Exeter is one of the most historical towns in the UK, filled with museums, iconic parks and numerous landmarks that travelers can visit and explore. Wherever you are in this ancient city, you'll never be far from some fascinating piece dating back centuries.

    Of course, you'll still find plenty of beauty in the area, especially if you stop by the surrounding forests and gardens. Family fun is accessible as well, thanks to several theme parks you can visit. Find out more about the 10 best things to do in Exeter.


    Royal Albert Memorial Museum

    Explore history and art

    • Families
    • History

    The Royal Albert Memorial Museum houses massive collections showcasing natural history, antiquities, art, cultures of the world and zoology. Housed in a historical building that dates back to the mid-19th century, this museum has a wide variety of exhibits, making it one of the most diverse attractions you can visit in the city.

    In the museum, you'll find works by Thomas Gainsborough and Barbara Hepworth. Of course, you can also examine Japanese samurai armor, prehistoric axes and even a 14th-century Exeter puzzle pitcher.

    Location: Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Queen St, Exeter EX4 3RX, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1392 265858


    Historic Quayside

    Take a stroll by the port

    • History
    • Photo
    • Adventure

    Historic Quayside is a hub for year-round activities and one of the most picturesque spots in town, being located on the Exe and Exeter Ship Canal. No matter what time of year you visit, you'll always find something happening here, from outdoor concerts to charity runs.

    You can also explore the oldest brick building in the city, which dates back to the late 17th century and still has its cannons set up out front, making it perfect for a photo. Of course, biking along the water or venturing out in a kayak are among the most popular activities in the area.

    Location: Haven Banks - The Quay, Exeter EX2 8GY, UK



    See impressive architecture

    • History

    Guildhall is an impressive medieval structure that features a combination of stylish architectural designs. One of the most noticeable aspects of the Guildhall is the Italian Renaissance facade and its Corinthian columns.

    Inside, you'll find wooden walls that showcase the coats of arms of past former council members, while the beamed ceiling features intricate carvings of strange beasts that you can see during a tour of the building.

    Location: 203 High St, Exeter EX4 3EB, UK

    Open: Monday–Friday from 10.30 am to 4 pm (closed on weekends)

    Phone: +44 (0)1392 665500


    photo by Palickap (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Cathedral Close

    Step back into the past

    • History

    Cathedral Close is a historical landmark dating back to Roman times that will let you explore a bit of what the city looked like in times long past. You'll find several Grade I listed buildings, along with a cathedral and 2 iconic churches.

    The coffee house here is especially interesting, as it depicts almost exactly what it looked like in 1596, complete with its wooden balcony and pairs of bay windows. Visiting this area is like visiting the past, as you're surrounded by historical splendor.


    Underground Passages

    Venture below the streets

    • History
    • Unusual

    Exeter's Underground Passages offer the unique and satisfying experience of exploring the tunnels that lie beneath the city's streets, where you can see masons' marks dating back hundreds of years.

    Just make sure you're wearing a hardhat throughout the trip to stay safe. Additionally, you can check out the heritage center, where you'll find artifacts such as remnants of the old lead pipes that used to run underneath the city. Even displays showcasing historical hydraulic systems can be found here.

    Location: 2 Paris St, Exeter EX1 1GA, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm, Sunday from 11.30 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1392 665887


    Rougemont Gardens

    Visit the gardens around Exeter Castle

    • Couples
    • Families
    • History
    • Budget

    The Rougemont Gardens are a historically significant and vibrant paradise for travelers looking for a stroll through greenery. Originally, the gardens were included as part of the defenses of Exeter Castle, and you can still see the ditch that was originally dug nearly a thousand years ago.

    Within the gardens themselves, you'll find historical remnants such as part of the city wall from when Exeter was a Roman city, as well as pieces of the castle built by William the Conqueror.

    Location: Castle St, Exeter EX4 3PT, UK

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1392 262630


    Bill Douglas Movie theater Museum

    Explore the history of movie

    • History

    The Bill Douglas Movie theater Museum showcases numerous artifacts from the history of movie, including magic lanterns, shadow puppets, cameras and even Hollywood memorabilia. The museum is part of the University of Exeter, but anyone can visit without having to pay any kind of admission fee.

    This museum is unique in that it covers both the cultural impact of movie and the technical side of production, offering valuable insight into actors, magazines and culture while also showcasing equipment like wax phonograph cylinders, hand panorama reels and much more.

    Location: Prince of Wales Rd, Exeter EX4 4SB, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1392 724321


    Haldon Forest Park

    Enter a woodland paradise

    • Families
    • Adventure

    Haldon Forest Park comprises 3,500 hectares of pine and hardwood forest between the River Teign and the Exe, perfect for an outdoor adventure for adults and kids alike. Within this forest, you'll find an expanse of walking and bike paths winding through the trees and offering stunning views of the vibrant greenery.

    You can even hire a bike at the ranger's office. Some of the trails are crafted with young kids in mind, so they're easy to traverse and often feature additional activities. Don't forget to check out the high ropes course if you're feeling particularly daring.

    Location: Bullers Hill, Kennford, Exeter EX6 7XR, UK

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)3000 675826


    Crealy Theme Park & Resort

    Enjoy endless amusements

    • Families

    Crealy Theme Park & Resort is the ideal destination for families to enjoy more than 60 rides along with shows and just about anything else you'd expect from a fairground. Located in the countryside, this adventure park offers fun for kids as far as the eye can see, including swings, coasters, splash rides and more.

    You'll even find an animal barn that contains farm animals with some more odd creatures among them as well. The park also contains an insect exhibit with specimens like Madagascar hissing cockroaches.

    Location: Sidmouth Rd, Clyst St Mary, Exeter EX5 1DR, UK

    Open: Hours vary by season

    Phone: +44 (0)1395 233200


    Topsham Museum

    Explore maritime history

    • History

    The Topsham Museum showcases vessels that are hundreds of years old and provides some insight into what life was like in the 17th century. The Topsham Museum currently stands on what was once a popular shipbuilding site where famous 19th-century warships like the HMS Terror were built.

    You can learn all about that history through the museum's exhibits, with some smaller vessels on display that journeyed on the Exe in times past. Many of the rooms in the museum have been set up in period style to showcase what life was like in this row of merchants' houses when the area was a shipbuilding powerhouse.

    Location: 25 Strand, Topsham, Exeter EX3 0AX, UK

    Open: Wednesday–Thursday and Saturday–Monday from 2 pm to 5 pm (closed on Tuesdays and Fridays)

    Phone: +44 (0)1392 873244


    photo by David Smith (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

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