Visit this ancient and beautiful cathedral to attend a service or just admire the wonderful architecture.
View the Gothic ceilings, Norman towers and medieval statuary of Exeter Cathedral. Climb the north tower for spectacular views over Exeter. The cathedral hosts daily services and is famous for its choir. Buy a souvenir in the shop or relax with tea and a pastry in the café.
Walk under the enormous gilt ceiling, which is the longest unbroken Gothic vaulting in the world. Admire the sculptures and carvings throughout the building and seek out the many artifacts and treasures on display. Find the 15th-century Exeter Clock, the still-functioning astronomical clock claimed to be the inspiration behind the nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock.
As you continue to explore, see the 50 Exeter misericords, the oldest complete set in the U.K. View the Minstrels’ gallery, decorated with carved angels playing medieval musical instruments. Visit the library to see a huge collection of medieval manuscripts, early printed books and modern published texts. Admire the highlights of the collection, including the 1,000 year old Exeter Book and the Liber Exoniensis, a tax register dating back to 1086.
Climb the stone spiral staircases into the towers. There are 14 bells in the south tower; together they weigh over 3.5 tons (3.2 tonnes), making this the second-heaviest peal in the world. From the north tower enjoy views out over all of Exeter.
Learn about the history of the cathedral, which was built by the Normans in the 1100s. The site has been used for religious purposes since the 5th century. Although the towers were built between 1114 and 1133, the cathedral underwent extensive remodeling in 1270, a process which lasted 90 years.
Exeter Cathedral is open daily, but be sure to check ahead because opening hours can change at short notice due to services and events. There is an admission fee. As there is no visitor parking, consider taking a bus here from Exeter town center; there are numerous park-and-ride facilities. Visit the cathedral café for breakfast, a hot drink or a light lunches. To see the cathedral in use, attend the evensong choral services, which are held most evenings and are free to enjoy.