Exeter’s quayside is the ultimate alternative shopping experience with the majority of shops, pubs and cafés being independently owned and not part of any large chain. The quay is also a significant part of Exeter’s culture so Heidi-Charlotte Murray has put together a list of 10 must-see, must-go places for those of you who are new to the area or have simply never explored the endless possibilities that the waterfront has to offer.

Great British Life: Kayaking with AS WatersportsKayaking with AS Watersports (Image: Archant)


Situated right on the quay in Exeter, Devon, AS Watersports offer tuition in both kayaking and canoeing. They have an extensive range of resources and equipment, this allowing the needs of both beginners and experts to be catered for. Being right on the water also means you haven’t got far to roll into the water to get started. Head over to their official website for all booking enquiries and course dates found right here ;

Saddles and Paddles

Saddles and Paddles is an independent business offering bicycle hire and canoe hire for those of you after a more adventurous way to explore the beautiful city of Exeter. Located right on the Quayside this popular business lends its traffic-free cycle route, perfectly to families and with a wide range of equipment, children are well catered for. They are also a main dealer bike shop, offering top brands, accessories and bike repairs. Please explore the website to find out more about what they have to offer right here ;

Great British Life: Saddles and PaddlesSaddles and Paddles (Image: Archant)

Ten Pin Bowling

Bowling is a great way to spend some quality time with your friends and family and at Tenpin Bowling in Exeter, you are treated to a full complex containing arcades, a fully licensed bar, Sky Sports, café, pool tables and of course plenty of bowling lanes. If you’re feeling adventurous why not try Cosmic bowling where you bowl in the dark with neon lights! Head over to the official website right here for all enquiries;


Haven Banks is the South West’s premier outdoor activity centre and training facility. Based in the heart of Exeter on the historical quayside, there are over 30 land and water based sports to choose from, including caving in an artificial system located within the facility or real caving exploration within the Devon and Mendip hills. With an extensive range of equipment and fully qualified instructors, Haven Banks is the place to go when you want pack a little action into your weekends. Please see their official website right here for all enquiries and bookings;

Quay Climbing Centre

Clip and Climb is the South Wests biggest indoor climbing wall. Running a welcoming, safe and vibrant wall for climbers of all ages, abilities and experiences, this is an ideal family day out or even one to have with your friends. Test your resolve and determination on Inflated, climb commando style on the Jungle Gym, reach new heights on the Skyscraper, take the Speed Climbing challenge or light up the board on the Checkerplate. These are just a few of the climbs that they offer. Or, for the ultimate challenge - sign up for the Leap of Faith. All information can be found on the official website right here;

On The Waterfront

Great British Life: Haven BanksHaven Banks (Image: Archant)

This beautiful, terraced restaurant and bar are perched on the edge of Exeter’s famous quayside and offer a tempting menu of both lunch and dinner dishes, including their renowned, homemade and freshly cooked to order, pizzas. Whether you are looking to dine out at tables for 2-6 or host a party upwards of 100 people, On The Waterfront is a versatile venue offering quality food and drink with a warm and friendly atmosphere with families welcome. For all menu enquires and general information, their official website right here will have everything you need;

The Prospect Inn

Located only a few doors down from The Waterfront, The Prospect Inn is another fantastic little quayside spot, ideal for getting away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city. With a delectable menu running from midday right through until 9pm, you can sit back, relax enjoy a tasty bite to eat and wash it down with with a range of popular cask mark ales from the local Heavitree Brewery and more. All information and upcoming events at The Prospect Inn can be found on their website just here ;

Samuel Jones Smoke and Ale House

Great British Life: The WaterfrontThe Waterfront (Image: Archant)

Samuel Jones are a classic Ale & smoke house built in an old bonded warehouse, right in the heart of Exeter’s quayside development. This bespoke restaurant offers an extensive range of craft beers and delicious smoke-house style food. Smoked and cured in house, cooked on chargrills and barbeque ovens, their imaginative tasty dishes fit perfectly with their contemporary stylish surroundings and with a beautiful outdoor patio and terrace, it’s perfect for those warm summer evenings that are just around the corner. For more information and menu’s, please find all you need on their website, which you can find here ;

Bar Venezia

This popular Mediterranean cafe and bar has fast become one of Exeter’s trending restaurants. This hidden jewel of the city is located right on the waterfront and it’s substantial menu offers a range of cuisine from Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal and France, including a delightful array of vegetarian and pasta dishes. Open seven days a week and fully licenced, this popular restaurant is suitable for families, children and individuals alike, a must try. For all menu information and directions, everything you need is on their official website just here ;

The Coffee Cellar

Great British Life: The Prospect InnThe Prospect Inn (Image: Archant)

Exeter’s quayside is overflowing with quaint little cafés and independent businesses but one that stands out is The Coffee Cellar. Located at the far end of the river walk, the charming coffee house provides a relaxed and friendly atmosphere as well as a range of fantastic coffee’s, tea’s, smoothies and freshly prepared lunchtime snacks. With outdoor and indoor seating, is ideal no matter what the weather, so why not head over to their official website, which can be found right here, to find out a little more about them.

Great British Life: Samuel Jones Smoke and Ale HouseSamuel Jones Smoke and Ale House (Image: Archant)

Great British Life: Bar VeneziaBar Venezia (Image: Archant)

Great British Life: The Coffee CellarThe Coffee Cellar (Image: Archant)