Where to go
Exeter’s a fairly small and compact city, so the fact that it doesn’t have one particular party district won’t stop your hen party from club hopping to their hearts content. If you are looking for a good place to start, Queen Street is one of the more upscale bar areas, with some classy wine lounges and cocktail bars for getting the night started in – and a club too, for if you want to finish the night in the same place. If not, head on to Mary Arches Street, which has a selection of bars, along with one of Exeter’s biggest nightclubs and their biggest live music venue.
If you’d like to catch a show or see a performance or two before you head out to make merry yourselves, these are the places to do it at:
- Exeter Pheonix – there’s an eclectic mix going on here, coving the tastes of all hens. There’s a big emphasis on comedy, with Miles Jupp, Ava Vidal, Matt Richardson, Paul Foot and Josie Long all bringing their stand up here. A lot of local talent gets to show off their skills here too, with bands taking the stage, and there are regular film showings of both old classics and the latest releases.
- The Bike Shed – there are new and different performances literally every night of the week, with a mix of comedy, music, theatre and cinema. It’s the ideal place to see emerging bands and performers, and support local artists. There’s also a cocktail bar next door, so you’ll be able to head straight out on to the town after.
- Exeter Northchott Theatre – it’s a classy joint, belting out operas, warbling through musicals, performing theatre and showing every sort of dance from ballet to street. Throw in some live music too, and comedy from TV names like Hugh Dennis and Chris Ramsey, and you’ve got yourself a spot that pleases even the pickiest of hens.
Seeing the sights
Exeter has a lot by way of churches and cathedrals (Exeter Cathedral being the big one). Once you’ve had a creep round all the big, famous, historic landmarks though, you might want to track down a few of the lesser known famous Exeter sites. Parliament Street in Exeter is the narrowest street in the UK – so if you do want to go and see it, make sure it’s before dinner, or risk ruining everyone’s weekend. If you’d rather seek out the eeriest bits of Exeter, check out Exeter’s underground passages instead, winding sub-terrain streets that twist below the city. Take a guided tour – it’s probably best not to go investigating by yourself.
- Exeter Comedy Festival (January) has attracted names as big as Russell Howard, Jon Richardson, and Sean Hughes.
- Vibraphonic (March) covers every music genre known to man, with reggae, jazz, hiphop, dubstep, soul, funk, blues, DnB, and electronic. Country fans weep at home.
- Exeter Food and Drink Festival (April) provides free food, cookery classes and master chefs by day, and music and alcohol by night. It’s every hungry girl’s dream.
- Exeter Summer Festival (June) brings dance, music and theatre to the city, as well as more comedy performances.