Free things to do in and around Exeter

We recognise that it may feel more difficult to leave the house without spending too much at the moment due to the increase in living expenses. For this reason, we've included a few entertaining things to do in Exeter when you've got some free time that won't break the bank. (Unlike those resold £30 TP tickets)

1. Walk along the Quay

The Quay is one of Exeter’s gems and whenever the sun comes out, I always find myself going on a walk there. It’s a very peaceful walk and at the end you can always sit on one of the benches and relax to the sound of the water.  

2. Royal Albert Memorial Museum

The Ram Museum is free entry and not many students know about it. (You may know about the famous Brody’s) It’s right in front of it! There are some very interesting exhibitions there so take a look.

3. McCoy’s Arcade

This place is one of the hidden gems in Exeter and I didn’t find it until the end of my second year! (I know embarrassing) McCoy’s Arcade is located on Fore Street and has the best vibes. Although some of the stores there can be expensive, some of their stores include vintage items such as books, clothes and Vinyl’s that may be on the cheaper side. Whether you end up buying something or not, it is a nice place to look around and stroll.

4. Movie Night with Friends!

This is one of the best cheap things you can do as a friend group. Get some cheap popcorn, assemble in your living room and watch a movie together!

5. Explore the Cathedral Green

The Cathedral in the centre of town is one of the most beautiful spots in Exeter. It has a lot of green space which is perfect for having a picnic with your friends! To make it cheaper, make some food at home and bring it with you to enjoy by the cathedral.

6. Exmouth beach  

The weather has been really nice lately and I highly recommend taking the train which is only £3 to get to Exmouth beach. You won’t even feel like you’re in Exeter anymore! Bring a speaker, food and some cards, it’s a guaranteed good time.  

7. Pub Quiz/Quiz Night

Whether you want to go to an actual pub quiz or host one yourself at your house, it is a great way to have some fun with friends for nota lot of money. If you choose to do it at your own house, you can even have the creative freedom to assign a theme to it so that everyone has to dress up a certain way in order to attend!  

8. Bill Douglas Cinema Museum

 This is another free entry museum you don’t want to miss out on! Whether you have a love for film or an interest in learning more about the history of it, the Bill Douglas Museum has one of the largest collections of material relating to moving image in Britain! It is located right on Streatham Campus so you really can’t miss it.  

9. St Nicholas Priory

Located off fore street, Exeter’s oldest building is a medieval priory turned Tudor home. They’re only open once a week but it is a very fun experience for those that love immersing themselves in history. This Tudor home has free entry and includes a cooking course in the priory kitchen as well as a chance to dress up in Tudor clothing as well as tour the medieval home.  

10. University of Exeter Sculpture Walk

Streatham’s campus has 40 sculptures both indoors and outdoors. This sculpture walk includes sculptures by Dame Barbara Hepworth and Peter Randall-Page, along with more renowned artists.  

11. Northernhay Gardens

Not many students know that Northernhay gardens was quarried in Roman times for stone to build the adjacent city walls. It formed part of the defences for the Exeter castle! They are the oldest public open space in England as it was originally laid out in 1612 as a pleasure walk for Exeter residents.  It’s another good place for a picnic with friends in the warmer months.

12. Redcoat Guided Tour of Exeter

There are several different tours running until 31 March 2023 where you can learn about the history of Exeter, including why it is reputed to be one of the most haunted cities in the country! Find out all the details here.

Cost of Living
Read More
10 fun things to do at Exeter
Read More