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20 Things to do in Exeter in the rain

things to do in exeter in the rain

So you are looking for things to do in Exeter in the rain? In this guide, we unveil a treasure trove of indoor activities that will transform a drizzly day into a memorable adventure. Exeter’s rich history, vibrant culture, and diverse offerings make it a haven for those seeking refuge from the rain.

Right, put on your raincoat and join us as we explore the best things to do in Exeter when the weather takes a turn, proving that a little rain can’t dampen the spirit of this captivating city.

Exeter Cathedral: A Rainy Haven of Tranquility

Amidst the pitter-patter of raindrops, Exeter Cathedral stands as a centuries-old sanctuary. Delve into its awe-inspiring architecture and rich history, marveling at the intricate vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows. As the rain creates a soothing melody on the ancient stones, explore the Cathedral’s hidden nooks and chapels. Engage in guided tours to uncover fascinating tales, ensuring an enriching experience regardless of the weather. Exeter Cathedral isn’t just a religious marvel; it’s a haven for those seeking solace and inspiration on a rainy day.

Outside of Exeter Cathedral

When rain threatens your outdoor plans, head to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery. Immerse yourself in a world of art, history, and culture as you wander through its diverse exhibits. From ancient artifacts to contemporary art installations, this museum offers a captivating journey through time. The rain outside only enhances the cozy atmosphere within, making it an ideal refuge for culture enthusiasts. Explore the ever-changing roster of exhibitions, ensuring that each visit unveils a new facet of Exeter’s vibrant cultural tapestry.

royal albert memorial museum

“Secret Exeter” by Tim Isaac unveils the hidden gems and untold stories of Exeter. Through captivating narratives and vivid imagery, Isaac guides readers through the city’s lesser-known places, revealing its fascinating history and vibrant culture. An essential companion for locals and visitors, it offers a fresh perspective on Exeter’s enchanting secrets.

Find Out More

secret exeter

Quayside Pubs: Savouring Rainy Moments

Exeter’s historic quayside comes alive with characterful pubs that beckon on rainy days. Step into a warm, inviting atmosphere and indulge in local flavors as raindrops dance on the river outside. From traditional English pubs to trendy waterfront establishments, these venues offer a perfect blend of comfort and culinary delights. Whether you opt for a hearty pub lunch or a leisurely evening with local brews, the quayside pubs provide a cosy retreat where the rain becomes a backdrop to memorable moments.

cobbles at exeter quayside

Underground Passages: Rainy Adventures Below the Surface

When the rain becomes too persistent, embark on a subterranean adventure through Exeter’s Underground Passages. These medieval marvels provide an intriguing escape from the weather, guiding you through a labyrinth of narrow tunnels and chambers. Learn about the city’s history, from its water supply systems to tales of wartime refuge. The rain may dominate the surface, but below ground, you’ll discover a dry, fascinating world that adds a layer of mystery to Exeter’s already captivating narrative.

visit exeter underground passages

Exeter Phoenix: Rainy-Day Cinematic Escape

Escape the downpour and immerse yourself in the world of cinema at Exeter Phoenix Arts Venue. This cultural hub not only shelters you from the rain but offers a diverse array of independent films, documentaries, and cinematic experiences. Cozy up in their state-of-the-art screening rooms, and let the storytelling unfold as the rain provides a soothing soundtrack. From thought-provoking documentaries to avant-garde films, Phoenix Arts Venue is the ideal spot for cinephiles seeking refuge from the storm while expanding their cinematic horizons.

exeter phoenix

Guildhall Shopping & Dining: Retail Therapy Rain or Shine

Indulge in some retail therapy at Guildhall Shopping Centre, where a plethora of shops, boutiques, and eateries await. Rainy days provide the perfect excuse to explore the diverse retail offerings, from fashion to specialty stores. Unearth unique finds and enjoy a leisurely shopping spree in this historic setting. Once you’ve satisfied your shopping cravings, treat yourself to a delightful meal at one of the charming cafes or restaurants, turning a rainy day into a delightful excursion through Exeter’s retail and culinary landscape.

guildhall shopping centre

Princesshay Shopping Quarter: Covered Retail Bliss

For a shopping experience shielded from the rain, head to Princesshay Shopping Quarter. This stylish and contemporary shopping destination boasts a variety of high-street and boutique stores. Wander through its covered walkways, exploring fashion, beauty, and lifestyle offerings. The raindrops tapping on the glass roofs add a rhythmic accompaniment to your shopping spree. With a range of dining options, Princesshay is not just a shopping destination but a multifaceted urban retreat, making it the perfect place to spend a rainy day in style.


