Explore Exeter with ’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!
With ancient Roman roots, the walled city of Exeter is the capital of the southwest. The abundance of historic sites such as the Exeter Ship Canal and the Gothic cathedral make this city a history lover’s dream. But there’s plenty more besides.
Exeter University brings with it a vibrant nightlife and shopping scene, but it is the surrounding countryside that is the real gem. Get a rental car in Exeter and you will discover some of the UK’s most popular sights.
Exeter International Airport is just on the outskirts of the city and the perfect place to fly in to. Newquay Cornwall Airport is 80 miles away, and it’s an easy hour and a half meander up the A30. There are a number of train stations in the city, with Exeter St David’s as the biggest.
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Once you have your hire car in Exeter why not head south to the seaside town of Exmouth. Situated on the Exe estuary, there are two miles of sandy beach and the sea is often busy with kayakers, kite surfers and sailors. It also marks the start of the Jurassic coast, a World Heritage Site rich with sedimentary rocks and fossils that hold millions of years of secrets. Hunt for fossils on the beach and stare at the layered cliffs trying to make sense of it all.
Drive further east along the coast and after half an hour you will get to the holiday town of Sidmouth, and in another 20 minutes, Lyme Regis. Both are well worth visiting. Or carry on along the A35 and you reach Weymouth in Dorset. Just over 60 miles from Exeter, Weymouth beach offers safe shallow waters perfect for paddling and a quaint harbourside of pubs, cafes and restaurants. It hosted the sailing in the 2012 Olympic Games and water sports remain a popular choice for adventurous visitors.
Back west towards Devon and Cornwall and you hit the grandly named English Riviera. Torquay, Paignton and Brixham are three neighbouring seaside towns, and all within 45 minutes of Exeter. Sandy beaches, palm trees and promenades perfect for strolling along mean the area lives up to it name. Agatha Christie was born in Torquay, and the town still conjures the gentle elegance of riviera life in years gone by.
Most of the roads in the area are dual carriageways, but veer off the main stretch and you are likely to come across some of the quintessential English country lanes, complete with verdant hedgerows and sharp bends. Don’t speed and watch out for passing places, you never know when you may have to reverse back to one.
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