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19 Best Indoor Activities in Exeter (From a Local) [2021]

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Looking for the best indoor activities in Exeter?

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Luckily for you Devonians (or visitors to the area!), it doesn’t rain too much in this part of the country.

You’re far more likely to be found by the beach than cooped up inside, hiding from the rain.

However, of course, rainy days do occasionally come by.

But don’t worry because if it does rain, you’ve got plenty of indoor activities to shelter you from the storm.

So from board game cafes and trampoline parks to quirky museums, bars and cinemas, here are the 19 best indoor activities in Exeter, as recommended by a local!

1. Play games at Board Cafe

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Address: 79 South St, Exeter EX1 1EQ

Phone number: 01392 791396

If your idea of a good time is a games night accompanied by lots of good food and drinks, then I think we’d definitely get along.

And while a games night at home is always good, sometimes you just want to get out of the house and try a new game!

And that’s where Board comes in…

This multi-award-winning board gaming restaurant is home to a whopping 350 board games, ranging from all the classics you know and love, to the latest unreleased game that not many get to play.

And don’t worry if you’re overwhelmed by choice as the so-called Game Gurus are on hand to walk you through games or recommend some good ones to get into.

Accompany the games with some delicious grub (we’re talking burgers, wraps and fries galore), and you’re onto a winner.

However, if you’re not hungry enough for a filling meal, look no further than their popcorn bowls and jars of sweets – it is games night after all!

Admission is £6.50 for adults and £4.50 for kids – this will get you access to all the games for three hours (or longer!).

2. Go for afternoon tea at Doctor Ink’s Curiosities

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Address: Customs House, 43 The Quay, Exeter EX2 4AN

Phone number: 01392 491695

Who doesn’t love afternoon tea?

Especially one that’s paired with some some cool creative cocktails!

For one of the most unique afternoon tea experiences you’ll probably ever have, head to the wonderfully eclectic Doctor Ink’s Curiosities.

Hidden away down by the quay, stepping into this cocktail bar is like stepping back in time.

Their Victorian ‘Curious Tipsy Teas’ are available 1 – 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays, and 4 – 6:30 pm from Wednesday to Friday.

£25 per person will get you a selection of indulgent cakes, tarts, Devon clotted cream scones, and cucumber sandwiches served up with some seasonal cocktails and a tea pot punch.    ​

You can choose to enjoy your delectible high tea either in the Gold Room or out in the courtyard.

Either way, get your phone at the ready for a seriously photogenic experience!

3. Jump around at iBounce Trampoline Park

colourful-trampolines-in-ibounce-trampoline-park

Address: 33 Marsh Green Rd W, Marsh Barton, Exeter EX2 8PN

Phone number: 01392 537333

If your idea of a good time is getting active, then there’s no better place to work up a sweat (and have heaps of fun while you’re at it), than iBounce Trampoline Park.

The first of its kind in Exeter, iBounce is filled to the brim with all kinds of fun.

Aside from the trampolines, you can expect to enjoy activity and stunt zones, launch yourself onto a giant airbag, play light chaser games, and take part in an interactive football target game.

Basically, what I’m saying is there’s no chance of getting bored here.

There are dedicated parent and toddler sessions for those with young kids, and similarly, mid-week family saver tickets.

This means teens and adults visiting at peak times don’t need to worry that they’ll accidentally kick a small child.

Be careful as no one wants any injuries here, folks!

4. Watch a new film at the Picturehouse

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Address: 51 Bartholomew St W, Exeter EX4 3AJ

Phone number: 0871 902 5730

I’m a huge film lover so this recommendation has to be one of my personal favourite indoor activities in Exeter.

Shun the Vue or Odeon and elevate your typical cinema experience by supporting local at the Picturehouse.

This gorgeous little cinema houses two screens and a cafe-bar so you can stock up on snacks and drinks ahead of your film.

They show all the major blockbusters, as well as some indie gems.

The cafe-bar serves up Fairtrade and organic teas and coffees, cakes, delicious fresh pizzas, salads and toasties, alongside some sweeping views over the Devonshire countryside.

