Although small, Exeter packs a big punch when it comes to summer. From unmissable events, to thrilling outdoor activities and family fun - there's no place else you'd rather be when the sun is shining (we hope!) We've put together this handy summer guide to the city, all you need is a clear diary...

Navigate the waters

In Exeter, we’re blessed to be surrounded by glorious canals, rivers, estuaries and the World Heritage Jurassic Coast that are perfect for watersports! Your journey opportunities are endless, there are plenty of areas to suit all abilities. Check out our handy guide for where to hire your gear and safety equipment before you begin! Before you set off on your adventure, please make sure you've hired a lifejacket or buoyancy aid.

Attend unmissable summer events

As summer approaches, Exeter is gearing up for a season of exciting events and activities. From music gigs to food festivals, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Exeter! Read our blog to discover the top upcoming events in our city this summer…

Explore the city by bike

If you’re anything like us, you believe that there’s nothing better than hopping on your bike, feeling the wind blowing through your hair and experiencing magnificent views along the way to gorgeous destinations. If you’re staying in Exeter, you’re very lucky as you’ll have endless cycle routes on your doorstep! Here are some of our favourite trails for you to follow on your next visit. Check out our Adventurous Cycles around Exeter blog for inspiration. 

Hire a bike and safety equipment from:

  • Saddles & Paddles - bicycle and canoe hire from Exeter quayside
  • Co-Bikes - a network of electric bikes available to hire by the half-hour
  • Haldon Forest Park – bikes on site available to rent from Forest Cycle Hire
  • Darts Farm Cycle Hire – hire your bike from Darts Farm and immediately join the exe estuary trail
  • Route 2 Bikes, Topsham – Choose your bike for the day and enjoy a refreshment before you head out on your adventure

Refresh with a delicious cider slushie

Did someone say cider slushie? Head to The Turk's Head and enjoy the delicious tipple, outside on the gorgeous terrace! 

Get your dancing shoes on

Jazz on the Quay returns this year! Head to the Transit Shed, just adjacent to Exeter’s beautiful Custom House on Exeter’s historic quayside - the summer long-event kicks off on 25th June!

Cool off at Exeter's splash pads

Enjoy a cool, family day out at Heavitree Pleasure Grounds and the Splash Pad at St Thomas Pleasure Grounds

Dine alfresco

The sun is shining and the temperature is rising, which means one thing - alfresco dining! Take a look at our outdoor dining guide for Exeter. From British classics, to italian-inspired grub, hearty pies, Vietnamese flavours and more - you're in for a real treat in our city!

Explore Exeter's Underground Passages

Feeling the heat? When we say it's really cool within Exeter's Underground Passages, we mean it's really cool. These fascinating passages were built to house the pipes that brought clean drinking water into Medieval Exeter. In fact, these are the only passages of its kind open to the public in Britain! Read our blog to find out what to expect.

Enjoy a wonderful walk

Soak up the sunshine and get your daily steps in, with a stroll around our glorious city! Check out our blog for route inspiration - it's time to get your walking shoes on!

Watch a film under the stars

Exeter Phoenix's Big Screen in the Park returns this August. With a licenced bar, plenty of sweet treats and a cafe, the whole family is sorted for snacks for the film - choose from E.T, The Banshees of Inishirin, Everything Everywhere All At Once and Dirty Dancing! Find out more and get your tickets here.

Discover something new on an Exeter Red Coat Guided Tour

Exeter's Red Coat Guided Tours are perfect if you want to delve into Exeter's rich, fascinating history and to discover parts of Exeter you may haven't already visited. Haven't tagged along on one yourself? Check out our favourite things about these guided walks, which tour will you choose? Not to mention you'll get to soak up that all important vitamin D and get a breath of fresh air!

Jump in the pool

Fancy a dip in the pool this summer? Visit St Sidwell's Point! Here you'll find three pools - a 25 metre, 8 lane competition pool, a 20 metre learner pool, all of which has a moveable floor to suit various activities. Exploring Topsham? Jump in Topsham's 25m outdoor pool, heated to at least 28 degrees!

Pack your picnic baskets

Even though Exeter is a compact city, we also have many wide open spaces for a peaceful stroll and a delightful picnic. If you’re looking for ways to enjoy the great outdoors in Exeter, look no further as we’ve put together a selection of locations across the city and beyond which boasts fascinating history and spectacular views for the most picture-perfect picnic... check out our blog!

Visit our top attractions

Exeter and beyond is bursting at the seams with exciting attractions that the entire family will enjoy! Whether you're looking for rides, animals, outdoor activities or are eager to discover our city's history - there's an attraction for you. Check out our Attractions in Exeter page for inspiration... 

Immerse yourself in outdoor theatre

Sun & Moon Theatre are returning to Rougemont Gardens between 27th-29th July with Shakespeare’s most popular drama, Romeo and Juliet, open air style! Find out more and get your tickets here.

