South West Gateway
Exeter is a thriving city with a population of about 120,000 and which boasts a spectacular Anglican cathedral that was founded in 1050 together with a well respected University.
It can be considered as the gateway to the South West and is, arguably, one of the best places to live in the UK in terms of its location, leisure facilities, heritage and attractive built environment.
There is evidence of settlement in Exeter dating back to at least 250BC, when the City was probably used as a trading centre. However, life in Exeter has not always been peaceful. In the 11th Century, the City was plundered by the Danes, it was a Royalist stronghold during the English Civil War and the German Luftwaffe destroyed much of the City during World War II.
However, you only have to look around at the beautiful buildings of Exeter to realise that historical points of interest still remain. Exeter’s Guildhall is believed to be the world’s oldest municipal building still in use and claim’s the narrowest street in the world, Parliament Street, which is just 25 inches wide at its narrowest point.
Visitors who want to get to grips with the historical aspect of Exeter can enjoy guided walking tours with volunteer Red Coat guides.
Exploring the amazing underground passages built in medieval times to channel fresh water or wandering around the historic quayside keeps visitors of all ages entertained for hours on end, whilst those who are more stimulated by the arts can pay a visit to the Phoenix Arts Centre for a true cultural treat.
The year 2010 will bring the much anticipated re-opening of the Royal Albert Museum, which houses a diverse collection, from Fine Art to Local History and Archaeology, and which is a real credit to the City.
Today, Exeter is well connected by major travel routes, and St David’s station boasts the greatest number of passengers in the region due to its fast connection to London. The railway arrived in Exeter in 1844, and the city’s Central station is less busy than St David’s, but is still enjoying an increase in passenger flow.
For those visitors who are more stimulated by retail therapy, it’s essential to pay a visit to the new Princesshay shopping centre, where there is an exciting range of stores and eating places together with convenient on-site parking. The centre is testimony to the modern, vibrant aspects of Exeter, which include great nightlife and a wide range of places to enjoy good quality food and entertainment.