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Exeter’s Gardens and Green Spaces

northernhay gardens

Discovering Exeter’s Gardens

Exeter’s gardens offer visitors a lovely, tranquil escape from the bustle of city life. The lush greenery, vibrant blooms, and winding pathways create a peaceful ambiance perfect for leisurely strolls or quiet contemplation. From exotic plant species to local flora, these gardens showcase the beauty and diversity of nature, allowing guests to immerse themselves in a botanical wonderland.

Rougemont Gardens

Rougemont Gardens, situated within the historic heart of Exeter, offers a tranquil retreat with a fascinating historical backdrop. Originally part of the grounds of Exeter’s Norman castle, the gardens boast remnants of the ancient city walls, lending an air of timelessness to the surroundings. Here, visitors can wander along pathways shaded by verdant trees and fragrant flowerbeds, all while being enveloped in the quietude of nature.

The juxtaposition of lush greenery against the rugged stonework of Rougemont Castle creates a picturesque setting that is both serene and evocative. Those seeking respite from the bustling city streets will find solace in the peaceful ambiance of Rougemont Gardens, where they can unwind amidst the beauty of their surroundings. Whether enjoying a leisurely stroll, finding a quiet spot to read, or simply taking in the sights and sounds of nature, this hidden gem offers a serene escape for all who venture within its walls.

rougemont gardens - one of exeter's gardens

Northernhay Gardens

Gardens, steeped in history and natural splendour , is a cherished oasis in the heart of Exeter. Dating back to the 17th century, these gardens are among the oldest public spaces in the city, and their rich heritage is evident at every turn. As visitors enter the gardens, they are greeted by a canopy of ancient trees and meticulously landscaped flower beds, which burst with color throughout the seasons.

The soothing sound of water features adds to the tranquil ambiance, inviting visitors to linger and explore. Architectural gems, such as the imposing war memorial and the elegant bandstand, punctuate the landscape, serving as poignant reminders of the gardens’ storied past. Whether seeking a quiet spot for contemplation, a scenic backdrop for a leisurely stroll, or simply a place to reconnect with nature, Northernhay Gardens offers a serene sanctuary where time seems to stand still amidst the bustle of urban life.

northernhay gardens

Gardens of the National Trust” by Stephen Lacey offers an illuminating tour of the UK’s most outstanding gardens, managed by the National Trust. This book provides rich insights and stunning photography, celebrating the beauty and diversity of these historical landscapes. Perfect for garden enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Find Out More

gardens of the national trust

University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus Gardens

Tucked away within the sprawling grounds of the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus lies a hidden gem of tranquility: the campus gardens. Spanning acres of beautifully landscaped greenery, these gardens offer a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Visitors can wander along meandering pathways, bordered by vibrant flower beds and shaded by towering trees, while taking in panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

The gardens’ peaceful ambiance is further enhanced by the gentle trickle of streams and ponds, which teem with aquatic life. Whether seeking a quiet spot for contemplation, a scenic backdrop for outdoor study sessions, or simply a place to unwind amidst nature, the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus Gardens provide a welcome retreat for students, faculty, and visitors alike.

reed hall exeter

Southernhay Gardens

Southernhay Gardens, nestled in the heart of Exeter’s business district, offers a serene oasis amidst the urban landscape. Once the private gardens of the wealthy residents of Southernhay, this public park now provides a tranquil haven for city dwellers and visitors seeking respite from the hustle and bustle of the city center. Lush lawns, manicured flower beds, and ornamental shrubs create a picturesque setting, perfect for leisurely strolls or quiet relaxation.

The gardens’ central location makes them easily accessible to pedestrians, while benches scattered throughout offer inviting spots to sit and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Whether escaping for a lunchtime break, enjoying a sunny afternoon with family and friends, or simply taking a moment to recharge amidst nature, Southernhay Gardens provides a tranquil retreat in the heart of Exeter


Exeter Quay and Canal Basin

Exeter Quay and Canal Basin offer a serene escape along the picturesque Exeter Ship Canal. Once a bustling hub of maritime trade, this historic area has been transformed into a vibrant leisure destination while retaining its tranquil charm. Visitors can stroll along the quayside, lined with quaint cafes, artisan shops, and historic warehouses, while watching boats gently bobbing in the calm waters.

The canal towpath provides a scenic route for walkers and cyclists, flanked by greenery and offering glimpses of wildlife along the water’s edge. Peaceful seating areas dotted along the quay invite visitors to sit and soak in the tranquil ambiance, with views of the waterway and surrounding countryside. Whether enjoying a leisurely boat trip, savoring a riverside meal, or simply basking in the serene atmosphere, Exeter Quay and Canal Basin offer a delightful escape from the bustle of the city.

exeter quayside

Belmont Park

Belmont Park, located in the lively St. Leonards neighborhood of Exeter, is a charming green space beloved by locals and visitors alike. This beautifully landscaped park offers a peaceful retreat amidst the urban landscape, with lush lawns, mature trees, and colorful flower beds. Meandering pathways wind through the park, inviting leisurely strolls and providing opportunities for exploration.

