I loved every minute of my quick break in Devon. England is such a beautiful country, especially when it’s sunny! 🎡🇬🇧☀️
Husband and I went to visit my sister in Exeter—the University of Perugia sent her there for about a month to do some work for them. We’ve been in Exeter also during the Rugby World Cup 2015, and we loved the city and its vibe. This time we saw the city as it is, with no RWC shenanigans.
We managed to visit many places within the few days we’ve been in Exeter. Here’s a quick review of our break in Devon.
Last year we traveled to Exeter by air, flying Flybe from/to the City Airport. This time we rented a car, and we didn’t like the experience. It took 4 hours to go to Exeter!
The roads are just okay. I personally expected a motorway or a road with 4 carriages, instead we ended up hitting a road with 3 carriages, with the middle one is used alternatively in both ways to pass the slower vehicles. If you’re get used to Italian Autostrada and other European motorways, you could perceive it as a bit unsafe and weird. Eventually we managed to make it there and come back home, so not a big deal.
Teignmouth is a hidden (at least for me!) gem located a few miles south from Exeter.
We missed the experience of reaching the town by train. On the other hand, my sister, who did it, told me that the railway runs very close to the sea, so the view is amazing.
Teignmouth is the typical town on the sea where people go to have a break and spend some quality time relaxing. Family and dog friendly, there are playgrounds, a mini golf and many other entertainment facilities, all located a few steps from the seashore. The promenade is lovely, and develops exactly along the railway.
I touched the Ocean’s sand and felt that’s pretty different in texture from the Mediterranean sand I’m familiar with! We had lunch in a cozy tavern named The Ship, where we had a very tasty tuna steak.
It’s in Exeter that we spent the majority of our break in Devon. Exeter is such a nice and serene city. We got blessed with an amazing weather, so we managed to walk a lot downtown.
I also needed to do some work, and I found out that the wifi at coffee shops (the big Costa on the main road and Boston Tea Party, to mention a couple) is reliable and stable.
Point of interests I suggest to visit in Exeter are the wonderful Cathedral, the St Catherine’s Almshouses with its Roman ruins, as well as Piazza Terracina and the Quay, where you can have a nice walk in the gardens and fields around.
The Quay offer a variety of things to do, from eating and drinking to sports and music/art. If Exeter downtown is more commercial, with a series of shops of any kind, the Quay are the heart of the local entertainment.
Due to my sister’s working duties we also managed to visit the Exeter university and campus, which left me amazed.
The campus is a very big complex of buildings that includes a number of facilities such as theatres, pools, sports facilities, dormitories, pubs, markets place, coffee shops and so on. A real mini-city for students. Impressive.
Where to eat in Exeter
Taking a break out of the city means, for an Italian like me, eat, eat, eat (and drink). We know it’s all about food, don’t we? :D
We had meals in some places. The following ones deserve a special mentions.
The Prospect Inn: a traditional English pub at the Quay where I had a superb fish and chips. I haven’t had fish and chips in months, and I’m glad I had it there! Staff was absolutely spot on and extremely kind and polite.
Starz: a steak house in the city centre. Warm and welcoming staff, and good steak in cut and size. Prices are also okay. Apparently, it’s a popular place for birthdays—we’ve been there twice and both times there were a lot of birthday celebrations going on :D
Walkabout: an Australian sports pub where we had a delicious kangaroo steak. Prices are good if you consider that you have meat you normally are not accustomed to. The kangaroo is also worth all the noise of the Saturday’s disco pub event!
What we didn’t quite like
Unfortunately we also stumbled upon some places that didn’t meet our gracious thumbs up. These are:
– The Exeter castle: a bit meh from the outside. A very few part of the original castle is preserved.
– Caramello ice cream bar: ice cream was just okay, coffee was not the best I had in my life.
– On the Waterfront: overpriced and food not good. Plus, they kicked us out of the restaurant in a very rude way when it was 10.20pm.
Overall we loved Exeter, and we are looking forward to take another break in Devon, as I’d like to visit Agatha Christie’s house in Torquay! :)