Things to do in Exeter

Exeter Cathedral photographed by Javi.

Visiting Exeter this season? Explore the vibrant history of one of the most charming cities in the South West that will offer days of endless fun and amusement. From iconic landmarks, such as Exeter Cathedral perfect for photos, to tourist attractions such as Exeter’s quayside ideal for fun activities out on the water, there are plenty of places to visit in Exeter to add to your itinerary.

Uncover the city’s top attractions, from fun days out and things to do in Exeter for families, to those looking for evening outings with plenty of things to do in Exeter for couples.


Top Attractions in Exeter

Exeter Cathedral

Exeter Cathedral is Exeter’s most cherished photo destination and one of the oldest places of worship in Exeter that was founded as early as 1050. Considered one of Europe’s greatest cathedrals, Exeter Cathedral has a rich medieval past that houses beautiful interior columns, intricate statues and architecturally has the longest continuous medieval voltage stone roof ever constructed.

The cathedral remains a timeless landmark unique to the city that shouldn’t be missed by those looking for unique things to do.

Exeter Underground Passage Tour

Discover the secrets of Exeter’s medieval past with a guided tour in the dark through Exeter’s mysterious underground passages that were originally constructed to provide clean drinking water to the medieval townsfolk of Exeter many hundreds of years ago. Today, unlike other places around the UK, this type of passage remains the only kind open to access for the public for historical purposes.

Exeter underground passages

Exeter Underground passages photographed by Andrea Vail.

From medieval passages to Georgian tunnels, explore all the underground has to offer and see the Eastgate Chamber by torchlight. On your visit to Exeter, why not explore what life is like underneath Exeter’s high street, practically unchanged by time?

Royal Albert Memorial Museum

The world-class renowned Royal Albert Memorial Museum has become a family favourite day out with both tourists and locals alike. Home to some of the most astounding treasures and history relics in Britain, the museum’s collection is full of fascinating exhibits from world culture, contemporary art, displays of exotic animals and stories of Devon and Exeter’s interesting role throughout history.

Royal Albert Memorial Museum

Royal Albert Memorial Museum photographed by Allie_Caulfield.

The museum has an excellent assortment of things to do for free that everyone in the family will enjoy, such as playing in the museum’s family area at the World Cultures gallery, museum interactive exhibits and a 1-hour educational tour of the museum’s prized permanent collections.

Entertainment Venues in Exeter

Exeter Northcott Theatre

Witness the theatre like never before at Exeter’s Northcott Theatre; a must-do for theatre lovers and getting a real sense of community arts. Unlike other theatres, Exeter Northcott Theatre is additionally known as a local charity that helps aspiring artists and young people in the community put their talent to use on centre stage. Reviewed exceptionally well, the theatre offers a variety of spectacular comedy shows, family productions and live music performances you wouldn’t want to miss.

Exeter Phoenix

Looking for things to do in the evening in Exeter for adults? Look no further than Exeter Phoenix for a riotous evening of culture from dance, DJ & music gigs to astounding performances that only a renowned world-class venue such as this could offer.

Exeter Phoenix

Exeter Phoenix photographed by Tomislav Medak.

With an impressive arts scene at their Creative Hub, Exeter Phoenix has a large programme of activities and cultural events to choose from.

Exeter Picturehouse

Your picture-perfect date night at the movies is destined to happen at Exeter’s own Picturehouse. For a cosy local cinema date with two screens and a café-bar to grab a drink or snack for afters, the Picturehouse is the best place to escape cloudy days in Exeter with your other half.

With a choice of the latest films and classics, there will be a film suited for all ages to keep you occupied on an evening or on rainy days in one of Exeter’s top cinemas.

Sports & Leisure Activities in Exeter

Exeter Quayside – Cycling, paddle sports and pedalos on the River Exe

Get active at Exeter Quayside with sporty activities such as bike hire where you can cycle the far-reaching canal, and water sports on the picturesque River Exe. Saddles & Paddles are your best choice for providing these fun things to do that will let you explore Exeter’s hidden charm from a different angle. With exciting paddle sports and cycling to get up to, they’ll provide all the equipment you’ll need to get up to some fun on the canal waters and Exeter’s cycle routes.

Exeter Quayside

Exeter Quayside photographed by John Lord.

Afterwards, why not explore the unique local shops tucked around the Quayside or hire a pedalo out on the water?

St Sidwell’s Point Leisure Centre

Exeter’s state-of-the-art leisure complex, St Sidwell’s Point, offers a range of activities from swimming to GAIA spa treatments, gym and group exercise classes to keep you active and healthy. The facilities at the centre are energy-efficient and eco-friendly, with exceptional environmental alternatives in place to offer maximum visitor comfort, from improved air quality to optimal temperatures for the perfect swim.

Best places to eat in Exeter

Discover the best places to eat in and around Exeter for the perfect brunch spots and dining areas for special occasions.

Best places to eat on Exeter’s Quayside:

Best places to eat in Exeter’s City Centre:

The best place for afternoon tea on the outskirts of Exeter:

All of these excellent restaurants and eateries are in close proximity to Cavanna’s Elm Park, Equinox II and Equinox III, three collections of new homes in Exeter that offer a superb location for getting around the city.

Annual events to look out for in Exeter

Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market

  • Dates: Friday 17th November – Sunday 17th December 2023

For an unforgettable day out in Exeter, visit Devon’s biggest Christmas market with over a hundred festive chalets on-site. Explore Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market for an assortment of delectable street food, on-street performances and festive displays.

Exeter Regatta

  • Dates: TBC July 2024

Every year, Exeter’s most anticipated spectator event is the Exeter Regatta. Experience high-speed watersports racing on Exeter’s historic Quay across the day – this tops thelist of free things to do in Exeter.

Exeter’s Firework Display at Westpoint Arena

  • Dates: TBC November 2024

At Westpoint Arena, discover Exeter’s biggest annual charity fireworks display with magnificent displays to be heard and seen from across the city. 

Find your new home in Exeter

Discover the perks of being a local in Exeter and begin your move to one of Devon’s best historic cities.

Exeter Highstreet

We have stylish new homes coming soon to the outskirts of Exeter, from our Equinox community (Equinox II and Equinox III) to Elm Park.

Exeter is the perfect community to settle down in. From exclusive resident perks (free entry to Exeter Cathedral) to being in close vicinity of the city for the ideal work commute, the benefits of living here are plentiful with so many unique things to do in Exeter close by.

We at Cavanna understand the pressures that come with moving and are happy to assist with your move to the South West every step of the way. We have Cavanna homes available in tranquil Exeter locations suited for whatever you’re looking for in your new home.


New homes in Exeter