Thinking of heading to the first Exeter Carnival in 24 years? Why not make a day of it and spend the entire day in Exeter - taking part in unmissable activities, picking up those Christmas gifts, dining at your favourite restaurants and soaking up the festive atmosphere?

Check out our guide for an exciting day out in Exeter on 26th November... you don't want to miss this!

Shop 'til you drop

Need to pick up a Christmas present or fancy a mooch for yourself? Visit popular brands on the high street including John Lewis and in Princesshay and the Guildhall Shopping Centre. Discover friendly, independent shops in surrounding streets offering a brilliantly different range of sustainable, eco, artisan, vintage fashions, jewellery, crafts and gifts. Check out our shopping quarters page for all you need to know.

Did you know? InExeter’s brand-new digital independent gift card is great way to support ‘indies’ across the city – the first of its kind in the UK!

Leaf Street

Discover Exeter's fascinating history 

Carnival day is the perfect opportunity to visit Exeter's historic attractions. Explore beneath the city’s streets on a guided tour of Exeter’s medieval Underground Passages and visit RAMM, Exeter’s award-winning museum - where you can explore 16 galleries of local and national touring exhibitions, also completely free of charge.

Join a free guided walking tour of the city with the Exeter Red Coat Guides on Saturday 26th November:

  • Exeter Old and New - 11am
  • Medieval Exeter - 2pm

Exeter Red Coat Guided Tour

Soak up the festive spirit at Exeter Cathedral's Christmas Market

The Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market returns from 18th November - 18th December! Enjoy delicious street food from around the world, shop for unique, handmade gifts and decorations then sing-along to festive favourites with local talented musicians under the twinkly lights, infront of our magnificent Exeter Cathedral

Indulge in delicious food and drink

Did you know? Exeter has been voted one of the top places to eat out in the UK, by Which Good Food Guide. This means that it's only right that you dig into our spectacular food and drink whilst you're in the city for the carnival, right?

Don't forget to book your lunch and dinner tables in advance - it's expected to be busy in the city! 

Take part in exciting activities and events

There's so much to see in Exeter on the day of the carnival! From markets, to arts an crafts and even free admission to attractions - you're really in for a treat:

  • InExeter's Pop-Up Emporium - market at Guildhall Shopping Centre, 10am-4pm
  • Carnival of the Animals at RAMM - 1:30pm-4:30pm
  • Enjoy a free game at Board - free admission all day
  • Carnival Crafts at Bunyip - make your own head-dress before you watch the carnival, 10am-5pm
  • Pigeon Family Trail at Bookbag - find nine cheeky pigeons hidden in shop windows, 10am-5pm
  • Positive Lights Project on Sidwell Street - events from Art and Energy, 4pm-8pm

Find out more about carnival activities on the Exeter Carnival website.

Meet Santa at Princesshay

Whilst you're in the city on the 26th November, gather the family and meet Santa at Princesshay. The magical experience will take place from 12pm-5pm. Entry is priced at £8 per child, no booking required. 10% of the sales will be donated to Princesshay’s Charity Partner for 2022 – CEDA.

Be mesmerized by Exeter Winter Wonderland

Exeter's Winter Wonderland is back this festive season in Northernhay Gardens! This year expect rides and attractions, a real ice rink, locally-sourced festive refreshments plus a giant Santa’s grotto! New for 2022 is a mini Christmas market. 

Exeter Carnival

Make a note for the main event! Exeter Carnival will take place between 6-8pm. Keep an eye on the website for all the latest updates - we'll see you there!


Shopping Centre
Princesshay Shopping Centre - with Cathedral View

The award-winning Princesshay is in the heart of the city, with over 60 stores including big brands such as Next and Zara, as well as smaller independent and regional brands. Princesshay is seriously stylish, featuring distinctive architecture, that complements Exeter's historic buildings, and landscaped European style squares with cafes and restaurants.

The Guildhall Shopping Centre
Outdoor Market
The Guildhall Shopping Centre - high street entrance

Guildhall Shopping & Dining is Exeter City Centre's largest concentration of shops, eating destinations and leisure operators and even a medieval church, St Pancras Church. This quaint church in a most unlikely setting, makes Guildhall Shopping Centre the only Shopping Centre in the world to home a 12th Century Church at its heart! From fashion to food, axe throwing to spa treatments, everything you need can be found at Guildhall Shopping Centre.

Exeter's Underground Passages
Historic Site
Exeter's Underground Passages

The Passages were built to house the pipes that brought clean drinking water into medieval Exeter. A guided tour of Exeter's Underground Passages is a memorable event - narrow, dark, interesting and exciting.

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.

Exeter Red Coat Guided Tours
Walking Tour
Exeter Red Coat Guided Tours

Find out more about the city’s turbulent history on a free guided walking tour with the Red Coat Guides, running daily throughout the year.

Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market
Exeter Christmas Market on Cathedral Green

Exeter Cathedral's popular Christmas Market is back for 2023, from Friday 17 November – Sunday 17 December. Taking place on Exeter's Cathedral Green, the Cathedral Christmas Market is wonderfully atmospheric, set among a labyrinth of winding paths, festooned with fairy lights and laced with the seasonal sights and smells of festive chalets, showcasing a wide range of local, regional, national and international suppliers, offering crafts and gifts, and seasonal food and drink.

Exeter Cathedral
Exeter Cathedral roof top tour

Medieval cathedral. Fine example of Gothic Decorated style. Longest unbroken stretch of Gothic vaulting in the world. Image screen on West Front, Minstrels' Gallery and tombs. Expert guided tours, trails and activities for the family

Exeter's Winter Wonderland
Christmas Markets
Exeter Winter Wonderland

Exeter's Winter Wonderland returns for 2022, offering a magical day out for the whole family to enjoy.  With plenty of exciting rides and attractions, including a real ice rink, an abundance of locally-sourced festive refreshments and a giant Santa’s Grotto, this year’s Winter Wonderland is not to be missed.

External shot of Bookbag

Bookbag is Exeter's new(ish) independent bookshop. They stock a select range of local/global fiction and non-fiction, art, nature, zines, and children's books. Book ordering, subscription service, and a range of events including open-mic poetry.

Games & Card Games
External shot of Board

A board game bar & restaurant, with over 300 games to play while sitting in cosy seating, with a delicious range of food & drink to enjoy.



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