With the festive season on the horizon there's lots of fantastic events and activities taking place across Exeter, many of which you can enjoy for FREE. From Christmas lights and markets to photo exhibitions and Red Coat Guided Tours, there's something for everyone.

Christmas lights switch-on

The countdown to Christmas doesn't truly start until the festive lights are switched on and this year the date for your diary is Thursday 16th November. Expect thousands of warm twinkly lights, beautifully decorated green wreaths, a stunning new Christmas Tree in Princesshay Square and multiple ‘on the ground’ photo opportunities including Santa’s Sleigh, Angel Wings and huge walk through JOY letters. To celebrate the new lights there will be entertainment from SPARK WorldBeaters, a street theatre troupe who feature live music, movement and spectacular lighting with performances at 5pm, 6pm and 7pm. 

Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market

Returning from 17th November to 17th December, Exeter Cathedral's popular Christmas Market will bring festive cheer to the heart of the city. Day or night, it's always wonderfully atmospheric as festive chalets showcase a wide range of local, regional, national and international suppliers, offering crafts and gifts, and seasonal food and drink. Enjoy delicious global street food, served from pop-up restaurants, cafés and bars, alongside local West Country produce, unique hand-crafted gifts, decorations and much more – all twinkling below the illuminated medieval façade of Exeter Cathedral.

Topsham Christmas lights celebration

Friday 24th November marks the date when the festive celebrations start in Topsham. Proceedings will begin at 4.30pm with the official lights switch-on, followed by entertainment at 5pm with a procession leading to the lighting of the Quay Tree. Through the evening you can also visit the Love Topsham Festive Market at St Margaret's Church, home to over 20 artisan stalls of crafts, food and drink from Topsham and beyond. There'll be plenty of mulled wine of course and festive spirit aplenty, with everyone welcome to the free events and celebrations.

Red Coat Guided Tours

November signals the start of the winter schedule for the Red Coat Guided Tours and come rain or shine they'll still be welcoming visitors, 7 days a week. The perfect way to explore Exeter on two feet, tours include Forgotten Exeter, Medieval Exeter, Cathedral to Quay, Georgian Exeter, Ghosts and Legends, Cathedral Close and Bishop's Palace Garden, Exeter Old and New, Introducing Exeter and Exeter's Historic Quayside.


The perfect free place to visit when the weather turns, there's a world of fascinating displays to explore at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM). Learn about Devon and Exeter’s rich history and global connections, be delighted by colourful animals, birds and insects, step into a world of innovative contemporary art, and travel the globe around the World Cultures galleries.

If you're looking for a little escapism and calming atmosphere then how about a Relaxed Session at RAMM. A great way to enjoy the exhibition space at a quieter pace.

Earth Photo exhibition at Haldon Forest Park

Earth Photo is an international competition and exhibition created by Forestry England and the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) to showcase photographs and videos that document the natural world, its breathtaking beauty, and its ever-growing fragility. The Haldon Forest Park outdoor exhibition will display a selection of shortlisted images by 31 different artists chosen from more than 1,400 entries.

Check out our full list of events for November.


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.

Topsham - Christmas Lights Celebration
Christmas in Topsham

Friday 24th November sees the start of the festive celebrations in Topsham!

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.



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