Exeter, Devon

Exeter is Devon's county town; it's actually a city, and it's well worth a visit because there's plenty to do and plenty to see. If shopping's your thing you'll be happy as Larry browsing around the stores in the High Street and the Princess Hay development; for more quirky finds head down over the hill where you'll find a few eclectic vintage shops like The Real McCoy. When you pause for lunch you'll find a fantastic choice of places to eat from pubs and restaurants to cafes and fast food outlets; all the big names are there and several very good independent eateries (we're all for supporting local businesses!).

Take a stroll around the ancient city walls, go and discover the medieval Underground Passages built to bring water into the city; see the Gothic cathedral and take five on the green watching the comings and goings. Take the kids to the RAM Museum where they can meet Gerald the Giraffe and see a fin whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling, then amble round to Rougemont Gardens for a picnic. If you'd rather do something more adventurous spend a few hours at the Quay where there's fun to be had at Clip n Climb, or if you pop into Saddles and Paddles you can hire boats, canoes, kayaks and stand up paddle boards and take to the water.

What we like about Exeter is that it seems to have a lively yet laid back vibe about it, so you don't feel like you're caught up in the push and shove like you often do in cities. You don't even need to worry about your car park ticket running out because there's a park and ride with regular buses in and out of the city, and you could always take the train from Honiton to Exeter - it'll only take half an hour.

All information correct at the time of writing

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