Exeter's Historic Quayside

Exeter Quayside No trip to the City is complete without a visit to the Exeter Quayside!

The Quayside is a very popular area with Exeter residents and offers plenty to do for tourists, visitors and locals alike. From walking, cycling, and boating for the more energetic to the tranquility gained from just relaxing by the water's edge - there's lots to enjoy around the Quay. And with plenty of public houses, restaurants and tea rooms around there is always somewhere to get refreshed...

Exeter Quayside

The Exeter Quayside provides a lovely atmosphere in which to relax and stroll around. You can visit the historic Customs House and various other old buildings and warehouses dating back to Charles II. Whilst wandering around the quay area you will also come across the odd antique and craft shop for that all-important gift. Many events from live music & river races to night markets are also held around the quay throughout the year - keep a check on the what's on calendar to see if an Exeter Quay event has been added.

Exeter Quay

Exeter Quay was once an international port thriving through mainly in the export of woollen cloth, but by the 13th century sea craft could no longer reach Exeter by river, so a canal was constructed around 1563. This canal linked the city to the estuary again and the port trade began to prosper once more. Those wanting longer walks can travel along the canal side footpaths down to the locks, maybe stopping off at one of the alehouses for lunch.

Butts Ferry
The Butts Ferry can also be found on the Exeter Quay. This is a manually operated cable ferry linking the quayside to the opposite bank. The ferry has been used by many pedestrians over the years and brought much excitement to its younger passengers who have been crossing the River Exe since 1641.

Exeter Custom House & Visitor Centre

This historic landmark dates back to 1681 and is one of the earliest brick constructed buildings in Exeter. The cannons that stand outside never reached their destination and still remain unfired. Today, this prominent and striking building that was once the city's centre for the controlling of imported goods, is home to the visitor centre. With the aid of displays and illustrations the centre provides the public with the opportunity to see and learn about the history and development that the Custom House and the quay area has gone through. There's also an audio-visual presentation showing the history of Exeter from the Roman times to the present day.

Boating and Cycling

For those wanting a little more than just a stroll, bicycles, boats and canoes can be hired nearby. The pedal boats can be used to paddle as far as "The Mill On The Exe" in one direction and around the quay area in the other. There is a canoe route available that will take you all the way down to The Turf Hotel (about five miles). The bicycles, again available to hire, can be used to travel along the canal side trail passing the Inns and locks on the way. The cycle route, which is mainly traffic free and flat to cycle on, can take you further along than the canoe route. It is possible to cycle all the way to Powderham Castle and Dawlish Warren allowing for a few obstacles on the way and plenty of energy! Bikes can also be hired for children, which attach to the adult's bike. And for the toddler, child seats and trailers are available.

More Information:
The Exeter Custom House is also the area's meeting point for the Red Coat Guided Tours

The Custom House Visitor Centre
46 The Quay

Telephone: 01392 271611

Email: customhouse@exeter.gov.uk

Or by visiting the website alternatively you can also download their leaflet

Photographs - Exeter Quayside

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