Explore gorgeous Topsham

Topsham, the quaint estuary town just over 4 miles from Exeter, is full of picture-perfect sights, delicious local produce, quirky independent shops and activities for all ages. Getting to the town is exceptionally easy, with it being just 30 minutes on a bus, a 25 minute cycle or a 20 minute train ride. Once you've arrived, the majority of the town is flat, which means you can quickly reach all the 'instagrammable' spots. There's plenty happening in the town over the summer months, including secret gardens, street entertainment and much more! Find out more.

Dance in Princesshay Square

It's time for a silent disco! Put on your dancing shoes, grab your headphones and choose from a line-up of local DJ’s and playlists with all the best music. Click here to find out more.

Dance on the rooftops

Tiny Rebel will be taking over The Botanist's rooftop on 25th August! Expect exclusive drinks, DJ's throughout the day, bar and terrace games, full venue décor and of course delicious grub! Find out more.

Get covered in slime

The Bear Trail are hosting their first ever slime fest on 1st July! Tackle this fantastic family assault course and dodge the 'slimebuster' crew that will be stationed around the trail. Not to mention you can still enjoy the unlimited mud and 30 obstacles that The Bear Trail has to offer! Book now before it sells out.

Summer lovin'...


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.

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.

The Turk’s Head
Beers and ales at The Turk's Head

Located in the heart of the city centre next to the Guildhall is one of the regions oldest pubs and a favourite watering hole of Charles Dickens - or so we believe... Recently restored to its former glory, The Turk's Head is back with a bang and ready to showcase the 700+ year history.

Exeter Phoenix
Arts Centre
Exeter Phoenix - front of building

Exeter Phoenix is a vibrant, world-class multi-artform venue in the heart of Exeter's city centre. Each year we host hundreds of events and artistic activity spanning many disciplines.

Saddles and Paddles
Boating and Canoeing
Saddles  Paddles

Bike and canoe hire from Exeter's historic quayside. Explore the old canal trail. Seven miles of flat, traffic free cycling in beautiful countryside. The canoes are great fun and easy to use for exploring this beautiful waterway.

Co Bikes
Cycle Hire
Co Bikes at Exeter quayside

Experience an easy, enjoyable, electric Exeter with Co Bikes. The hire-by-the-half hour electric bikes are great fun to use and perfect for exploring the hilly city of Exeter. Riders can hire, ride and drop the bikes off at any Co Bikes site – much like London’s ‘Boris Bikes’ except purely with electric bikes.

Haldon Forest Park - Forestry England
Country Park/Nature Reserve
Strolling through Haldon Forest Park and enjoying the stunning views

Whether you want a gentle stroll or an exhilarating mountain biking experience, there’s something for everyone at Haldon Forest Park. Open 364 days of the year, there is something for every interest to connect you with the great outdoors.

Route 2 Bike Shop & Cycle Hire Topsham
Route 2 Bikes, Topsham

Hire a Bike to explore the beautiful Exe Estuary Trail, part of the National Cycle Route 2. One of the best cycle trails in the country, it is accessible for all.

The Exe Estuary Trail
Cycle Route
Exe Estuary Trail, vintage bike (c) mathilde le floch

The Exe Estuary is a 26 mile cycle route & walkway which goes along the whole Exe Estuary through Exmouth, Exeter & Dawlish.

Heavitree Pleasure Grounds
Municipal Park
Heavitree Park and Pleasure Grounds

Popular family park with a wide range of recreational facilities including paddling pools, six tennis courts, basketball court, skate park, bmx track, bowling green and kick about area.

St Thomas Splash Pad
Municipal Park
St Thomas Splash Pad, Exeter
St Sidwell's Point Leisure Centre
Leisure/Swimming Pool
External shot of St Sidwell's Point

Welcome to St Sidwell’s Point, Exeter’s brand new, state-of-the-art leisure centre, in the heart of the city centre. St Sidwell’s Point is the first leisure facility in the UK to be built to the ultra-energy efficient Passivhaus standard, meaning energy consumption is reduced by 70% when compared with industry best practice standards. Visitors can also enjoy improved air quality, optimal air temperatures, and natural lighting due to the unique design and materials used to build our city’s new leisure complex. Find three pools at St Sidwell’s Point - 25 metre, 8 lane competition pool, a 20 metre learner pool, all of which has a moveable floor to suit various activities. Enjoy an exceptional swimming experience thanks to ultra-filtration an

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.

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 Bear Trail
Sports & Leisure
The Bear Trail

The Bear Trail is Devon's muddiest family assault course. 30 obstacles, unlimited mud! An award-winning outdoor family attraction, the Bear Trail has been designed for families to create memories that last a lifetime. Scramble over the bear nets, zip down the zip wire and tumble through the tunnels. Tackle the assault course together then relax in the Bear Cave Café serving delicious wood-fired pizzas, paninis, drinks, treats and more. Or bring your own picnic and enjoy our outdoor or indoor picnic areas.

The Botanist Exeter
The Botanist terrace

Explore a secret garden of food and drink, where our Botanists have foraged high and low to bring you a host of exceptional food and drink delights... sublime social times are guaranteed! Live Music, DJ handcrafted Cocktails Rooftop Terrace.



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