Karen Marshall of Canny Marshall Ltd., is a marketing specialist based in Exeter, working with businesses across the country with a focus on tourism, culture, heritage and events. Originally from the north, she moved to Exeter 3 years ago, and has loved exploring the south west and Exeter. Here she tells us about the indie heaven that is Gandy Street...

Christmas shopping on Gandy Street (c) Sebastian Christopher Photography

Gandy Street is in the heart of historic Exeter and one of the city's most picturesque shopping areas. Tucked away from the crowds, it offers an intimate shopping experience, with its bars, restaurants and cafes, beauty and hairdressing salons, you’ll be able to shop, relax and enjoy the friendly atmosphere. Gandy Street is also – apparently – the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley (J. K. Rowling spent 3 years as a student at Exeter University).

Here’s why Gandy Street is the place to head to this Christmas...


Stunning jewellery to suit all pockets - and lots of shops to choose from. You’ll get a friendly welcome and advice to help guide you to the perfect gift. Shops to visit include Mantis, Silver Lion Jewellery, Firkins, Exeter Crystal Shop and the Shop at RAMM.


If you need inspiration, Gandy Street’s the place, located in what is becoming renowned as Exeter's gift quarter. There are so many gift ideas and also the option of buying gift vouchers. Check out the little alleys tucked away too, as there are some great little shops hidden away. Here you’ll find locally sourced prints, pottery, cards, jewellery, lighting and more. You’ll be surprised at how reasonably priced the items are.

Stunning shops include Mounts Bay Trading, Georgie & Flo and Moko. Toot Garook is just on the corner of Queen Street too, as well as the newly opened Hyde & Seek. On Queen Street, you’ll also find the wonderful Aromatik, a day beauty spa offering an array of treatments and organic, natural hand-made skin care. You really are spoilt for choice.  

A highlight of the gift shopping scene has to be the Shop @ RAMM (Royal Albert Memorial Museum) which opened last year. The products are hand-picked and inspired by the museum’s collections and exhibitions, with jewellery, accessories, gifts, prints, books, interiors, furnishings, children’s toys and more. The space and layout is beautiful and very much feels like you’re perusing in a high-end gallery. There’s an Artist Makers case dedicated to gorgeous local craftsmen and craftswomen.

The Shop at RAMM

Clothes & accessories

Get a different look or pick up a present at one of the many clothes and accessory shops. Moko, SeaSalt, Vivid, Sobeys, Exiv Boutique, JoJo Maman Bebe, My ExWardrobe and Stolen by Suzie, a new addition to the street.

Gandy Street


It needs a listing all of its own on Gandy Street. Pop into Chococo (complete with café) or Choccie Bar and treat yourself or pick up a gift the lucky recipient will surely love. If you have a sweet tooth, Roly’s Fudge on Queen Street is also a must.

Chococo, Gandy Street

Eat & drink

Whatever your taste, you won’t go hungry around Gandy Street, the choice here is vast: The Cauldron Inn, Zizzi’s, Hatts, John Gandy’s, Bill’s, Boston Tea Party, Chococo, Devon Coffee, The Cavern, Las Iguanas as well as the Phoenix and the Museum.

Culture & more

If you feel the need for a break from shopping head to RAMM, Exeter’s award-winning museum and art gallery, the Exeter Phoenix, a gem of a place, with a wonderful bar, café, cinema, exhibition space and theatre, or The Cavern, famed for its great music and great food.  

So, there’s a whistle-stop tour to get you started, but there is lots more to discover!

Most shops are open for late-night shopping on Thursdays until 9pm in the run up to Christmas and open 10am-4pm Sundays too. The Royal Albert Memorial Museum is closed Mondays & Bank Holidays.


Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery - RAMM
Royal Albert Memorial Museum Queen Street Exeter

Exeter’s world-class museum has stunning displays and galleries, fabulous exhibitions and modern amenities. The displays reveal Devon and Exeter’s rich history and global connections. Exotic animals, birds and insects delight children and the World Cultures galleries display stunning items from all over the world.

The Shop at RAMM
Gifts and Souvenirs
RAMM's Shop

Situated on the ground floor near the Queen Street entrance, the Shop at RAMM is a haven for retail therapy, with a large selection of hand-picked gifts, books and children’s souvenirs, directly inspired by RAMM's collections and exhibitions.



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