Exeter doesn't have any particularly hot party districts, but like calls to like, and bars, clubs and pubs do tend to congregate around the city. Mary Arches Street is busy of a night, with one of Exeter's biggest clubs, as well as Mama Stones, the premier venue for live music in Exeter. Queen Street is another bar heavy area, with yet another club, upscale wine bars, and some other watering holes for grabbing a few drinks in - and on neighbouring Gandy Street, Coolings is a good place to pick up some cocktails.
The Exeter Phoenix – shows pretty much everything you can imagine, with comedy from people like Paul Foot, Josie Long, and Miles Jupp, music from a huge range of emerging acts, and showings of new and old films.
The Bike Shed – has different performances every night of the week… and a cocktail bar right next door.
Exeter Northcott Theatre – another venue that specialises in variety, Northcott takes it up a notch with theatre, opera, and dance… and then adds in a little comedy from TV personalities like Hugh Dennis or Chris Ramsey to even things out.
Exeter has a lot of churches and walls and things like that, so if cathedrals float your boat, you’ll be in heaven (see what we did there?). If not, there are a lot of sights around the city that are actually interesting:
Parliament Street: Apparently the narrowest street in the UK, this might be worth visiting before you go for dinner Saturday night. Goodness knows you won’t be able to see it after.
Exeter Underground Passages: Exeter has hidden depths, namely in the form of the underground passages below the city. If you feel like creeping around sub terrain streets, guided tours are available.
St James Park Stadium: Much more our sort of sight seeing. Exeter City may not be looking too hot at the moment, down in League Two, but a football ground’s a football ground, and we’re always happy to pay tribute to the beautiful game.
Film: If you or the boys are big film buffs (or even little ones) the Animated Exeter Festival in February might be for you, as it brings the art of animation to town. Free film viewings, workshops, classes, and other assorted sessions will teach you all you need to know about how to make little drawings come to life.
Music: Vibraphonic in March is for fans of every music genre – it spans reggae, jazz, hiphop, dubstep, soul, funk, blues, drum n bass, electronica, and urban. In fact, the only people left out are the pop fans – and they’ve got no business at a festival anyway.
Food: For grabbing free grub, it’s got to be the Exeter Food and Drink Festival (April). It bills itself as the ultimate foodie event, and we’re not going to argue when there’s free food, master chefs, cookery theatre and gourmet nosh on offer. It’s one of the few food festivals that doesn’t direct itself solely towards family friendly fun – the after dark potion of the festival includes a lot more music and drinking.