The Best Day Trips Around Exeter

It’s one of those days. You want to get out and do something but you’ve been into town way too often recently and want to go somewhere different, perhaps a proper day trip somewhere. Where do you go? Here at HCX we have put together a list of 10 places you can go to, whether it be by yourself, with your friends, with your boyfriend/girlfriend etc.

  1. Exmouth

A seaside town located just 25 minutes by train from the heart of Exeter, Exmouth boasts two miles of sandy beaches. There is plenty to do, whether it be walking, sailing, windsurfing, eating, relaxing on the beach, Exmouth offers something for everyone, regardless as to whether it is the Winter or the Summer.

  1. Topsham

Nestled between Exeter City Centre and Exmouth, for all of you food lovers, this delightful fishing town offers a myriad of fine restaurants and historic pubs. There are lovely walks/runs that you can do in the area too.

  1. Woodbury Common

Woodbury Common is part of the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. You can enjoy miles of walking trails, mountain biking and horse riding. You can also climb to the ancient hill fort of Woodbury Castle with great views all around.

  1. Dartmoor

Dartmoor covers an area of 368 square miles and has something for everyone – you can go walking, cycling, canoeing and there are great country pubs dotted across the countryside.

  1. Croyde, North Devon

With three beaches to choose from, Croyde is a great trip out. Known for surfing, this is a great place for both experienced surfers and first time surfers, with surf schools available. There are lovely traditional tea shops and restaurants also.


  1. Polzeath, North Cornwall

Another surf beach, Polzeath is home in the Winter to The University Of Exeter’s Surf Club. You can join their regular trips or just go by yourself. If you go by yourself/ with friends and are not a surfer, there are plenty of other things to do. You can go for a bike ride along the Camel Trail, you can go to the beautiful fishing town of Padstow, or enjoy a trip to Daymer Bay, Rock Beach, Port Quin or Port Isaac. This area of North Cornwall offers it all.


  1. St Ives

St Ives is a working harbour and is one of Cornwall’s top tourist destinations, offering four beaches. There are numerous art galleries and exhibitions and the harbour attracts famous artists all year round. Even in the Winter it is beautiful and there are plenty of pavement cafes, ancient pubs and top notch restaurants. Slightly further away though, this day trip would require an early start… if you’re the type of person who can’t make an 08:30 (we won’t judge), then perhaps an overnight trip would properly be more suitable instead.

  1. Plymouth



Home to one of our main rival universities, don’t let this put you off visiting Plymouth. It’s really easy to get to by train. The Hoe is beautiful, alongside The Barbican and Sutton Harbour which are hosts to a variety of independent shops, a wide selection of restaurants and cafes etc. Drake Circus Shopping Centre offers all you need and for those who want to stay the night, there are some good bars and clubs including Oceana, C103 and Revolution.


  1. Bristol

Bristol is only one hour by train from Exeter and there is so much to do. Cabot Circus is great for shopping (it even has a Victoria’s Secret Store), and also offers a lot of cafés and restaurants. The harbor side is buzzing with life and the SS Great Britain is a major attraction there. Clifton Village is beautiful and Anna’s tea shop is highly recommended, as well as visiting the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, of course. A short walk from there is Ashton Court on the other side of the bridge, or The Downs which are both lovely for walks. For those wishing to spend the night, you are spoilt for choice with the nightlife with Analog (commonly known still as Bunker), Motion, SWX and Pryzm being just a few of the many clubs that are on offer.


  1. Cardiff

There is so much to do in Cardiff, including visiting the famous Cardiff Castle, located in the heart of the city and The National Museum Cardiff to name just a few of the many places worth visiting. Cardiff Bay is great also with its restaurants, waterfront views and Wales Millenium Centre. The Docklands are a beautiful part of the city and you can take boat rides to nearby seaside towns. St Davids Shopping Centre offers everything that you need. The nightlife is great also with Pryzm being very popular.


Obviously we all love Exeter but sometimes it’s great to explore somewhere new and there are so many places on offer that are within a reasonable distance! Enjoy exploring!