Wednesday, December 19, 2012
After a great day of traveling to Stonehenge and Durdle Door, my three-day tour of southwest England continued with a stop in Exeter. The city is known for its stunning cathedral, Roman history, and university, and I had two nights to explore the highlights.
On the first evening I visited the square around Exeter cathedral, which was buzzing with the sights and sounds of the city’s annual Christmas market. Rows of wooden chalets filled the area, and everything from German sausages to Peruvian clothing was on offer. There was even a stall selling kangaroo meat from Australia.
After browsing the wares, I met my Rabbie’s tour group at a pub called the Well House Tavern. In the basement was an ancient Roman well along with a human skeleton that was found during a renovation.
The next day I explored more of the city, from tiny alleys packed with boutiques and cafes to ancient Roman walls and pretty Georgian buildings.
When I wasn’t out and about in the town, I was relaxing at the Magdalen Chapter Hotel. The hotel had offered me a room for my stay in Exeter, and its location near the cathedral was perfect.
Downstairs there was a relaxing library, a buzzing bar, a spa, an indoor/outdoor pool, and a welcoming fireplace at the entrance.
Upstairs I had a spacious room with a huge bed, a desk, and a large bathroom with a shower and separate free-standing tub. REN cosmetics, an iPad, and a free mini bar were among the many amenities, and the double glazed windows meant that I slept peacefully. The only downside was that the bathroom had no door.
During my two days in Exeter, I had breakfast and dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. Breakfast consisted of a large buffet as well as hot items ranging from eggs Benedict to shakshuka. Dinner was a three-course meal of local crab, tender duck, and a chocolate-and-peanut-butter dessert. It was complimented by a nice Pinot Noir, and was a great experience all around. I left happy.
I also left Exeter itself happy. The city was small, but it packed a lot of cultural punch. From the cathedral and the Christmas market to the cobbled streets and Roman ruins, it had everything I could have wanted.
Including a great location. Being in Devon, it was close enough to London for an easy trip, and not far from the beautiful coast and the national park in Dartmoor. The last of these was where my tour of southwest England was taking me next. To be continued…