Things to do in Exeter

Founded by the Romans, Exeter sits on the River Exe, 36 miles from Plymouth and 65 miles from Bristol. During the 11th century and Middle Ages, the city became a religious centre in the UK, which was when it acquired its cathedral city status.

Exeter was also known for its wool trade as commerce flourished prior to the first World War, making it one the country’s more affluent cities. As a result of this rich history, the city is now known for business, education and tourism, as one of the South West’s most vibrant places to visit.

You can hit the bright lights with drinks on Exeter Quay and dinner in one of the city’s buzzing restaurants or simply wander along the meandering banks of the River Exe. For the more active, there’s Haldon Forest nearby where you can scale its treetops or for football fans, the city has a well known team, to take in a game.

We’ve compiled a list of the best things to do in Exeter, so you won’t have to search far and wide to for things to do during your stay at Hazelwood Holiday Park.

Exeter Secret Passages

Exeter's Secret Passages

One of the best things to do in Exeter is certainly taking a tour of its secret and underground medieval passages. Enriched with stories of past wars and plagues, the passages are certainly the place to visit if you enjoy your history.

The underground passages were designed as part of a programme to bring clean drinking water into Exeter from natural Springs outside the city borders, via lead pipes. To carry out repairs to damaged pipes without having to dig them up and cause disruption, the passages were created.

As the only city in the UK to have underground passages of this type, Exeter’s guided tours are very popular and have taken place since the 1930s. Found out about Exeter’s underground network with a guided tour.


Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery

If you enjoy visiting museums, seeing beautiful art, and learning about history then a visit to  the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery (RAMM), should be top of your list of things to do in Exeter.

For over 150 years, the building itself is a much-loved Exeter landmark. Alongside its beautiful architecture, explore fascinating exhibits, displays and artwork during your visit for a more cultural experience of the city.

Make sure to check the website before your visit as new collections and exhibits are constantly being introduced into the RAMM, as well as workshops and courses to take part in.

RAMM is accessible and equipped with modern amenities and special accessibility features to be inclusive to all.

Exeter Cathedral

The Cathedral City

One of the most interesting things to do in Exeter is to visit the city’s Cathedral as a standout building steeped in history. Not only is the architecture of the building absolutely stunning, so are its surrounding grounds.

You can enter the Cathedral, attend its religious services and events, or join one of its daily organised tours around the building. It’s popular among locals and visitors alike to sit on the Cathedral Green in the sun and enjoy a picnic lunch or simply hang out with friends or family.

There are also lots of independent shops surrounding the Cathedral making it the perfect location to visit if you want to pick up something unique or someone in your party isn’t into historic buildings.

Go Ape Haldon Forest

Go Ape in Haldon Forest

By far one of the most exciting things to do in Exeter, is to Go Ape. Explore the forest canopy whilst completing a treetop rope course,  in the beautiful Haldon Forest on the edge of Exeter. Scale new heights and experience stunning views over Exeter during the hilltop-to-hilltop zip wires. Go Ape is the perfect activity for any thrill seekers.

With different courses for differing abilities, you will be able to find something to complement your abilities and give you the confidence to scale new heights. Once you’ve finished your course, explore more Haldon Forest with walking trails and cycling paths to follow and activities along the way. A trip to Go Ape in Haldon Forest can be both fun and beautiful.

Exeter Racecourse

As a proud sporting city, of course one of the best things to do in Exeter is to watch some live sports action. No matter if you prefer Rugby, Football or Horse Racing, there’s something to suit everyone.

Exeter was a Host City for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and is home to the mighty Exeter Chiefs, a Premiership Rugby team. It’s safe to say Rugby is much loved  and followed throughout the city.

As for Football, the city has its own team, Exeter City FC, which plays frequent matches both at home in St James Park and away. We would recommend securing a ticket during your visit to Exeter if you can.

If you’re looking for a bit more excitement, competitive horseracing may be more your thing.  Exeter Racecourse prides itself on being a progressive track, with great facilities available and fantastic transport links. Going to the races is certainly one of our favourite things to do in Exeter.

Crealy Theme Park

Crealy Theme Park & Resort

Finally, we come to Crealy Theme Park & Resort, on the outskirts of the city. Undoubtably one of the best things to do in Exeter as a family is to visit a theme park.

A hit with all the family, especially younger children, Crealy Theme Park & Resort provides all day fun, whatever the weather. With the most rides and attractions in Devon you’re sure to have a full and fun day out.  

Crealy is also perfect for animal lovers, as it homes over 200 farm and zoo animals including Ponies, Alpacas, Wallabies, Goats and many more.

Height restrictions do apply for each attraction, so make sure to take that into consideration when planning your perfect day of things to do in Exeter.

Hazelwood Chalet in Dawlish Warren - Copy

Your Perfect Base to Explore Exeter

Hazelwood Holiday Park is the perfect base to explore all the best things to do in Exeter and South Devon. After a long day exploring, return to Hazelwood Holiday Park to rest and relax. Set in 38 acres of peaceful, award-winning grounds, Hazelwood has a spacious, friendly feel that keeps families coming back again and again.

Spend time on the coast with those you love the most and indulge in a holiday home with a hot tub to soak under the stars, we have all you need for the perfect coastal holiday fit for the whole family.