One of the most historic cities in the UK, Exeter is a major seat of education in South West England as well as an emerging cultural and tourist destination. The city’s roots go back to Roman times, when it was a key settlement. Today, it’s a place which both fully embraces its past and looks forward to the future. Exeter is seen as a great city to live in. It’s within easy reach of two major National Parks and isn’t too far away from the coast of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. Due to its large student population, the nightlife here is pretty good too and can be a little more sedate and welcoming than in many larger cities such as Plymouth and Bristol.
Fuel can be expensive here, so a small car with a good mile per gallon figure of 40 or more would make your petrol or diesel in the tank last a while longer.
Driving in Exeter
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Important things to note
Traffic in Exeter can be heavy during July and August, when many visitors are heading to the nearby resort of Torbay.
The M5 motorway ends just south of Exeter, which means that driving towards Cornwall and Plymouth will take a little longer than expected.
Traffic can often be exacerbated in the city by public transport during weekdays and Saturdays, as the bus and coach network is pretty comprehensive.
Highlights & Hotspots
Walking around the remains of the city walls, which were erected during the Roman era, will give you an insight into what Exeter was like all those centuries ago. Near the walls, you can see most of the city centre’s main sights.
Exeter Cathedral is the city’s most prominent landmark. Tours are available most days while just outside the building itself, the cathedral green is a great place to go people watching and spend a few hours taking in the fresh Devon air.
You can also go on an underground tour of the former medieval waterworks in the city. Tours of these narrow tunnels are available all year round. At the end, you’ll be relieved to be back in the open air!
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum is the city’s main museum. Here, exhibitions relating to Exeter’s maritime history take place throughout the year. Visitors can also learn about the city’s development through the ages.
Exeter International Airport, lying four miles to the east of the city centre, is the main one for the West Country. With one main passenger terminal, the airport has low-cost flights to destinations throughout Europe.
To get to the airport, you need to take the B3184 from the A30, which goes westwards to the edge of the town. From the junction with the M5, you take the A3105 Honiton Road until you reach the city centre.