If you're looking for something a little different to treat your loved one this Valentine's Day, look no further... rather than a traditional present why not treat them to a memorable experience you can do together and that they may not otherwise have tried? Exeter has much to offer when it comes to experiential gifts, with a huge range of activities to suit all tastes and ages - here are our top 16...


1. Get out on the water 

A canoe or kayak made for two, or a peaceful paddleboard to the pub - purchase a voucher or experience from one of the outdoor activities centres on Exeter Quayside, such as Haven Banks, AS Watersports or Saddles & Paddles.

Kayaking on Exeter Quayside

2. On your bike

Hire a tandem bicycle from Saddles & Paddles, to explore the flat cycle paths through Exeter's beautiful Riverside Valley Park


3. Aim high

The perfect first date ice-breaker, take your beau to the Quay Climbing Centre to have a go at scaling the south west's largest indoor climbing wall.

4. Shop 'til you drop

Spend the day shopping in Exeter and find the perfect, unique gift for each other - start the day by exchanging a gift card for Princesshay, or explore Exeter's fantastic independents with the InExeter indie gift card, valid for use at over 50 indie boutiques, artisan producers, lifestyle and homeware shops, jewellers, makers and crafters.

Shopping in Exeter, McCoy's Arcade

5. Cook up a storm

The Exeter Cookery School offer a wide range of culinary courses - learn how to create fancy French desserts or make your own chocolate together!

6. One for cheese lovers

Take a tour of Quickes, for a unique behind the scenes experience day where you can see first hand how this world-class cheese is crafted!

Quickes Cheese Tour

7. Become a wine connoisseur

Book your loved one onto a wine course at Kenton Park Estate, where they’ll explore the main types and styles of wine through sight, smell, and taste, while also gaining the skills to describe wines accurately, and make food and wine pairings.

8. Experience the thrill of the race

Enjoy a day out at Exeter Racecourse in style, and dine in the Desert Orchid Restaurant, which offers breathtaking views over the racecourse.

Exeter Racecourse

9. Experience match day excitement

If rugby or football are more your thing, Exeter is the perfect place to be! Cheer on your team together at an Exeter Chiefs or Exeter City FC home game.

10. Drive each other round the bend...

...literally, at Land Rover Experience West Country! This exciting driving experience covers 35 acres of challenging off-road course - no back seat driving please!

11. Hire a classic sports car

Impress your loved one by pulling up in a vintage Morgan sports car, rented from Berrybrook Motors to explore Devon in style. 

Classic car hire at Berrybrook Motors

12. Take a champagne balloon ride

What could be more romantic than a peaceful flight in a hot air balloon, with 360 degrees of the beautiful Devon countryside to admire. Aerosaurus Balloons offer flights near Exeter.

13. Adopt a donkey

If your loved one is an animal lover, this could be the perfect gift. Adopt one of the friendly donkeys from the Donkey Sanctuary near Sidmouth, then take a trip together to go and visit him or her at the Sanctuary, which is nestled in the tranquil East Devon countryside. 

14. Relax and unwind

Enjoy a relaxing spa treatment and lunch or afternoon tea with fizz together at the Exeter Golf & Country Club, or Hotel Du Vin.

Wear Park Spa at Exeter Golf & Country Club

15. One for music lovers

Treat your other half to a pair of concert tickets - whatever their taste there is plenty to choose from in Exeter - see Craig David at Powderham on 1 June, or for 80s music fans the Let's Rock Festival on 29 June should not be missed! Search for more upcoming concerts and gigs in Exeter.

16. Get a birds-eye view of Exeter

Something a little different for a first date - or a spectacular proposal?! Take a roof tour of Exeter Cathedral, a very special tour which takes you into the roof void high above the Nave, through the spaces in the north tower and onto the roof to enjoy the best views of Exeter (and beyond). Tours on 16th and 17th February finish with a very rare opportunity to spend time with the Bell-ringers who will be in action in the Bell Ringing Chamber in the South Tower.

Exeter Cathedral Roof Tour




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