Children can delight in the well-equipped playground, while adults can relax on benches scattered throughout the park, enjoying views of the surrounding Victorian architecture. Throughout the year, Belmont Park plays host to various events and activities, from outdoor concerts to community festivals, adding to its vibrant ambiance. Whether seeking a tranquil spot for a picnic, a scenic backdrop for outdoor recreation, or simply a place to unwind amidst nature, Belmont Park offers a serene sanctuary in the heart of Exeter’s St. Leonards neighborhood.

belmont park exeter

Ludwell Valley Park

Ludwell Valley Park is a sprawling expanse of natural beauty situated just a short distance from Exeter’s city center. This expansive parkland offers a peaceful retreat for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Visitors can explore a network of walking trails that wind through meadows, woodlands, and along the banks of the River Panney.

The diverse landscape provides habitat for a variety of wildlife, making Ludwell Valley Park a haven for birdwatching and wildlife spotting. Picnic areas and benches are scattered throughout the park, offering ideal spots for relaxation and contemplation. Whether enjoying a leisurely stroll, cycling along designated paths, or simply soaking in the tranquility of the surroundings, Ludwell Valley Park provides a welcome escape from the urban hustle and bustle.

ludwell valley park exeter

Exeter Guildhall Infant and Toddler Gardens

The Guildhall Shopping Centre has created a new indoor garden designed specifically for infants and toddlers. This safe and playful space is situated on the first floor, offering easy access via stairs or lift. It features a soft, artificial grass surface perfect for crawling and playtime, along with engaging wall toys to stimulate young minds. Comfortable seating allows parents and caregivers to relax while their little ones explore. The garden even has a water machine to keep everyone hydrated, and snacks are welcome. The Guildhall Shopping Centre hopes to host music and story time sessions in the future, creating a well-rounded and engaging space for families.

guildhall shopping centre gardens - exeter's gardens

Heavitreee Park

Heavitree Pleasure Ground, a beloved Exeter landmark since 1906, offers a delightful escape for all ages. Originally designed as a community recreation space, it continues to fulfill that purpose with its diverse range of activities and facilities.

Stepping into the park, you’ll be greeted by expansive green lawns perfect for picnics, frisbee throws, or simply soaking up the sun. For the little ones, a dedicated play area featuring swings, slides, and climbing structures provides endless fun. Aspiring athletes can hone their skills on the basketball and tennis courts, while skateboarders and BMX riders have their own designated area to practice tricks.

A charming paddling pool complex, with varying depths for different ages, is a popular attraction, especially on hot summer days. Feeling competitive? Challenge your friends to a game of bowls or visit the bowling green for a more leisurely afternoon.

Heavitree Pleasure Ground also boasts a rich horticultural heritage. Take a stroll and admire the colorful flower beds or simply relax on a bench amidst the calming greenery. ParkLife Heavitree, a community charity, actively contributes to maintaining the park’s beauty and organizing events, making it a true hub for the local community.

exeter's gardens

Finding Solitude in Exeter’s Urban Oasis

Exeter’s urban oasis offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Nestled amidst high-rise buildings and busy streets, these green sanctuaries provide a peaceful retreat for those seeking solitude in nature. The sounds of chirping birds and rustling leaves replace the usual honking of cars, creating a serene atmosphere for visitors to unwind and recharge.

With winding pathways, lush greenery, and scenic viewpoints, Exeter’s urban oasis invites exploration and meditation. Whether strolling along flower-lined trails, enjoying a picnic on a grassy knoll, or simply sitting and soaking in the natural surroundings, these hidden gems offer a pause from the daily grind. In the heart of the city, these tranquil arboretums and gardens provide a much-needed connection to the calming rhythms of the natural world.

Discovering the secret gardens of Exeter provides a unique opportunity to connect with nature on a deeper level, immersing oneself in the beauty of lush landscapes and vibrant blooms. Escaping the city’s confines, visitors can embrace the tranquility of secluded gardens that offer a respite from the urban chaos. Unwinding amidst Exeter’s verdant outdoor escapes allows for a moment of reflection and relaxation, reminding individuals of the importance of disconnecting from technology and immersing oneself in the natural world.

What if it is raining?

Getting wet in the rain is a normal hazard in Devon and it doesn’t need to affect a good day out, but click here if you are looking for things to do in Exeter in the rain.

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