Books set in Exeter and Devon…

Everyone has their own way of enjoying their free time at home. Some cook, some renovate and some read! If you’re passing the time away with escaping in a book; we’ve put together a selection of novels that are set in Devon so you can imagine yourself in our corner of the world…

Did you know? Exeter has been awarded UNESCO City of Literature status (the only place in the UK this year to be given any status!) This means we are now one of 66 cities internationally that have been added to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, find out more here.

The Secret of Crickley Hall - James Herbert (2007)

Set in Devon, this supernatural book tells the story of a family who travels to Hollow Bay for a relaxing break.

Harry Potter Series

JK Rowling studied at University of Exeter and it has long been rumoured that Gandy Street was the inspiration for the cramped streets of Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter book series!

A Very Big House in the Country – Claire Sandy (2015)

Set in the Devon summer sun, this book tells the tale of three families sharing one big house in the countryside!

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle (1901-1902)

Arthur Conan Doyle’s most popular book was set in Buckfastleigh; on the edge of Dartmoor National Park!

Agatha Christie Novels

It wouldn’t be right if we didn’t mention the beloved Agatha Christie, born in Torquay, who is most famous for her detective novels! Check out Agatha's books which were set in Devon: ABC Murders (1936), Evil Under the Sun (1941) And Then There Was None (1939)

The House by the Sea - Santa Montefiore (2012)

This tale is set between a beautiful Tuscan village in Italy and the Devon coast...

The Wanderers – Tim Peave (2018)

Set in Devon during World War I, this novel tells the story of two teenagers forging separate paths before the war began.

The Long Call – Ann Cleaves (2019)

This detective tale is set in North Devon, where the rivers Taw and Torridge meet.

Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austin (1811)

Jane Austin's first novel was set in the village of Upton Pyne - around four miles from Exeter. She also loved Dawlish, which also gets a mention in the book.

War Horse - Michael Morpurgo (1982)

This famous novel is a tale set in Dartmoor, of a horse’s journey through World War 1. This book was adapted into a film in 2011 by Steven Spielburg; where many scenes were filmed up on the moors!

Exeter Playlist…

Experience Exeter through music! Create your own playlist, inspired by artists who were originally from Exeter! (Or very close!)

Exeter usually has an energetic, vibrant music scene with venues in every corner of the city centre including Exeter Phoenix, The Cavern and Exeter Corn Exchange! Not to mention the events we’ve hosted including Radio 1’s Big Weekend, summer events at Powderham Castle and our very own annual Exeter Festival!


The members of the rock band Muse grew up in the coastal town of Teignmouth, just 14 miles from Exeter!

The Vamps

Tristan Evans, the drummer of the pop-rock band The Vamps, was born in Exeter. He reportedly studied at the Academy of Music and Sound in the city!

Joss Stone

The successful soul singer grew up in Ashill, Cullompton and spent a lot of time in Exeter whilst her Mother ran the music venue Mama Stones, before it was demolished.

Ben Howard

Ben Howard, a talented musician known for his calm and laid-back tunes, grew up in Devon!


Thom Yorke, musician from rock band Radiohead, was a student at the University of Exeter in the late 1980's! He played many gigs around the city with his first band, Headless Chickens.

Will Young

Before Will Young won Pop Idol in 2002, he graduated from the University of Exeter!


Coldplay is a hugely successful band known across the world. Did you know Chris Martin, the band’s lead singer, grew up in Whitestone just outside of Exeter?


Exeter Phoenix
Arts Centre
Angled image of the exterior of the Exeter Phoenix

Exeter Phoenix is one of the South West’s leading contemporary arts venues, offering an exciting and varied programme of theatre, dance, performance, music, film and visual arts, and attracting over 150,000 visitors a year.

Exeter Cavern
Night Club
Exeter Cavern entrance

Launched in 1991 as a platform for local and international bands, the Cavern is one of Exeter's oldest indie venues.

Exeter Corn Exchange
Event Venue
The Hall of Exeter Corn Exchange

The largest venue in Exeter city centre, Exeter Corn Exchange is probably the ideal location for your event - whatever it may be.

Powderham Castle
Powderham Castle exterior

A visit to Powderham Castle is an enchanting day out for all its visitors. Fascinating guided tours of this magnificent 600 year old Castle.

Dartmoor National Park
National Park
Dartmoor Ponies

Dartmoor National Park is one of the last great wildernesses in the UK with an inspirational landscape of heatherclad moors and rugged tors.



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