1. Exeter Quayside

The perfect place for a relaxing riverside picnic - sit back and watch the world go by. Easily accessible walking and cycling routes make it easy to find a peaceful spot for a picnic in the Riverside Valley Park near Exeter Quayside, or sit in the thick of it and enjoy a spot of people watching and a drink from one of the nearby pubs on the Quayside.

2. Exeter Cathedral Green

One of the most popular spots in Exeter city centre for a picnic, frequented on sunny days by locals and people working in the city. Choose from a wealth of nearby cafes and delis from which to gather together a gourmet picnic, such as Chandos deli in Princesshay or the Real Food Store by Central station. On Thursdays head to the nearby Exeter Farmers Market to pick up the freshest Devon produce for your picnic against the backdrop of the magnificent Cathedral.

3. Rougemont Gardens

These Grade II listed gardens were originally part of the defences of Exeter Castle, and are a hidden gem in Exeter city centre. They can be found behind Exeter’s central library, sheltered by the Roman city wall. Visit in the summer to have your picnic accompanied by an outdoor performance of Shakespeare, as the Exeter Northcott brings the Comedy of Errors to Rougemont Gardens for two weeks in July.

4. Northernhay Gardens

The oldest public space in England, Northernhay Gardens were originally laid out as a pleasure walk in 1612, and today incorporate many historic features including the Roman city wall and historic monuments. This oasis in the city centre is ideal for picnics and for kids to run around and let off steam!

Northernhay Gardens

5. University of Exeter

Just a short walk from the city centre, the University of Exeter's Streatham campus is one of the most beautiful in the country, with award winning landscaped gardens incorporating fascinating sculpture pieces and inspired architecture. With 300 acres of grounds, you're sure to find a peaceful picnic spot with stunning views across the city to the rolling hills beyond.

6. Topsham

Take a stroll around the picturesque maritime town of Topsham just four miles from Exeter, then head to the Goat Walk for a picnic or sit on one of the benches overlooking the Exe Estuary.

7. Whitestone Park

This peaceful park on the edge of the city offers far reaching views across the Devon countryside. With a football field and a good variety of play equipment, kids will be entertained while you grab one of the picnic tables and enjoy the stunning views.

Whitestone Park

8. Heavitree Park

This large park a short distance from the city centre has plenty of picnic spots – sit in the shade under the mature trees, or beside the paddling pools in the large play park. Or why not enjoy a Wimbledon-style picnic with Pimms and strawberries while watching a game of tennis on one of the six courts here – or bring your racquets and join in, the courts are free to use!

Heavitree Park

9. Haldon Forest Park

Pack a picnic and head out of the city to Haldon Forest Park, high on a hill overlooking Exeter. Follow one of the well-signposted trails to picnic benches in shady spots throughout the forest, or find a bench with far-reaching views across the city of Exeter and along the Exe Estuary out to sea. Fun trail activities and play equipment will keep the kids entertained along the way.

10. Taverners Farm

Located just outside Exeter, enjoy a picnic in the summer meadow at Taverners Farm with its swings, slides and sand pits (a small charge applies). As this is also home to the Orange Elephant ice-cream parlour, pudding is sorted!

Summer Meadow at the Orange Elephant

11. Canonteign Falls

If you haven't visited before, Canonteign Falls is a stunning natural attraction in the heart of Devon. Here you can enjoy peaceful walks among the waterfalls and lakes plus family fun in the gardens and playgrounds. There are heaps of picnic-worthy spots to choose from!

12. Pinces Gardens

This hidden gem is located in St Thomas, standing on the site of William Lucombe's nursery founded in 1720. Pinces Garden is definitely a site for sore eyes – it may be the home to Pinces Gardens Bowling Club and the Pinces Gardens Croquet Club but it’s open for the public to enjoy!

13. Powderham Castle

In Kenton, just outside of Exeter, you’ll find the magnificent Powderham Castle! Apart from providing castle tours, fantastic family activities and hosting popular music events – this attraction has very impressive grounds. Enjoy delightful picnics and strolls within Powderham’s stunning gardens, find the the exotic trees and flowers, amazing views along the exe estuary and spot the grazing deer!

Further afield

Exeter is located at the head of the River Exe Estuary, and you can take a scenic rail journey south to the sandy beaches at Exmouth and Dawlish Warren just a short distance away, or head out to the wild expanse of Dartmoor National Park for a picnic high on the moors!

Dartmoor National Park

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Exeter Quayside
Historic Site
Monolith at Exeter Quayside. Copyright: DOminic Lowther

Exeter's Historic Quayside is the most attractive area in the city, popular with locals & visitors for its fascinating history, pubs & restaurants.

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

Ice cream in Topsham

A fascinating and quaint historic estuary port, Topsham has some fine architecture. There are Dutch traders’ houses and fine examples of buildings from Georgian and Edwardian times.

Haldon Forest Park - Forestry England
Country Park/Nature Reserve
Haldon Forest Park

Immerse yourself in the great outdoors with Haldon Forest Park!

Canonteign Falls
National Park
Canonteign Falls

Canonteign Falls is a stunning natural attraction in the heart of Devon. Visit us for peaceful walks among the waterfalls and lakes and family fun in the gardens and playgrounds. Escape the crowds and experience the highest waterfall in Dartmoor National Park.

Immerse yourself in over 600 years of history at Powderham.

Immerse yourself in over 600 years of history at Powderham, the family home of The Earl of Devon. Enjoy the flexibility of our UNLIMITED seven-day free return on all full-priced tickets, ensuring you make the most of your visit.

Pinces Gardens
Municipal Park
Pinces Garden

One of Exeter’s most distinguished parks, the annual blossoming of Pinces Garden’s 45 metre wisteria arch is an unmissable spring event. Home to the Exeter Croquet Club and the Pinces Gardens’ Bowls club.



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