Exeter, Dartmoor National Park

Exeter, Dartmoor National Park
  • Beautiful, compact city easily accessible from Dartmoor via the A30 and A38. Great for a day trip if you're on holiday in Dartmoor
  • Visit some of the Westcountry's best historical and cultural visitor attractions in the city. Exeter Cathedral and Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Galley (RAMM) are superb. Take a tour of the unique Exeter's Underground Passages
  • Discover Exeter's Historic Quayside. Cycle the Exe Estuary Trail, climb at the Quay Climbing Centre or kayak/canoe along Exeter Canal
  • Go shopping and enjoy a meal in one of the restaurants at Queen Street Dining
  • Head down to the beginning of the Dorset and East Devon Coast (Jurassic Coast) UNESCO World Heritage Site in Exmouth. Walk beneath red cliffs
  • Main photo: the view of Exeter Cathedral from Princesshay in the centre of Exeter


Where is Exeter in relation to Dartmoor National Park?

Exeter is beyond the north east section of Dartmoor National Park where the A30 and A38 meet the M5.

The city sits at the top of the stunning Exe Estuary which leads to the South Devon and East Devon coastlines at Dawlish Warren and Exmouth respectively.


Directions to Exeter from Dartmoor National Park

Follow the A30 if you're coming from the north or west side of Dartmoor.

Drive the A38 if you're coming from the east and south.


Parking at Exeter

There are lots of car parks in the city centre. Princesshay car park is arguably the most convenient.


Why visit Exeter from Dartmoor National Park?

To help you choose Exeter, we've listed some of the local attractions below.


Cathedral Quarter in Exeter

Visit Exeter Cathedral. One of England's great buildings, Exeter Cathedral has 'the longest uninterrupted gothic vaulting in the world and is one of the finest examples of architecture anywhere' (Exeter Cathedral website). Take a roof tour and enjoy spectacular views over Exeter and Devon.


Castle Quarter in Exeter

Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Galley (RAMM) is an amazing regional museum in the heart of the city. Revamped in recent years, it's like a mini British Museum. Can't recommend this place highly enough. 'The museum's collections contain an extraordinary wealth of artefacts and specimens that tell us the story of Devon and Exeter from their formation, but RAMM is far more than a local museum. Its internationally important world cultures and natural history collections tell a story of global exploration and collecting in the 18th and 19th centuries, and contain examples of life and cultures that have long since disappeared from the world.' (Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery guidebook)

Discover Rougemont Castle. Castle ruins include a fine gatehouse which is said to be the oldest standing castle building in England. Look out for the plaque on the gatehouse wall which reads: 'The Devon Witches. In memory of Temperance Lloyd, Susannah Edwards, Mary Trembles of Bideford died 1682. Alice Molland died 1685. The last people in England to be executed for witchcraft tried here and hanged at Heavitree. In hope of an end to persecution & intolerance.'

Queen Street Dining off the High Street is Exeter's food and drink destination.


Princesshay and High Street in Exeter

Experience Exeter's Underground Passages. One of South West England's quirkiest visitor attractions, explore the underground passages below the city. The passages were used as part of a system to bring fresh water into the city. 'Exeter's Underground Passages are a unique ancient monument: no similar system of passages can be explored by the public elsewhere in Britain.' (Exeter's Underground Passages guidebook)

Exeter is arguably the best shopping destination in the Westcountry. The Princesshay and High Street area is where you'll find the UK's biggest retailers.


Exeter's Historic Quayside in Exeter

The River Exe flows through Exeter into the Exe Estuary which leads to the South and East Devon coastlines. The city's historic quayside is a hub for outdoor activities and is packed with places to eat and drink.


The Exe Estuary near Exeter

The Exe Estuary is delightful. Lined with nature reserves and pretty villages, explore on foot, by bike or from a boat.

Nature Reserves we'd recommend visiting include the RSPBs Exminster and Powderham Marshes and Bowling Green Marshes at the top end of the estuary. Down by the mouth, explore Exmouth Local Nature Reserve and the superb Dawlish Warren National Nature Reserve.

Topsham is stunning.

Walk or cycle the Exe Estuary Trail.

If possible, also explore the estuary by boat. Try the River Exe Cruise. The trip takes between 1-2 hours and is supplied by Stuart Line Cruises.

A ferry runs between Starcross and Exmouth. Other ferries cross the water further up the estuary at Topsham. For example, a ferry runs from Ferry Road in Topsham across to Topsham Lock. Another runs from Topsham across to The Turf pub.


The Dorset and East Devon (Jurassic Coast) UNESCO World Heritage Site from Exeter

Head down to Exmouth and see the geoneedle at the beginning of the The Dorset and East Devon (Jurassic Coast) UNESCO World Heritage Site.