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Travel & Tourism Tips
This city is located about 324 kilometers southwest of London and 74 kilometers northeast of Plymouth. It was already a Roman City during the first century, and it used to be located near the banks of the river Exe. The city developed abundantly when the Tudors took charge. Among the city’s most renowned personalities are Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Drake.
Even though the German bombing of Exeter in 1942 destroyed most of the city’s architectural structures, the city got back up on its feet and rebuilt what they could. Today, you can still find the Gothic cathedral, the Exeter University, and some museums as well as historic houses.
Getting There and Around
You can take the train from London at Paddington Station. It leaves every hour, and will take you to Exeter in about 2 ½ hours. A trip from Plymouth is also available, and the trip will only take about an hour. These trains will take you to St. David’s Station at St. David’s Hill.
You can also take the National Express coach for a four-hour trip, which departs at London’s Victoria Coach Station. Buses are also an option: bus 38 or 39 can take you to Exeter from Plymouth. This take takes only an hour.
For those who plan to take their own cars or rent one out, take the M4 west, then go south to Exeter on the junction near Bristol, or M5.
The site of this cathedral used to be the campsite of the Roman II Augusta Legion. This cathedral holds much history and memories, such as the training of Saint Boniface, who brought about for the conversion of northern Germany into Christianity. The cloisters were also subject to destruction by the Puritans in 1655, while in 1942, the twin chapels of St. James and St. Thomas came crumbling down because of a German bomb.
This magnificent cathedral was started in 1112, and was finished in 1369. It is considered to be one of the finest models of Decorated Gothic architecture. Its twin Norman towers have stood the test of time. The two towers are connected by the longest, authentic Gothic vault in the world.
The cathedral has also undergone restoration, and is once again ready to show the world its glory and history. Visitors will find the choir singing evensong daily, save for Wednesdays. This architectural site is open from 8am – 6:30pm, Mondays – Fridays, 8am – 5pm on Saturdays, and 8am – 7:30pm on Sundays.
Located on High Street, Exeter Guildhall is actually the oldest municipal building in the kingdom, being referred to as a Guildhall in a deed as early as 1160. It boasts of a Tudor façade that towers above the pavement, and an ancient hall with oak paneling. Upon entering, you will see a collection of fine silver, as well as several paintings.
To get to this private house where the countess and earl of Devon reside, just get on the A379 Dawlish Road, which is about 12 kilometers away from Exeter to the south. Signposts will direct you to the castle.
Powderham Castle is quite famous, as it was the setting for The Remains of the Day, an Anthony Hopkins film. Sir Philip Courtenay, the sixth son of Devon’s second earl, created this building during the late 14th century. The earl’s remains, as well as his wife’s, can be found in the tomb located at the south transept of the cathedral.
The castle also houses a great many artifacts and antiques, family portraits, tapestries, and fine furniture, such as the chair that was used by William III for the first council of state in Newton Abbot.
Initially built to manage and carry the water supply during medieval times, the Underground Passages can now be visited, and even holds an interpretation center, where a video presentation and exhibition are held before the tour begins. You can easily get to the passages through High Street.
Probably one of the most-awaited events in Exeter is the Exeter Festival, where concerts, operas, lectures, and an abundance of other classical music-related festivities are held. Usually held for two full weeks in July, the dates may vary every year.
Classical concerts and theater productions are all the rage in this university town. You can obtain information regarding these productions at the Exeter Arts Booking and Information Center on High Street.
Important Visitor Information
For everything tourist-related, you can always visit the Tourist Information Center located at the Civic Center on Paris Street. All your questions will gladly be answered by any one of the staff. Remember to time your visit at the following schedules: Monday – Saturday from 9am to 5pm.
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