Now more than ever, it’s important to everyone that wherever we go, we have outdoor space to socially-distance from other households. Luckily for those visiting Exeter, there are endless opportunities to enjoy the open space and breathe plenty of the fresh, west country air!

Parks & gardens

Although Exeter is a compact city, it’s filled with gorgeous gardens and parks to explore and relax within. Visit Northernhay and Rougemont Gardens for a slice of history within Exeter’s city centre or pop by Exeter University Gardens for excellent views across the city and a sculpture or two!

Take a stroll around Ludwell Valley Park, the 200-acre country park filled with nature including butterflies, wildflowers and birds! Follow the one and a half mile self-guided trail around the park for glorious views and picture-perfect picnic spots away from the city centre.

Interested in art and sculptures? You can’t leave Exeter without experiencing the Devon Sculpture Park – an excellent place to social distance, gaze at the sea views and to enjoy some spectacular pieces of work!

If you fancy venturing out of the city, the grounds of National Trust Killerton House are worth a visit, with glorious landscapes and parklands! If you’re spending the day in Dawlish area, don’t forget to wonder around Powderham Castle’s grounds if you get the chance. Not only can you explore inside the castle, grab a bit to eat, spot the grazing deer but you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful grounds looking out over the Exe Estuary!

Haldon Forest Park

Looking for a day within the great outdoors? Enjoy breath-taking views, pretty picnic spots and magical walking trails at Haldon Forest! Made up of 3,500 acres, the much-loved woodland area has multiple routes to discover on foot, bike or even Segway (you heard right!)

Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor National Park is a must-visit for wild ponies, stunning rivers, enchanting forests and towering granite tours! You won’t be short of outdoor space here – there’s no doubt you’ll be able to enjoy endless walking routes, discover charming villages, towns and secret spots whilst being able to socially-distance with ease.

Beautiful beaches

Exeter’s perfectly-situated location means that you are no more than a 30 minute drive from some of the south west’s best beaches! Want to try a new water sport and enjoy some delicious sea food? Give Exmouth beach a try. Want to win big at the amusements and stroll along the sand? Visit Dawlish Warren. Want to relax and watch the day go by? Set up your camping chairs at Budleigh Salterton beach!

Budleigh Salterton Beach

Exeter Canal

Nothing says open space more than Exeter Canal! Get on the water with a paddleboard, canoe or kayak and float blissfully down the canal with your family friends. For tips on where to hire your equipment (remember a life jacket!) and other locations to enjoy our local estuaries, reservoirs and canals click here!

Related

Northernhay Gardens
Garden
War statue in Exeter Nothernhay Gardens

The site of Northernhay Gardens was quarried in Roman times for stone from which to build the adjacent city walls.

Exeter University Gardens
Garden
Exeter University Gardens

The Exeter University gardens have the reputation of being one of the most beautiful in Europe & have strong links with the Veitch family.

Ludwell Valley Park Trail
Waymarked Trail
Ludwell Valley Park Trail

A one and a half-mile route around Ludwell Valley Park

Devon Sculpture Park
Arts Centre
Art in the Park

Devon Sculpture Park is the UK's leading smaller-scale rewilding project and environmental art centre, just a few miles south of Exeter City.

National Trust Killerton House & Gardens
Historic House/Palace
The National Trust Killerton House & Gardens

Killerton House is an 18thC house built for the Acland family surrounded by 18 acres of beautiful gardens and countryside to explore.

Powderham Castle
Castle/Fort
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.

Haldon Forest Park - Forestry England
Country Park/Nature Reserve
Haldon Forest Park - Forestry Commission - walking with view

COVID-19: Most facilities are open but running a little differently. Please check before you travel. Haldon Forest Park is made up of 3,500 acres of woodland, just 15 minutes from Exeter. Open 364 days a year, it’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in the great outdoors. With miles of trails for walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders, there’s something for everyone at Haldon Forest Park. Enjoy expansive views, exhilarating mountain biking, tree top adventures and orienteering courses. What will you discover? Walking Whether you’re looking for an easy-going trail for all abilities, play and adventure for the children or peace and quiet to observe the wildlife, we have a trail for you. Cycling Head out onto trails to suit all ab

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.

Exmouth Beach
Beach
Exmouth Beach & seafront

Two miles of golden sand and fascinating rock pools

Dawlish Warren Beach
Beach
Dawlish Warren seafront

Dawlish Warren prides itself on being one of South Devon's top family beaches. Distinctive sand dunes and an internationally recognised nature reserve add uniqueness to this 8 time European Blue Flag award winning beach.

Exeter Ship Canal
Waymarked Trail
Far away view of Double Locks (c) Mathilde Le Floch

The Exeter Ship Canal first opened to shipping in 1566 and was the first canal to be built in Britain since Roman times. It was also the first canal in England to use the pound lock.

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