I stopped in Exeter for a day on my way to Dartmoor National Park.
I’m always looking for the most beautiful spots to photograph wherever I travel, and I was surprised by how easy it was to find photography opportunities in Exeter. There was something interesting to capture around every corner of this picturesque city.
Exeter is truly one of the most attractive, vibrant, and photogenic cities in Devon.
It has plenty of hidden gems waiting for you to explore – pretty alleys, phenomenal architecture, scenic views, and atmospheric cafes you can’t get enough of.
Here is my list (by no means exhaustive) of the most photogenic places in Exeter
Unsurprisingly, Exeter Cathedral ranks the highest on my list. The church is one of the oldest and the most beautiful cathedrals in England. Founded in 1050, it is a real ancient architectural masterpiece and an absolute gem for any photography enthusiast.
Exeter Cathedral is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture, famous for its symmetry and detailed decorations.
At the entrance, you can purchase a guide that highlights the best features of the Cathedral. I would recommend it if you are interested in learning more about the Cathedral’s history and design.
During my visit, the Cathedral hosted an art exhibition, which was also interesting to photograph. You may check the Cathedral’s website here to check for any art exhibitions, performances and events in advance of your visit.
Notes: Photography of the Cathedral is permitted for non-commercial use. It is not allowed only during services and choir practices. If you want to photograph for commercial purposes, you need to contact the Visitor’s Office to discuss.
Address: 1 The Cloisters, Exeter EX1 HS
The area of Cathedral Close is the beating heart of the city. It is popular for its location and beautiful period buildings used by retailers to sell books, crafts, gifts, antiques, and more. No wonder it attracts many tourists and locals alike.
You can relax here on a green lane right in front of the cathedral, soak up the city’s atmosphere, and take some nice photos of the cobbled streets around.
Gandy Street is one of Exeter’s most charming, and quirkiest shopping areas. It’s a perfect place to visit if you want to shop for unusual gifts in independent boutiques, take an Instagram-worthy shot or treat yourself to a cup of fine fresh chocolate.
From here, you may continue your walk in the area exploring other cute passages and alleys. You will find many hidden shops selling beautiful handmade creations like jewellery, cards, pottery, clothing, chocolate, fudge, and whatever else your soul desires.
Rougemont Castle and Gardens
Rougemont Castle (also known as Exeter Castle) was built shortly after the Norman conquest and is a fascinating reminder of how rich English history is. The grounds and the remaining Norman structures are open to the public.
The gatehouse is the main remaining feature of the original buildings, and it definitely deserves to be captured.
It’s interesting to note that the Castle is mentioned in Shakespeare’s play Richard III.
Another important fact is that Devon’s county court was located here and the three Devon Witches were tried here in the 1680s.
Rougemont gardens is a green open space adjcent to the Castle.
It was very peaceful when I visited it. You can’t find a better retreat after a long walk through the city.
Address: Castle St, Exeter EX4 3PU
Parliament Street is the narrowest street in Britain. It dates from the 14th century and measures 25 inches at its narrowest point and 45 inches at its widest.
You can easily miss this tiny passage (I did!) walking down Exeter High Street. Watch out for a tiny opening between Gregg’s Bakery and Patisserie Valerie.
I need to warn you that the street is urine-soaked and stinky (it seems like this minuscule street gives some poeple enough privacy to empty their bladders there). Nonetheless, it’s still worth a visit! :).
The Glorious Art House
I’m a total sucker for quirky and unusual cafes and the Glorious Art House officially became my favourite spot in Exeter (for brownies, teas, and photos!)
It’s a cafe bar located in the centre of Exeter’s independent west quarter. I challenge you to find a more instagrammable cafe in the city! 🙂
I love colours, and the Glorious Art House seems to be the most colourful place in Exeter! I couldn’t take my eyes off its eclectic furnishing and artistic decor.
You will find endless photography opportunities there; I can promise you that.
Address: 120 Fore St, Exeter EX4 3JQ
Exeter Quayside is a must see destination in the city. There are many interesting cafes, restaurants, pubs, and cocktail bars along the quay where you can stop by, grab a drink, and watch the world go by from a terrace (especially in sunny weather).
It’s also a great place to take photos of the scenic Exe riverscape. You should consider coming here before sunset for the best images.