Exeter is a fascinating place to explore, both above and below ground. It’s the only city in Britain where you can take a tour of the dark, narrow underground passages that used to carry water around the town, while your guides will tell you rivetting tales of their use during wars, sieges and plagues.
Topside, Exeter Cathedral is simply staggering, with its Norman towers and the world’s longest Gothic arching. Pop inside and try to make sense of the Anglo-Saxon verse in the famous Exeter Book on your way to see the 2,000-year-old City Wall, which has survived Roman occupation, Norman invasion, civil war sieges, WWII bombings and the curious fingers of thousands of toddlers.
Delve further back in time at The Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, where 16 galleries trace Exeter’s story from the dinosaurs to the present day. You could also head to the breathtaking Jurassic Coast, stuffed with fossils – that incredible, infamous Broadchurch scenery is just a short jaunt east to West Bay.
Alternatively, stay in town and take in a show at the Barnfield Theatre, the Northcott, the 50-seat Bike Shed Theatre or the Exeter Phoenix. Or go people-watching at the smart, contemporary bars and restaurants at the picturesque Quayside. Antique fairs, Dragon Boat races, night markets and canoe shows – this is where Exeter’s maddest magic happens.