Matt Newbury is the social media and digital support person for the Exeter Canal and Quay Trust and is lucky enough to work down at the Exeter Custom House once a week. In this guest blog, Matt tells us what's on this Summer at the Quayside.

I love working down at the Custom House and if you are fortunate enough to live in the local area, or indeed are visiting the city at any time, Exeter Quayside always makes a fantastic place to visit. As well as some wonderful bars and restaurants, there are also independent shops and some great activities to have a go at, both on and around the water.

Exeter Canal and Quay Trust work alongside our Cultural Partners at Art Work Exeter and Literature Works to ensure that there is always something fun going on to draw people down to the waterfront to experience the history, heritage and soak up the general atmosphere.  

For me, one of the many highlights of the year is our Summer at the Quayside, which offers a colourful and incredibly diverse and FREE creative programme for all the family. We know times are challenging for people, so to be able to offer these sorts of activities without a charge is incredibly important.

Mainly based in the Transit Shed (right in front of the Custom House), activities will again be taking place every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday of the school summer holidays from 26 July to 30 August. And while they may all seem quite random in nature, they all connect to the quayside in some way.

It's quite hard to select my highlights, but I’m delighted we will have the Prom Prom team back every Friday for some good old fashioned end of the pier-style fun. You can join Uncle Tacko and friends on the Piazza Terracina for storytelling, puppets, magic, seaside games and even a flea circus.

There are some great art activities for all the family, including a chance to make your own clay face or flower, to paint your own animal pottery, to design and stich your own nautical flag or even join a paper and print workshop with Double Elephant.

There will also be some big makes, including the opportunity to help make a giant mosaic map, colour in a giant city scape or even create an epic mossy carpet. We are also very excited to have 3D Joe and Max, who have travelled the globe creating optical illusion artworks for everyone from Google, to Disney and Coca-Cola.

Also on the cards, we have some theatrical fun for little ones, including PaddleBoat Theatre Seaside Takeover, when you can write a sea shanty, meet the old Lighthouse Keeper and contribute to a coastal collage. We will also be welcoming Boots and Moon Theatre with a magical show featuring puppetry and love music called Finders Keepers.

We’ve also got some tuneful treats on the programme, with Trio of Men needing your help to create something “new, musical and magical” by the water’s edge. Or why not join Mums Choir Exeter for a relaxed workshop and performance, suitable for all the family.

There’s loads more fun to get involved in, so do check out the website at and I look forward to seeing you down on the quayside this summer.   

Photo credit - Appleton Event Photography


Custom House Visitor Centre
Heritage/Visitor Centre
Exeter Custom House (c) Philip Vile Photography

The Custom House Visitor Centre is in the centre of Exeter's historic quayside & occupies one of the most historic buildings on the waterfront.

Jazz on the Quay
Jazz On the Quay

The Exeter Canal & Quay Trust, in conjunction with Exeter City Council, is delighted to present Jazz on the Quay, a fun, FREE afternoon of music starting on Sunday 30 June and then every Sunday during July until the 25 August (apart from the 28 July).

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.



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