Exeter’s colourful history has seen it survive Roman rule and bombing in the Blitz.
Today the city is celebrated as a hub for culture and the arts from across South West England. Away from the bars of the city centre, the wilds of Dartmoor lie waiting to be explored.
Arriving at Exeter Airport
Exeter Airport is around six miles (9km) east of Exeter city centre. There is no train station at the airport itself, but there are several within a short taxi ride. The nearest is Cornbrook, three miles (5km) away, which connects to Exeter St Davids, the city’s main train station. Exeter St Davids itself is only seven miles (11km) away, while Exeter Central, in the middle of the city, is six miles (9km) away.
Taxis can be found at the Apple Central Taxis stand outside the arrivals hall. This is the official airport taxi company, and rides must be pre-booked either by phone (01392 666 666) or in person at the taxi desk inside the arrivals hall. Given the proximity of the airport to the city, most visitors get a taxi to their hotel rather than to a train station, if they are staying in Exeter itself.
The airport has its own bus stop, with route 56 running between Exeter St Davids railway station and the airport.
If you want your own car to explore the area around Exeter, it’s best to book car hire in advance.
Top of any sightseeing list in Exeter should be its cathedral, one of the finest of its kind in the United Kingdom (and that’s saying something). Dating from 1050, it has the largest vaulted ceiling in England.
Exeter’s spookiest attraction, this network of subterranean tunnels was built in the 14th and 15th centuries to pipe fresh water to the city. Today, guides lead visitors on tours through the tunnels, teaching them about their use as shelters during the Blitz, about life in Exeter during medieval times, and about the tunnels’ ghoulish inhabitants.
The City Wall
Exeter’s history dates back far further even than its historic cathedral: the settlement was an important outpost in Roman times. A significant proportion (around 70%) of the original city wall still exists, parts of it dating back 2,000 years. The self-guided city wall walk is a great way to get a feel for Exeter’s ancient history.
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum, known to all as RAMM, is Exeter’s finest cultural space, packed with exhibitions and galleries showcasing natural history and culture from prehistory to the modern day. The collections about Exeter and Devon are the finest anywhere, but the World Cultures and Egyptian collections are also superb.
This medieval manor house, about six miles (10km) south of the city overlooking the River Exe, is worth the journey for its grand interior and beautiful grounds with more than 600 fallow deer.