is next, home to bijou gift shops, independent jewellers and a selection of intimate wine bars and restaurants. Walk through the narrow New Buildings alley, past Exeter Central Library to Castle Street, with its independent designer boutiques and handcrafted jewellery. Magdalen Road, although just a short walk from the city centre, has a village-like feel, serving the local community with its independent deli, greengrocer, butcher, fishmonger and bakery. Find out more about independent shopping in Exeter.