The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum: Rainy Day Film History

Dive into the fascinating history of cinema at the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, a unique Exeter gem. Housing a vast collection of artifacts, from vintage projectors to rare film posters, this museum is a haven for film enthusiasts. Explore the evolution of cinema in a sheltered environment, where rain outside only enhances the allure of cinematic nostalgia. Engaging exhibits and curated displays make this museum a delightful journey through the art and technology of filmmaking, providing an educational and entertaining escape from the rainy weather.

bill douglas cinema - things to do in exeter on a rainy day

Custom House Visitor Centre: Maritime Tales in Shelter

Escape the rain by delving into Exeter’s maritime history at the Custom House Visitor Centre. Located on the historic Quayside, this centre unfolds tales of trade, ships, and the city’s connection to the sea. Interactive exhibits and informative displays provide a captivating journey through Exeter’s seafaring past. Raindrops on the river outside add a maritime soundtrack to your exploration. Discover the stories of sailors, merchants, and the bustling port, all within the shelter of this engaging and educational visitor centre.

custom house - things to do in exeter in the rain

Art Galleries: Creative inspiration for things to do in Exeter in the rain

Turn a rainy day into an artistic adventure by exploring Exeter’s vibrant art galleries. From contemporary masterpieces to local creations, these galleries showcase a diverse array of visual delights. Wander through curated exhibits, taking in the colors and expressions of local and international artists. Some galleries even offer workshops and events, allowing you to immerse yourself in the creative process. Let the rain outside inspire your appreciation for the arts as you discover the cultural richness tucked away in Exeter’s creative spaces.

There are many art galleries to explore, including Castle Fine Art, Clarendon Gallery and the Southgate Gallery

art gallery

St. Nicholas Priory: Rainy Day Historical Retreat

Step back in time at St. Nicholas Priory, a medieval gem nestled in the heart of Exeter. This well-preserved priory (the oldest building in Exeter) provides a serene retreat from the rain, offering a glimpse into the lives of the Augustinian monks who once called it home. Explore the cloister garden, stroll through the historic rooms, and absorb the peaceful atmosphere of this hidden historical treasure. Guided tours provide insights into the priory’s significance, ensuring a rainy-day escape filled with both tranquility and historical intrigue.

st nicholas priory

Exeter Corn Exchange: Rainy-Day Cultural Performances

Experience the lively arts scene of Exeter by attending a performance at the Exeter Corn Exchange. This cultural hub hosts a variety of events, from live music and theater to comedy shows. Seek refuge from the rain in the intimate venue and enjoy the talents of local and touring artists. Check the event schedule for upcoming performances, ensuring you catch a show that suits your tastes. The Corn Exchange transforms a dreary day into a cultural celebration, proving that even rainy weather can’t dampen the spirit of Exeter’s vibrant artistic community.

exeter corn exchange

Devon and Exeter Institution: Rainy Day Intellectual Retreat

Escape the rain while engaging your intellect at the Devon and Exeter Institution. This historic library and educational hub house a wealth of knowledge, from rare books to intriguing artifacts. Wander through the shelves of literary treasures, attend lectures, or participate in workshops. The soothing sound of rain outside provides the perfect backdrop for a contemplative journey through the pages of history, science, and literature within this intellectual haven.

devon and exeter institution

Exeter’s Escape Rooms: Rainy Day Puzzling Adventures

Turn a rainy day into an exciting challenge by immersing yourself in one of Exeter’s escape rooms. These interactive experiences offer a thrilling indoor adventure where you and your companions work together to solve puzzles and unlock mysteries. The rain outside adds an extra layer of suspense to the immersive atmosphere as you race against the clock to unravel the secrets within these creatively designed escape rooms.

