A West Country powerhouse of education, medicine, religion and culture, Exeter is one of the most underrated cities in all of Great Britain. Located in the glorious southwest on the River Exe in the charming county of Devon, this is a small city with a big heart, boasting a marvellous Norman cathedral and a world-class university. It's also ideally placed being just a short journey from the bewildering Dartmoor and sunny English Riviera beaches - what more could you want?
With twin Norman towers, the hauntingly gothic Exeter Cathedral is the stand-out feature of this ancient city. Built around 1112, the 300-foot structure has the longest unbroken vaulted ceiling in the world and more statues than you can Instagram. And the little cathedral cafe has an Instagram-able iconic Devon cream tea.
Just don’t upset the locals - put the cream on first. Perhaps the best museum outside of London and one of the West Country’s best-kept secrets, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery (RAMM) was opened in 1868 and, in 2012, was named Museum of the Year. It is a vision of art, science, design, zoology, and technology with exhibits spanning all disciplines, from an ancient Greek helmet to a stuffed giraffe called Gerald.
Stroll around the city, taking in the Norman castle, Roman wall, cathedral, and colonnaded Guildhall, unbelievably still in use. Parliament Street - one of the narrowest streets in the world - is particularly worth a peek, just to see if you can squeeze through its 25-inch gap. With Dartmoor six miles away, visitors really should make time to stop by the mysterious moors, but it’s well worth packing an anorak because it can be as wet as it is majestic.