Steeped in history, Exeter’s cobbled streets are an open-air exhibit of medieval buildings and Roman ruins. Besides its ancient architecture, the city is also known for its top-notch shopping and lively quayside.
Exeter’s history pre-dates the Romans’ arrival in 50 CE, but the empire certainly left its mark on the city. Remnants of the city walls are Roman, intermingling with Anglo Saxon and medieval sections. The best place to explore Exeter’s fascinating history is at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum. Here, you'll find 16 galleries that take you on a historical voyage through pre-history to the present day. At the highest point in the city stands Exeter Castle (also known as Rougemont Castle). The Norman towers around the castle wall survive to this day, along with a plaque commemorating the Devon Witches – the last people in England to be executed for witchcraft.
Exeter’s array of buildings represents various periods, from timber-framed Tudor houses such as ‘the House That Moved’ to Grade-II listed Georgian buildings. The standout showpiece is the magnificent Exeter Cathedral, a masterful example of Gothic architecture. Be sure to also take a wander down Parliament Street (if you can find it) – a 14th-century passage which holds the title of narrowest street in Britain.
Combine your souvenir shopping with a dose of history at the Guildhall Shopping Centre. Along with the huge selection of high-street stores and dining options, you’ll find a 13th-century church right in the centre of the mall.