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Well-fixed and comfortable, Exeter is a city that bears evidence of its centuries-old character as the spiritual and administrative heart of Devon. The city’s Gothic cathedral looms and presides over many parts of cobbled streets, mostly where the medieval and Georgian and remains of the Roman city stretch out all around. A flamboyant modern shopping center, Exeter brings forth a gush of contemporary narratives. Thousands of university students guarantee its buzzing nightlife, and the saturated quayside performs as a launchpad for cycling and kayaking trips. Here, you can have tasteful places to stay and eat. At Exeter, you can achieve that unperturbed by a lively base for explorations.
Astonishing in warm, honey-colored stone, Exeter Cathedral is deemed as Devon’s most impressive ecclesiastical treasures. Dating primarily from the 12th and 13th centuries, the west front is framed by incredible medieval statuary, while the interiors such as the ceilings soar upwards to the longest stretch of uninterrupted Gothic vaulting in the world, added with ornate ceiling bosses in gold-plated and vivid colors. If you visit the Exeter Cathedral, you can look out for the scale Lego model that is being built near the main entrance, and for one euro, you can even add a brick. The site has been a religious one ever since the 5th century. Furthermore, there are free informative tours you can join every day to make the most out of your experience. However, for the most dramatic perspective, you can head up into one of the towers and savor the views.
Exeter does not only have historic landmarks; it also holds one of the hippest little bakeries like the Exploding Bakery. It has previously added half-a-dozen tables for its customers. Now, there is more room to sample and taste excellent flat whites, inventive cakes, and creamy macchiato. If you are having slight difficulty in ordering, you should get the lemon, polenta, or pistachio.
During beautiful summer days, the people of Exeter typically head to the quay. Cobbled paths lead between former warehouses that have been turned into quirky stores, antique shops, craft workshops, pubs, and restaurants, most of which are popular spots for al fresco drinks and people-watching. The Exeter Quay has traces of the city’s wool-processing and export business which by the 18th century, has transformed Exeter into the country’s third most prominent business center. When you visit here, make sure to search for the stately 17th-century red-brick Customs House that is fully equipped with cannons, as well as the gabled 18th-century Wharfinger’s House, once home to a man who collected the wharfing fees of people.
The quay is also the center for walks, canoe voyages, and cycling. You can take boat trips and summer-time free guided tours, as they leave from here. To cross the river, you can head for bathtub-like Butt’s Ferry, which is driven by a ferryman pulling on a wire.
This peculiar museum is a must for film lovers. The museum contains a hoard of film-themed memorabilia collected by Scottish film-maker Bill Douglas, who is well-known for his semi-autobiographical trilogy focusing on his childhood. Since Douglas was also an enthusiastic collector of other cinematic items, here you will see magic lanterns, original celluloid from Disney films, peep shows, Charlie Chaplin bottle stoppers, all kinds of vintage film posters, James Bond board games, Star Wars toys and more. The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum is located on the Exeter University Campus, a mile northwest of the city center.
Up-and-coming writers are profiled in the Bike Shed’s brick-cladding performance space. If you are through with the other spots mentioned above, you can also pay a visit here since it has a vintage cocktail bar that makes a hip setting for live performances on Friday and Saturday nights.