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Good films, good food and good views?

Sign me right up!

5. Learn something at Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery

royal-albert-memorial-museum-and-art-gallery

Address: Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Queen St, Exeter EX4 3RX

Phone number: 01392 265858

I’ve visited RAMM several times and every time I find something new to learn and enjoy.

Open Tuesdays to Sundays 10 am – 5 pm, with free entry, there’s plenty of time to schedule in a visit.

Their exhibitions and displays regularly change, and they even occassionally hold special paid-for events too.

However, as far as the permanent collections are concerned, there’s plenty to get your teeth stuck into.

Collections include antiquities, costume and textiles, decorative art, ethnography, fine art, natural sciences, numismatics and social history.

Yep, there’s a lot!

And obviously you can’t leave the museum without snapping a pic of the highly Instagrammable pink walls!

It’s got to be done, right?

6. Go bowling at Tenpin Bowling

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Address: 3 – 4, Haven Banks, Retail Park Cl, Water Ln, Exeter EX2 8BY

Phone number: 0871 222 3675

Bowling is one of the most classic indoor activities – and a good one at that!

Exeter is home to the popular Tenpin, the perfect spot for you and your mates to get a litle competitive.

However, there’s more than just bowling at Tenpin; alongside the 22 lanes, you’ll also discover arcade machines, pool tables, and even beer pong.

It’s safe to say there’s a shedload of indoor activities in Exeter here.

So why not make a day of it by rotating between the different areas of the centre?

All while chowing down on some pizza, burgers or hot dogs, in classic all-American bowling style, of course.

Top tip: visit on Tenpin Tuesdays for 50% off bowling and selected drinks. Cha-ching!

7. Get your boogie on at Cavern

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Address: 83-84 Queen St, Exeter EX4 3RP

Phone number: 01392 495370

When I lived in Exeter, Cavern was always my favourite place to go for a boogie.

They’ve been serving up some of the best live music to locals since 1991 – and they excel at it!

Admittedly, this is more a nighttime activity than a daytime one but it’s too good a recommendation to not include on this list.

In the past, the club has welcomed the likes of Coldplay, Muse, Biffy Clyro, George Ezra, The 1975, and Bastille through its doors.

Check out their upcoming shows and book in for a night you won’t forget anytime soon!

(Well, unless alcohol has anything to do with it…)

8. Wander around Exeter Cathedral

inside-exeter-cathedral-indoor-activities-exeter

Address: 1 The Cloisters, Exeter EX1 1HS

Phone number: 01392 255573

Proudly standing at the beating heart of the city, Exeter Cathedral certainly needs no introduction.

If you’re a local you probably pass it all the time and think nothing of it, but when was the last time you ventured inside?

Whether it’s to admire the architecture or enjoy a bit of peace and quiet, a visit to Exeter Cathedral is always a good option.

I personally can’t get enough of churches and always find myself slowing down and reflecting when I (very rarely!) enter one.

While you’re inside, be sure to check out the world’s longest uninterrupted Gothic stone vaulted cathedral ceiling and marvel at the medieval astronomical clock.

And to make your visit even better, why not pay a little extra (£7.50 + booking fee) for a guided tour?

That way you can learn more about the fascinating history of the cathedral.

Or even better yet, if the heavens close for a bit, enjoy a roof tour (£12.50 + booking fee) to see the city from above!

9. Enjoy a spa day at The Haven Spa

spa-thermal-suite-in-the-haven-spa-indoor-activities-exeter

Address: 10A Guildhall Shopping Centre, Exeter EX4 3HJ

Phone number: 01392 221212

Everyone loves a spa day and maybe this rainy day is an excuse for you to slow down and indulge yourself a bit!

A visit to The Haven Spa is one of my favourite indoor activities in Exeter because, like most people, I’m a sucker for some good ol’ R&R.

It may be situated in the less-than-picturesque Guildhall Shopping Centre but don’t let its surroundings deter you from visiting.

Because when you step inside, you’ll quickly feel all your worries melt away from you.

The spa houses a sauna, aroma-room, jacuzzi, Himalayan salt room, foot spas, heated loungers and experience showers.

