But Exeter is not just about the past for the city is very much about the present and the future. A business visitor will know of its world class University, the area’s expanding business developments with such organisations as the Meteorological Office establishing itself alongside the new Science Park and the rebuilding of the central shopping areas to include not only long established national and international names but many independent specialist outlets. Exeter has also followed other towns to produce its own currency – the Exeter pound – which can be used in many of the city’s shops and restaurants. Talking of restaurants, the last decade has seen an explosion of new places to eat with menus from many parts of the world to make Exeter the gastronomic hub of the South West.
And what about leisure? Exeter is firmly on the sporting map for the achievements of the Exeter Chiefs Rugby Club, the entertaining football of Exeter City, and the National Hunt racing at the racecourse several hundred feet up on the summit of the nearby Haldon hills. There are many historical parts of the city to visit and Exeter is well-placed to visit the delightful nearby riverside town of Topsham and the seaside towns of Exmouth, Sidmouth, Seaton, Teignmouth, and Dawlish with their attractions. To the west lies Dartmoor with its high moorlands, wildlife, and historic towns and hamlets. But for a unique relaxing day trip why not leave the car behind and take a Great Western Railway train from Exeter St Davids or Exeter Central stations to Paignton or Totnes and embark on a leisurely River Dart cruise. This is arguably the most beautiful of the Dartmoor rivers as it wends its way to the sea passing through high wooded slopes and scenery which has hardly changed over centuries. And you can combine it with a reminiscent trip on a real-live steam train of the Dartmouth Steam Railway to complete a circular tour before returning to Exeter. It will take you to a different world. And if you do this trip on 14 – 16 July a beer festival is being held at Kingswear, terminus of the steam railway, just a 5min ferry trip across the river from Dartmouth.