The Exeter Quayside, commonly known as Exeter quay, is popular with locals and tourists alike. Free to access, the city’s historic quayside is brimming with an abundance of things to see and do.
Just a short walk from Exeter city centre, the quayside is one of the most attractive areas of the city. It’s very popular with locals and visitors alike for its fascinating history, interesting architecture and lively pubs and restaurants. Throughout the year, events are held around the quay, ranging from sporting events such as 10KM runs to live music.
The Custom House Visitor Centre sits at the centre of Exeter Quayside. This historic building, built in 1680, houses visitor information which will tell you all you need to know about Exeter’s rich and varied history. The popular Red Coat Guided Tours meet in front of the building during the warmer months.
In 1972, the BBC saw the potential of Exeter quay as a location for their new drama, the Onedin Line. Resembling a 19th century port, the quay was used extensively along with Colleton Crescent for exterior shots.
The Quayside has been enhanced to provide a fascinating mix of historic and contemporary design and is the ideal place to browse in antique shops, walk and cycle, take a relaxing boat trip or find something good to eat. The Quay is a wonderful place for everyone, whether you’re looking to have an amble to take in the sights or perhaps something a bit more active and there are facilities on the quay to hire bikes and canoes.
An eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars are located along the quay so you can enjoy good food, “people watch” and soak up the lovely atmosphere.
The canal has two notable inns. The Double Locks, about a mile down the canal, is typically a popular destination for students and young people. At the mouth of the canal is the Turf Lock Hotel, which can only be visited after a brisk walk along the canal bank to work up a thirst. There are beautiful views across the estuary to Topsham and down to Exmouth.
The quay is definitely a great place to spend time outdoors on a sunny afternoon, and inside when the weather is bad. There’s no reason not to visit!
Our travel tips to Exeter Quay include:
> The walking route from the Cathedral to Quay car park to the Quayside is steep and cobbled. More level access to the Quayside is available from nearby Haven Banks car park.
> As the Quay is obviously situated around a water body, take appropriate precautions.
> There’s a wide range of activities you can try, so be sure to wear comfortable clothing and footwear.
> Make sure you give yourself enough time (and bring enough money!) to enjoy all the sites and explore Exeter Quay properly.