Alongside use of these facilities, you can also enjoy a range of treatments, including massages, facials, manicures and pedicures, and more.

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I think I’d personally have to go for the Elemis Deeper than Deep Hot Stones massage!

10. Get your climb on at The Quay Climbing Centre

the-quay-climbing-centre-indoor-activities-exeter

Address: Haven Rd, Exeter EX2 8AX

Phone number: 01392 426850

Whether you’re a keen climber or a first timer, the Quay Climbing Centre is easily one of the best indoor activities in Exeter.

I mean, it’s the South West’s largest indoor climbing centre so you couldn’t really ask for much more.

Scale new heights and enjoy a range of activities with your friends, including roped climbing and bouldering.

If you’re a guest climber, roped climbing will set you back £9 for a three-and-a-half-hour session, while bouldering will set you back £7 for the same duration.

Concession tickets are also available.

After taking to new heights, fill up at the on-site Workshop Cafe which serves up homemade pizza, paninis and cakes.

This vertical playground is heaps of fun – and hey, you may make some new friends while you climb!

11. Escape from Mission Escape

couple-in-mission-escape-virtual-reality-escape-rooms

Address: 1 West St, Exeter EX1 1BB

Phone number: 07380 197066

Escape rooms are like marmite – you either love them or you hate them.

If you’re in the love camp, you’re in for a treat because Exeter is home to Mission Escape.

There’s a handful of rooms to choose from including Chernobyl, Pharoah’s Anger, and Maioc Crisis.

However, if you really want to elevate your escape room experience, you should opt for one of their virtual reality escape rooms.

Once you’re in the virtual world, you and your teammates will virtually complete tasks, passing objects to each other, before you can move on.

Prices vary depending on which room you choose and how many of you are in the room, so have a browse through their website to see what takes your fancy!

12. Get boozy at bottomless brunch

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If your idea of a good time is getting boozy with the girls, then you’ll be glad to hear that Exeter is in no shortage of fantastic bottomless brunches to dig into!

In fact, there are an impressive 13 places to go for bottomless brunch in Exeter.

It’s definitely a tough choice because they’re all so good, but my favourites would have to be Pink Moon Café, 93 Pizzeria & Cocktail Bar, and The Terrace

From delicious home-made Californian food to fresh hand-made pizzas, there’s something to suit every tastebud.

Plus, going for a bottomless brunch is a good excuse to support local independents anyway!

(While getting boozy, of course…)

13. Win the race at Raceworld

raceworld-go-karting-track-indoor-activities-exeter

Address: Unit 4, Greendale Business Park, Sidmouth Rd, Woodbury Salterton, Exeter EX5 1EW

Phone number: 01395 233397

If you’ve never been go-karting before, take it from me: it’s heaps of fun.

I mean, you get to speed around a race track racing your mates – how is that not everyone’s idea of fun?

Raceworld is a great spot to go racing in Exeter, with prices starting from £35 per driver.

Their fast and challenging 400m circuit comprises fast straights, flowing corners, technical corners, and a flyover bridge.

And if those words don’t mean anything to you, don’t worry – it just means the track is really flipping fun.

However, if karting isn’t really your thing, you can still watch your friends speed around the tracks from the dedicated viewing area.

After reaching new speeds, fuel up at Cara’s Diner for some trackside fast food.

Serving burgers, chillis and other daily specials, you’re sure to leave Raceworld full of adrenaline and with a full belly too.

14. Embrace your creative side at Exeter Phoenix

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Address: Gandy St, Exeter EX4 3LS

Phone number: 01392 667080

Exeter Phoenix is one of the coolest spots in the city.

You may be familiar with the gigs and shows that happen here, and maybe you’re aware of Studio 74, their cosy independent cinema?

But are you aware of the other many events that they put on?

From photography workshops and music technology courses to dance classes and quiz nights, there’s something for everyone.

This may just be the perfect opportunity to discover a new hobby, so why not push yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new?

Sometimes taking that first step is the scariest bit, so after you’ve tried a new activity, why not treat yourself to something from their well-stocked Cafe Bar?

