What to do in Exeter for Free

What to do in Exeter for Free

Exeter is certainly unrivaled when it comes to things to do. It’s a small city that packs a big punch.  Whatever the weather day, or night you will be spoilt for choice. There is so much to do in Exeter, most of which are free.

The City’s main attractions are all within close walking distance of each other, and as the City is segmented into distinct sections it is so easy to find all the hidden gems the wonderful City of Exeter has to offer.

Predating the arrival of the Romans in AD50, Exeter has a rich and long history.  Home to the award-winning Royal Albert Memorial Museum as well as the free Red Coat Guided Tours.

The West Quarter boasts a great mix of independent shops and boutiques. When it comes to eating you can’t get better with the City’s abundance of delicious cafes and bars.

Exeter is renowned for its independent art scene and is a firm favourite when it comes to sporting events, music, and festivals.

As the City’s location is in the heart of Devon it’s not surprising the local folk love the outdoors.  Surrounded by miles of beautiful countryside and close to the Heritage Jurassic Coast, giving you so much opportunity for adventure. Exeter is the perfect location to try something new and adventurous or if you prefer the more laid-back approach there is stunning scenery all around to enjoy.

We are so proud of our City that we have put together this little guide to help make your stay with us as enjoyable and fulfilling as possible.


If its an activity break you have come for then Exeter is the place for you.  Here are just a few activities you can do during your stay with us:

  1. The Exe Estuary Trail

The Exe Estuary trail consists of a 26-mile-long cycle route and walkway which runs around the entire Exe Estuary linking Exmouth, Exeter and Dawlish, making for fantastic views.

This route provides an exciting chance for you to experience cycling or walking around the whole of the Exe Estuary, allowing you to appreciate and take in both the wildlife and beautiful towns and villages, steeped in history.

Opening times

1 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020

Free admission

Trip advisor rating excellent with 5 stars

  • University of Exeter Sculpture Walk and campus grounds

Be prepared to be surprised and take a walk around the impressive grounds of the University of Exeter.  This little gem hosts some 39 sculptures including a Snow Leopard and Peacock and is just a twenty-minute walk from the High Street.

The University grounds are also highly regarded for their horticulture, with planting in some areas dating as far back as the 19th Century.

Admission is free and you can visit weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm

Trip advisor rating excellent with 5 stars

  •  The Donkey Sanctuary

No trip to Devon would be complete without visiting The Donkey Sanctuary.

In a tranquil corner of the Jurassic Coast near Sidmouth is a place where hundreds of Donkey’s call home and they love to meet new people.

This award-winning attraction has something incredibly special to offer.  Quality time with the kids or just a place to have coffee and cake you will not be disappointed.

The Sanctuary has beautiful gardens and a scenic coast path to walk along all year round.  With plenty of activities, demonstrations, trails, tours and walks, there is so much to explore.  Friendly dogs are welcome too.

There are lots of family events throughout the year including an overnight stay if you fancy a stay “Bray and Stay”

If that was not enough you can also adopt a donkey in the gift shop and every penny of profit goes towards helping millions of donkeys and mules around the world. 

Above all else fall in love with a herd of donkeys!

Book a trip to the donkey sanctuary by visiting their website Open daily all year round, admission and parking is free, although donations are welcome to help many more donkeys with troubled pasts live a life of total sanctuary.

Trip advisor rating excellent with 5 stars

  •  The Exeter Medieval Trail

Discover Exeter’s medieval past. The Middle Ages were a period of rapid growth for Exeter.  It became the religious, commercial, and administrative centre for the region.  Following the Norman Conquest in 1066 through to the reign of Henry Tudor 1485 (Henry VII) a complex relationship between the Crown, Cathedral and City ensued.

On this historic and interesting trail you will find 8 information  panels, using this map .  At each site you can discover all there is to know of the medieval buildings of Exeter and key events that affected the people of this time.  There are plenty of quizzes and puzzles to keep the kids entertained, making history fun so make sure they bring a pencil and paper along.

The tour starts at castle street and continues down into the Cathedral Yard where you will find the jewel in Exeter’s Crown, The Cathedral. The trail concludes at St Stephen’s House.

Opening times

1 Jan 2020 to 21 Dec 2020

Admission – free


There is so much to see and do in Exeter you really are spoilt for choice, but we hope we have given you some inspiration and ideas of things to do.  For more on what to do in Exeter click on this link  Exeter City Guide and we are sure you will find something to make your stay a memorable one. Best of all these are all free.

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