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How do you get to Exeter?
Ready to plan how to get to Exeter? There are a couple of ways to get there from around the UK. Taking the train is one of the most convenient options for a weekend break. The city's compact size means you won't need a car to enjoy its best bits, so simply hop on the train and enjoy your relaxing weekend away. Exeter boasts not one, not two, but three train stations! That means plenty of routes from around the UK. Direct trains run from London to Exeter St David's in just 2 hours 8 minutes. Travel between Exeter Central train station and Exmouth in just 28 minutes. Plus, local routes run to and from Exeter St Thomas, which means there are options to suit every traveller. If you have your own wheels, why not drive to Exeter? Driving yourself means unlimited luggage and freedom to explore when you arrive. The city's proximity to the south coast and some of England's most beautiful beaches, Dartmoor National Park and East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty makes this an excellent option for keen adventurers.
Exploring Exeter's history
There are many things to see here, but exploring the city's Ancient Roman history is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Exeter. Romans invaded the Southwest of England in around 50 AD, building a fort on a hill close to the River Exe. When the Romans moved on a few decades later, the local Celtic tribe created a town around the site of the fort. The Romans made Exeter the administrative centre of Southwest England. People lived in stone houses, and in the 2nd century, a wall was built around Exeter, which would last for centuries.
Rougemont Castle (also called Exeter Castle) is a historic castle built close to the Roman city walls. The castle was built after the people of Exeter rebelled and finally submitted to William the Conqueror. The imposing structure served as a way for the King to ensure no more rebellions would happen in the future. Today, Exeter Castle and gardens are a beautiful backdrop for weddings and events in the city.
Exeter Cathedral is one of Devon's most breathtaking and unique buildings, a must-see for first-time visitors to the city. The cathedral was founded in 1050 when the first Bishop of Exeter was enthroned, then significantly developed from the 12th to 14th centuries. Today, the building serves as architecture's best example of a first rank church in the English Decorated style. Take a tour of the cathedral to see the West Front Image Screen, one of the great architectural features of Medieval England, and the Norman Towers. Inside, the 14th century stone vault and colourful Great East Window are beautifully-preserved reminders of days gone by.
The best of Devon's food and drink
No trip to Exeter would be complete without visiting some of the city's excellent restaurants, cafés, bars and pubs. Visitors can discover many great spots in and around Exeter, including cosy tea rooms and bakeries, exciting international favourites and restaurants serving some of the freshest seafood in the South. Whatever you're looking to eat or drink in Exeter, you're sure to find it and plenty more.
- Circa. A refined restaurant in the city for farm-to-table cooking in the form of an exciting tasting menu
- Internship. An immersive restaurant serving four or six-course tasting menus from the chefs of other favourite local spots; visit on a Friday or Saturday night for cocktails and snacks until midnight
- Rockfish. A riverside restaurant serving sustainably-caught seafood
- Harry's Restaurant. A local's favourite in Exeter, Harry's Restaurant is a family-owned place with a menu to suit every taste and budget
- The Flat. A vegetarian and vegan pizza and pasta restaurant, where everything's made from scratch
- Appointment. A charming wine bar serving a wide variety of bottles and comforting main courses
- The Conservatory. Set inside an old Tudor house, this restaurant serves modern food and an unbeatable early-dinner menu
- Lympstone Manor. Drive 10 miles south of Exeter to discover Lympstone Manor, Michael Caines' 18th-century mansion with stunning views over the Exe. Enjoy world-class à la carte dishes or a luxurious seven-course tasting menu - perfect for romantic or special occasions
- Masons Arms. Head to Knowstone, a 45-minute drive, to this pretty thatched pub with rural charm in spades. The comfortable dining room boasts spectacular views over Exmoor's hills, while the seasonal menu includes beautiful dishes with firm British and French roots
- Thomas Carr 1873. This Ilfracombe restaurant has made the Michelin Guide for its carefully-planned fish dishes, making the most of the local produce
More Michelin Guide restaurants in Devon include:
- Noel Corston
- Dartmoor Inn
- Cornish Arms
- Glebe House
- The Pig at Combe
- Maiden Arch by Robert Bryant