What to see in Exeter in one day? An itinerary ready for you

Exeter Cathedral is one of the most beautiful Cathedral in the world and its beauty
 is evident in many different aspects.  - read our dedicated post


"Exeter is a wonderful town and not just because of its beautiful Cathedral".


Exeter is wonderful because is not just beautiful and interesting but extremely relaxing.


Exeter offers sunshine and mild weather, thanks to its position in the South of England, Devon few miles away from the English Channel.


So after having visited the Cathedral and the old town of Exeter you can relax along the banks of the Exe River or just head to the nearby seaside town of Topsham.


One day is probably enough to see the best of Exeter, although two days are recommended.




Here an Itinerary ready for you for visiting the best of the beautiful town of Exeter in Devon, England:

1. Start from the Cathedral. Exeter Cathedral is one of the most beautiful Cathedrals in Europe.



Exeter Cathedral is one of the most beautiful Cathedral in the world and its beauty is evident in many different aspects.

The wonderful architecture perfectly expresses the best of the Norman English style.

It is amazing because it is extremely rare to be able to visit a church that had only marginal changes during the centuries and it still express today the Norman English Style of the XIII Century.

But one aspect is particularly amazing: thousands of faces are looking to you from the ceiling and from the vaults, in the chapels and from arches; everywhere faces are looking at you.

Enter in Exeter Cathedral and turn your eyes towards to the ceilings.... Hundreds of faces will look at you!



In Exeter Cathedral you can also admire the longest continuous medieval vaults of the world and certainly the most amazing, particularly if you visit the church in a sunny day when the sunlight would exalt even more the beauty of this ceiling.

Click here to read our post about Exeter Cathedral and read also our post about the thousand faces in the Cathedral, one of the most amazing feature of the cathedral.

2. See the narrowest street of the world.

OK it can be silly to just look to a street that have nothing to be remembered apart the fact that is so narrow, but I think is interesting in a way... it make you think of how all is relative, how everything can acquire interest and importance if well sold... 


Can you guess how the narrowest street of the world is called? 

If you can't guess the name of the narrowest street of the world... I tell you: the narrowest street of the world and certainly of Exeter is Parliament Street... is it not interesting that the most irrelevant and narrow street of the town, and maybe of England (if not of the world) is "dedicated" to the Parliament?

Judging from the smell, locals don't seem to have lot of respect for Parliament Street!

Nothing happen in the narrowest street of the world road, apart apparently being a popular convenient but unconventional toilet at night... and they call it Parliament Street?



Exeter is wonderful because is not just beautiful and interesting but extremely relaxing.


Beautiful architecture in Exeter,

One day is probably enough to see the best of Exeter, although two days are recommended.

3. Visit the Royal Albert Museum of Exeter.

The Royal Albert Museum of Exeter in town is particularly celebrated.

It is a good collection of art, science and history.

I don't think is so impressive as the leaflets of the tourism office describe it, but it is free, it is central and has a very nice cafe where you can eat decent food at decent price in Exeter.


It is perfect for a rainy day or if you want to give your children a bit of distraction.


4. The High Street


If you like shopping the High Street is your place. But not mine as it is just a huge modern shopping mall, built on the ruins of the beautiful palaces bombed during the Second World War.


Walking from the old town to Exeter Quay is like to enter in a different town.


5. Exeter Quay

Walk down towards the river Exe. Apart for discovering the origin of the name Exeter you will love to discover Exeter Quay.

Exeter Quay is beautifully preserved and you can enjoy to visit the little individual shops or just seat under the roof of the old boat station and take a beer at the local pub (the local Jail beer is absolutely recommended if you like ales).

Walking from the old town to Exeter Quay is like to enter in a different town.

Here the atmosphere is much more relax and the Quay enjoy light and sunshine and a very good vibe.

One time this Quay represented probably the main gate to enter Exeter.

Through the canals Exeter is connects to the sea and one time much more boats were coming and going every day from here.

From www.wikipedia.com: 

The Exeter Canal was completed in about 1566, making it one of the oldest artificial waterways in Britain. 

It was cut to bypass weirs that had been built across the River Exe to prevent trade in the city and to force boats to unload at Topsham from where the Earls of Devon were able to exact large tolls to transport goods to Exeter. Originally 3 feet deep and 16 feet wide (0.9 m by 5 m), it ran 1.75 miles (2.82 km) from just below the Countess Weir to the centre of Exeter. 

It was later extended to Topsham, deepened and widened, and was successful until the middle of the 19th century since when its use gradually declined – the last commercial use was in 1972. However it is now widely used for leisure purposes, and the city basin is being included as part of a £24 million redevelopment scheme.


The Exeter Canal was completed in about 1566, making it one of the oldest artificial waterways in Britain. 

6. Walk along the Quay, the river Exe and the canals.

There are plenty walks starting from the Quay.


It is one of the best features of Exeter: how quickly you can escape the town and immediately feel in the countryside. 

Three different walk and cycle path run South towards the mouth of the Exe river and the sea. 

Country pubs offer good food and al fresco dining. 

Beautiful lanscape is waiting you along the road but if you have enough time you should take your time and cycle and walk at leisure from Exeter along the canals (you would probably need a second day in the area to do all this).

7. Visit the pretty town of Topsham.



View of Topsham

Topsham is known as the port of Exeter. Personally I believe Topsham is a bit overrated in the many leaflet of Exeter Tourism Office that make of Topsham an unmissable destination.

Still Topsham is quite pretty with its little harbour and some old shops along the main road... nice for an afternoon... but the day should be a sunny one!

Topsham is just a little village of around five thousands souls but in a sunny day the population doubles with visitors and tourists.

If you will visit Topsham you will probably ask yourself. what are these strange houses so different from the architectural style of nearby Exeter?

These houses that look a bit strange in the surroundings are built in Dutch style. 

Why? In Topsham dating from the time when Topsham was an important cotton port, Dutch merchant lived in these small village in such a strategic position in England. 

Many of Topsham's houses are built using Dutch bricks, which were brought over as ballast from Holland – to where the wool and cotton from South-West England had been exported.


Do you want to know more about Exeter Cathedral?

Read our post dedicated at The famous bosses of Exeter Cathedral.


Do you want to travel in England?

Visit our page Visit England for more great destinations.


Do you want to discover the best in Cathedrals in Britain?

READ also about The Cathedral of Light - Salisbury Cathedral
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