dealchecker's guide to Exeter

Regularly voted high on the list of quality of life in the UK, Exeter in Devon is a thriving cathedral city. It's a great place to be a visitor because tourism is only a small business here, so you really can mingle with the locals, enjoy the sights with relatively small crowds, and price on hotels in Exeter are pretty reasonable too.

Dating all the way back to a Roman settlement, you can still see the remains of the Roman walls today, just outside the city centre. Here is the centre you will find architecture from throughout Exeter's past, including the Gothic cathedral, a Tudor house, and the ruins of the 12th century Rougemont Castle along with its still-standing Georgian parts. Today all this history is surrounded by a whole host of welcoming pubs, restaurants and fantastic shopping.

There are also numerous day trips you can make from Exeter, making a stay in a cheap Exeter hotels even more appealing. Dartmoor National Park, beach resorts such as Exmoor and Dawlish and quaint towns such as Topsham with its Dutch architecture are all great ways to spend the day.

Choosing an Exeter Hotel

When it comes to finding a hotel in Exeter there is plenty of choice to suit any budget, from trendy boutique establishments to budget hotels. Cheap Exeter hotels can be found across the city to enable visitors to the region to explore both the city and its surrounding areas. Look for hotels in the St. Davids area if you're arriving by train or want to be close to the centre without the high prices. St. Thomas is a little further out, but will offer cheaper options and it's not too far if you don't mind a bit of a walk or are happy to drive into Exeter and pay parking each day.

Exeter car hire is the only real way to explore the rural destinations nearby such as Dartmoor and Exmoor National Park, but if you want to spend a day at the beach, there are a range of choices on the south coast easily reached by train. For north coast beaches in Devon you will, however, need your own wheels - and be sure to take the pretty tourist route as the alternative is the M5, and it's usually faster too!

Exeter also has its own airport which means cheap flights to Exeter are available throughout the year. This can be a cheap and quick way of getting to your hotel in Exeter if you're visiting from northern destinations.

When to visit Exeter

There is always plenty to do in Exeter because many of the attractions aren't weather dependent, and even if they are - the south west of England gets the UK's best weather so you'll be very unlucky if you don't get a nice day or two to enjoy the Devon air!

If you want to make the most of the great countryside around Exeter as well as the beaches that are not too far away, book yourself a hotel in Exeter in July or September, when the student population is away but avoiding the usual school holidays, when the roads are very busy.

What to see in Exeter

Some of the great city centre attractions include the Underground Passages, Rougemont Castle if it's open and Rougemont Gardens which are free, the historic Quayside including the 17th Century Custom House and of course the central attraction, which is the Exeter Cathedral. Cathedral Green is a great place to enjoy the sunshine, perhaps with a picnic if you're watching your budget.

Other attractions include the independent shops on Gandy Street, the University of Exeter grounds and sculpture walk, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, the St. Nicholas Priory and the newly developed shops and restaurants around Princesshay.

If you want to get out of the city from your hotel in Exeter, head to the quayside and follow the canal along to the Double Locks Pub - a favourite with the locals for its secluded setting and delicious food.

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