Exeter is an ancient city with a vibrant, modern feel. Pre-dating the arrival of the Romans in AD 50, the city's history is rich and long. This is reflected in its fascinating visitor attractions including its mysterious Underground Passages, award-winning Royal Albert Memorial Museum, magnificent Exeter Cathedral, Roman wall and historic quayside. Exeter is one of the few cities in the UK to offer free guided walking tours, on which you can discover centuries of fascinating heritage.
Exeter has a great mix of shops, with large High Street names mingling with independent shops in the city's distinct shopping quarters. With a huge range of independent specialist shops and boutiques offering unique one-of-a-kind items, as well as many well known brands including John Lewis, Cath Kidston and The White Company all located within easy walking distance of each other, Exeter is the perfect shopping destination.
Exeter is also firmly on the map as one of the foodie capitals of the South West, from the weekly farmers’ market selling field-fresh produce to the celebrated Exeter Street Food Market, cosy cafes to fine dining in award-winning restaurants. The city’s location in the Heart of Devon makes it a melting pot for top chefs to create gastronomic delights with ingredients harvested from the surrounding coast and countryside. Find out more about food & drink in Exeter.
Here in Exeter you’ll find a cultural scene that’s as varied and exciting as the city itself. Whether you’re a theatre lover, music buff, foodie or art enthusiast, Exeter’s packed calendar of events has something for everyone. See the full line up of events on our what's on pages.
Exeter is passionate about its sport and is perfectly located for making the most of the great outdoors. As well as Sandy Park for rugby, there is St James’ Park for football and Exeter Racecourse for competitive racing throughout the National Hunt Season. The city is also home to the South West’s largest indoor climbing wall at the Quay Climbing Centre and Europe’s first Clip n’ Climb centre.
Just 10 miles from Exeter and you will reach the coast, and with so much coastline in Devon you can easily find a quiet stretch of sand or pebble beach on which to relax. Find out more about the Heart of Devon's beaches.
Stretching to the east is the Jurassic Coast, more than thirty miles of stunning UNESCO World Heritage Coastline, part of the 95 miles charting 185 million years of the Earth's history. It's clear why this coastline has been designated an area of international importance, with its towering red cliffs and undulating sand dunes, sheltered coves, rock pools and sparkling sea.
If you want to enjoy the richness of nature and the gentler pace of country life, look no further. Rightly, most of the area is designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – East Devon AONB and the Blackdown Hills AONB. Both are a rural paradise half forgotten by time, rich in history and wildlife. The hills, fertile valleys and woodlands found in the countryside teem with wildlife and are punctuated by farmland, quiet roads and traditional narrow, high banked Devon lanes, flower laden in springtime. Head to our main visitor website to find out more about visiting the Heart of Devon - www.heartofdevon.com.