A neighbourhood-feel city centre makes the city of Exeter ideal for a festive Christmas experience, with so much on offer within a short walking distance.

As well as the big-name brands in the high street, you’ll discover specialist shops in surrounding streets offering a brilliantly different range of sustainable, eco, artisan and vintage fashions, plus jewellery, crafts and gifts. Wander to the West Quarter to discover the creatives on Fore Street and explore the Castle Quarter including the quaint cobbled Gandy Street.

The historic Cathedral Quarter is a must at Christmas: you’ll find eateries and boutiques overlooking the stunning cathedral as well as the atmospheric Christmas market on Cathedral Green, open from 18 November until the 18 December. Browse for unique artisan gifts and enjoy festive food and mulled wine. The city’s Christmas lights will be switched on 17 November, and new for 2022 is the Exeter Carnival, set to light up Exeter’s streets on the evening of 26 November.

Christmas in Exeter Cathedral
An alpine bar at Princesshay, Exeter
The flea market on Fore Street, Exeter
Princesshay with Exeter Cathedral in the background

For more festive fun, visit Northernhay Gardens for the magical Winter Wonderland with its undercover ice rink, open from 17 November. When you’re shopped out, cosy up with a real ale in one of Exeter’s historic pubs, or seek out one of Exeter’s rooftop cocktail bars for a seasonal cocktail. Exeter has a great range of independent eateries catering for all tastes. This should get you in the mood for one of the city’s Christmas shows, available at Exeter Northcott Theatre, Exeter Corn Exchange and Exeter Phoenix.

Win a festive break to Exeter

Travel by train with GWR to enjoy a short city break for two this winter, with an two-night stay at the historic Turks Head pub in the heart of Exeter, plus some fantastic festive activities and treats along the way.

Find out more and enter at visitexeter.com/wintercompetition

All of the city’s historic attractions are open year-round. Escape the bustle of Christmas shoppers to explore beneath the city’s streets on a guided tour of Exeter’s medieval underground passages, or join a free guided walking tour of the city with the Red Coat Guides. Don’t miss RAMM, Exeter’s award-winning museum, where you can explore 16 galleries of local and national touring exhibitions, also completely free of charge.

When you’ve finished exploring, put your feet up and experience the ultimate in relaxation at the St Sidwell’s Point Spa in the heart of the city. Excellent road, rail, bus and air links mean Exeter is within easy reach of the rest of the UK, and the city is an ideal base for exploring the rest of Devon.

Find out more at visitexeter.com/christmas