So you’ve had a full week of your new internship, you’ve learnt a lot, you’ve met loads of new people and your exhausted. But you’re still looking to make the most out of your weekend and explore all that England has to offer! If you fancy some spectacular coastlines, cultural cities and some real English cream teas, then the county of Devon is for you. Devon is situated in the South West and trains run frequently to Exeter and Plymouth from all of England’s big cities.
So grab some new friends, jump on a train and check out these ideas of ways to spend a great few days.
Exeter is a city full to the brim with culture and heritage. Due to a large student crowd there are plenty of bars, clubs and cafés which give the city a thriving nightlife and exciting cultural scene.
St Peter’s Cathedral:
The Cathedral, completed in the 1400's is the heart of the city and has plenty of green space that acts as a great meeting point. There are a host of restaurants and cafes around the cathedral so make sure you grab a Devonshire tea (cream before jam in Devon!) at tea on the green or some fine dining at the aBode if you’re feeling extravagant.
Historic Quay Side:
Follow the old city walls from the cathedral and you’ll find yourself at the Exeter’s quay side. If you’re full of beans you can try some kayaking or rowing down the river Exe, or maybe some rock climbing at one of the countries newest rock climbing centers. For a more chilled day check out some of the antique and craft shops where you can see crafts people at work. A host of art galleries, fine gift shops and traditional English pubs can be found in Topsham which is a 4-mile scenic walk or cycle along the river. If you ask me, the quay side really comes alive in the early evening when the pubs begin to fill up. If you fancy some raving you can check out Cellar Door for literal ‘underground’ music.
The Old Firehouse:
So did you know that J.K. Rowling spent her university days in Exeter? If you’re a Potter head then you’ll love this moody pub which is where J.K. based the Leaky Cauldron in her famous books. Even if you cringe at the words quidditch and hippogriff, you can’t argue with live music and stone-baked pizzas from 9pm. You’ll find it just off the main high street or just ask literally anyone you see, it’ll be there favorite place in Exeter for sure.
From Apple to Zara, Princesshay is a shopper’s paradise. You can’t go far wrong if you’re looking for a spot of retail therapy with Exeter boasting over 200 high-street shops.
Chris Martin, Thom Yorke and not to mention the Wurzels (please check them out if you want an idea of Devon farming life in song form), have all made Devon their home at some point. Live music is big in Exeter, some hot spots include the Cavern (good for Indie and fans of intense guitar riffs), Mama Stones (laid –back vibes with Shisha pipes and acoustic sets), and Exeter University also has some bigger acts on certain dates.
The narrowest street in England:
Located in the city center, you’ll probably miss it due to staring at the cakes next door. Have a wander down, get your photo taken, there’s not much more to it. If only it led somewhere more interesting…like Hogwarts not Primark.
Devon has some unrivaled coastline and Exeter is a great base for exploring. North Devon has some good surf too, so if you fancy a weekend tearing it up then check out Saunton, Croyde or Putsborourgh – these places get busy in the summer crammed with beginners and experts alike. Basing yourself in Exeter means you’ll be able to get out to the beach if the weathers looking good. Here are some places that are easy to get to from Exeter:
Popular sea-side town a the mouth of the River Exe Estuary. White sands, ice cream, fish and chips – you can’t go wrong. About a 20 minute train ride from Exeter central station.
If the weather gods allow it then there’s nothing better than a late night at the beach with a portable BBQ and cold beers. During the day there are plenty of water sports if you fancy. Roughly a 15 minute train ride from Exeter central station.
Steeped in history with an old Victorian pier, Teignmouth is a good chance to take some pictures with some of England’s famous ‘old’ stuff. It also has a good-quality beach and all the classic English sea-side attractions. You can grab a 30 minute train from Exeter central or St David’s station.