From comfort mac and cheese and hearty three bean chilli to chunky chips and their curry of the week, all their food is delicious and lovingly made.

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15. Learn something at Bill Douglas Cinema Museum

woman-in-the-bill-douglas-cinema-museum

Address: University of Exeter, Prince of Wales Rd, Exeter EX4 4SB

Phone number: 01392 724321

Having completed a couple of film modules while studying English Literature at the University of Exeter a few years back, the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum was practically my second home.

However, even if you’re not a film student, film and history lovers will love perusing this small but wildly impressive museum.

The museum is home to one of the largest collections of material relating to the moving image in Britain.

And luckily for you, it’s in little old Exeter!

Inside you’ll discover a collection of over 1,000 diverse artefacts dating from the seventeenth century to the present day, covering all aspects of cinema, pre-cinema and the history of the moving image. 

The gallery is open 10 am – 5 pm seven days a week, and admission is free.

16. Go on a cafe crawl 

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Coffee lovers rejoice as this is one of the best indoor activities in Exeter for you!

(Okay so you may have to run in the rain between each cafe with this recommendation but I promise it’s worth it – just remember to bring your brolly!)

Exeter is home to some of the loveliest independent cafes in the country.

Some of the best stops are The Exploding Bakery Cafe, Boston Tea Party, Artigiano, The Glorious Art House, and The Coffee Cellar.

Visit in that order for the ultimate Exeter cafe crawl!

However, even if you’re not a big coffee drinker, there’s still a lot of fun to be had in this activity.

I mean, who else is going to try out all the delicious smoothies and homemade cakes on offer?

17. Catch a show at Exeter Northcott Theatre

exeter-northcott-theatre-indoor-activities-exeter

Address: University of Exeter, Stocker Rd, Exeter EX4 4QB

Phone number: 01392 726363

I absolutely love the theatre and Exeter Northcott is the best you’ll find in the city!

Set on Streatham Campus, Northcott plays host to local, national, and student productions, family shows, music and comedy.

You’re certainly not short on things to see!

This current season, Northcott are showcasing are whole host of different shows including Katherine Ryan in comedy, Rock of Ages in theatre, Pinocchio in dance, Abba Forever in music, and so much more…

Book your tickets online and park on campus for just 50p after 6 pm.

18. Explore the Underground Passages

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Address: 2 Paris St, Exeter EX1 1GA

Phone number: 01392 665887

The Underground Passages are one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, so it’s no surprise that they’d feature in this indoor activities in Exeter guide.

They’re currently closed due to Covid-19 but keep an eye out for when they open again as they’re well worth visiting!

These medieval passages are full of stories of wars and sieges, plague and pestilence, and are the only underground passages of this type in any city in the UK.

No wonder they’re so popular!

For £7, you too can experience the passages for yourself, with your ticket including a ten-minute film presentation, a 25-minute guided underground tour, and an opportunity to explore the exhibition.

If you’re bringing the little ones with you, their tickets cost £4.50 each, and if you’re a student or over 60, you can enjoy £5.50 tickets.

So slap on some sensible footwear and get ready to go back in time!

19. Go shopping in Princesshay 

aerial-view-of-princesshay-shopping-centre

Address: 9 Catherine Street, Exeter EX1 1EU

Phone number: 01392 459838

You’re probably thinking ‘Wow shopping – what a unique indoor activity’ but what activity better passes the time than getting lost in loads of different shops?

Whether you’re just window shopping or are seeking something specific out, Princesshay will shelter you from the elements – well, for the most part.

Most of Princesshay is undercover meaning you can shop to your heart’s content while staying dry.

My favourite shops in Princesshay are Oliver Bonas, Lush, Zara, and Tiger!

And while you’re shopping, why not get some food too?

Wagamama would be my personal choice – what would yours be?

 

So there you have it: the 19 best indoor activities in Exeter!

There’s a fantastic selection of indoor activities in Exeter for a relatively small city.

You’ll certainly be in no shortage of things to keep you busy when the rain hits!

But which are you going to try out first? 

Please let me know in the comments below.

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