There are several different places you can get in touch with, including Escape Hunt, Red House Mysteries and Locked in a Room.

escape rooms - things to do in exeter on a rainy day

Exeter’s Sports and Leisure Centres: Rainy Day Active Pursuits

Keep the rainy-day blues at bay by heading to one of Exeter’s sports and leisure centres. Whether you prefer swimming, fitness classes, or indoor sports, these facilities offer a range of activities to keep you active and entertained. The rain outside becomes inconsequential as you dive into a pool, break a sweat in a fitness class, or enjoy a game of indoor sports with friends. Exeter’s sports centres provide a dynamic and invigorating escape from the gloom of a rainy day.

There are some really modern leisure centres, making them great things to do in Exeter in the rain. The new swimming pool at St Sidwells Point or the Riverside Centre are both examples of brilliant pools you should check out.

st sidwells point exeter

Exeter’s Brewery Tours: Rainy Day Crafty Delights

Explore the craft beer scene of Exeter with a brewery tour, turning a rainy day into a crafty adventure. Visit the Tap Room at Exeter Brewery to learn about the brewing process, sample unique craft beers, and gain insights into Exeter’s burgeoning craft beer culture. Rainy weather only enhances the cozy ambiance of these tours, where you can enjoy the flavors of local brews while staying dry. Uncover the artistry behind craft beer production and indulge in a rainy-day exploration of Exeter’s liquid craftsmanship.

exeter brewery tours

Clip ‘n Climb Exeter: Rainy Day Vertical Thrills

Elevate your rainy-day experience at Clip ‘n Climb Exeter, where vertical adventures await. This indoor climbing center provides a thrilling escape from the rain, allowing you to scale colorful walls and navigate challenging obstacles. Ideal for climbers of all levels, Clip ‘n Climb transforms a gloomy day into an adrenaline-fueled journey. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned climber, the diverse climbing challenges and vibrant atmosphere make it a perfect rainy-day activity for individuals, friends, and families.

clip 'n climb wall

Exeter’s Board Game Cafés: Rainy Day Strategic Fun

Embrace the cozy charm of Exeter’s board game cafés on a rainy day. These cafés offer an extensive collection of board games, providing the perfect setting for strategic battles, friendly competition, and shared laughter. Raindrops outside become background music to your gaming adventures as you explore new titles or revisit classic favorites. Gather with friends or join fellow patrons for a rainy-day retreat filled with engaging board games and delicious treats.

board game cafe

Exeter’s Comedy Clubs: Rainy Day Laughter Therapy

Brighten a rainy day with laughter by attending a comedy show at one of Exeter’s comedy clubs. Enjoy stand-up performances by local and touring comedians in the welcoming atmosphere of these venues. The rain outside adds an extra layer of coziness as you settle in for an evening of humor and entertainment. Check the event schedules, grab a seat, and let the comedians turn a gloomy day into a hilarious escapade.

There are some great comedy clubs in the city, with events regularly taking place at Exeter Corn Exchange, the Northcott Theatre and The Surgery.

exeter comedy club

Exeter’s Pottery Studios: Rainy Day Creative Clay

Unleash your artistic side on a rainy day by trying your hand at pottery in one of Exeter’s pottery studios. Join a workshop or simply enjoy some solo creative time as you mold and shape clay into unique masterpieces. The rhythmic sound of raindrops becomes a creative muse as you immerse yourself in the therapeutic and artistic process of pottery making. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned potter, Exeter’s pottery studios offer a rainy-day retreat filled with hands-on artistic expression.

There are several places to do your pottery, including Jolly Pottery, Studio 36 and Ramp Ceramics


Things to do when it rains in Exeter

Exeter’s rich tapestry of museums, galleries, and historical sites not only shelters visitors from the rain but also immerses them in the city’s vibrant culture and heritage. Whether exploring medieval tunnels, scaling colorful climbing walls, or enjoying laughter-filled evenings at comedy clubs, the options are as diverse as Exeter itself. Each recommendation not only promises a reprieve from the rain but also an opportunity to deepen one’s connection with the city.

As you navigate Exeter’s charming streets under an umbrella, remember that the rain isn’t a hindrance; it’s a companion enriching your journey. Trying to remind yourself of that as you get soaked isn’t always easy I appreciate! Whether you seek intellectual stimulation, artistic expression, or simply a cozy spot to unwind, Exeter opens its doors to a world of possibilities, proving that even on rainy days, this city shines with warmth, creativity, and the promise of delightful discoveries.

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