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Exeter as Base

I always get irritated by "where should I go?" posts, but here I am writing one!

My wife and I are planning a vacation based on Bristol and Bath, where there seem to be an overwhelming choice of the things we like to do. However, we'd still kind of like to spend a few days in a third place. I'm thinking of Exeter. It does have the cathedral, to start with it. How is it as a base to get out to Plymouth, Land's End, Dartmoor or Exmoor? (Not that we'd go to all of them!) We'd be traveling by bus and train. Is it feasible to visit the big parks using public transportation?

Exeter also has an airport. We're considering USA-via Dublin-Exeter, then Bath, Bristol-via Dublin-USA. Or maybe the reverse.

Posted by
7906 posts

We have been looking at doing Cornwall and Devon, either on our own or on a tour.

I found some nice tours for 5-6 nights for $700-800 per person. We have done Britain twice before renting a car (as well as a couple of cruises), but haven't decided which way to do this trip.

We will be interested in the responses that you get.

Posted by
149 posts

I’m sorry I can’t answer a lot of what you asked, I’m going to Exmoor for the first time in a few weeks, so hopefully others can respond prior.
But please please save yourself the disappointment of going to Lands End. Such a waste of time unless you are into commercially run places. I had no clue what I was walking into when I went, wish I had gone elsewhere. Attractions to keep kids happy, gift shops and the food I had was awful. I decided to go in since I went all the way there but didn’t stay long at all. But pretty much everywhere else in Cornwall I went was wonderful.

Posted by
504 posts


Thank you for that. The point of going to Land's End would be to have stood at that point, perhaps combined with a visit to St. Ives or Penzance. However, as you say, it may not be worth the time.

Posted by
26 posts

We are also looking for tours in Devon and Cornwall, but so far have found any that suit our slower travel style, so will be interested in other suggestions or responses. We do not want to drive and are now considering using Exeter as a base for Devon (3-4 days) and then take the train/bus to Cornwall (4-5 days) with Falmouth or St Ives as a base. Will be interested in other responses....