Attractions Nearby Exeter, Day Trips and Excursions

(Exeter, Devon, England, UK)

Photograph of TorquayDevon has more than its fair share of attractions, many of which make for ideal day trips from Exeter, being under an hour's drive away. The selection of outlying attractions is virtually endless, and if you don't have your own set of wheels or simply fancy a car-free excursion, then it is simple to take advantage of Exeter's bus and train connections.

Many tourists from Exeter head to the Dartmoor National Park, to enjoy its superb views, unusual natural stone formations and walking trails, while others prefer a trip to the beach. The popular seaside attractions of Budleigh Salterton, Dawish, Exmouth, Sidmouth and Teignmouth all lie very nearby and on Devon's southerly shoreline.

Brixham coastal picture

General Information

Also popular and directly south of Exeter are the beach resorts of Torquay and Paignton, and the fishing town of Brixham, all of which are part of the overall Torbay region. Torquay comes with attractions such as a lively harbour area, the Living Coasts zoo, Babbacombe Model Village, the Babbacombe Cliff Railway, Torre Abbey, Cockington Court and Country Park and Kents Cavern - a prehistoric Stone Age site. Nearby, Paignton Zoo is one of Devon's biggest family attractions and is conveniently close to the Dartmouth Steam Railway (formerly the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway).

Exeter is also close to Lyme Regis, which lies to the east, just past Seaton, where it is famous the world over for its exceptional fossil hunting and crumbling cliffs. Further east lies the beaches of Weymouth, Swanage and Bournemouth, and the attractions of the New Forest, although an early start is recommended if you are intending to drive from Exeter to these enticing attractions.

Image of sailing boats at the Plymouth HoeHead some 70 km / 44 miles to the south-west of Exeter and you will soon run into Plymouth, where the National Marine Aquarium stands out as the principal attraction in this large city. The shopping in central Plymouth is also another serious draw card, along with the Mayflower Exhibition in the Barbican area. Nearby Plymouth, the Dartmoor Zoological Park is located next to the village of Sparkwell and makes for a pleasant family day trip from Exeter.

Directly to the north of Exeter is the Exmoor National Park, and the coastal attractions of Minehead, Watchet, and Lynton and Lynmouth. Known for their connecting cliff railway, which has been powered by water for more than 100 years, Lynton and Lynmouth stand side by side, and are well placed for beach-related activities.

Further specific attractions within reach of Exeter include the following selection:

Bickleigh Mill
Address: Tiverton, Devon, EX16 8RG, England, UK
Tel: +44 01884 855419

Castle Drago
Address: Drewsteignton, Devon, EX6 6PB, England, UK
Tel: +44 01647 433186

Devon Railway Centre
Address: The Station, Bickleigh, Near Tiverton, Devon, EX16 8RG, England, UK
Tel: +44 01884 855671

Escot Park
Address: Ottery St. Mary, Devon, EX11 1LU, England, UK
Tel: +44 01404 822188

Knightshayes Court
Address: Bolham, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 7RQ, England, UK
Tel: +44 01884 254665

RHS Garden Rosemoor
Address: Great Torrington, Devon, EX38 8PH, England, UK
Tel: +44 01805 626810

Devon Guild of Craftsmen
Address: Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey, Devon, TQ13 9AF, England, UK
Tel: +44 01626 832223

Tiverton Castle
Address: Park Hill, Tiverton, EX16 6RP, England, UK
Tel: +44 01884 255 200

Powderham Castle
Address: Kenton, Devon, EX6 8JQ, England, UK
Tel: +44 01626 890243