Whether you believe it or not, spring really is just around the corner which means longer days, nicer weather and bundles more energy. Already making plans post-deadlines? Well, look no further, here are some recommendations of things you could be doing out and around Exeter when that springtime feeling hits!
Parks – There’s nothing more rewarding in spring than a trip into the great outdoors and luckily Exeter is full of green spaces. Only a 30-minute walk from the city centre, why not take a trip to Heavitree park for a picnic, scenic walk, football game or just a chance to sunbathe? Or, if you’re lucky enough to have a friend with a car, take a trip out to Dartmoor National Park for the day – follow the trails and visit places like Castle Drogo or Buckfast Abbey, perfect if you’re interested in exploring more of Devon’s beautiful scenery and culture!
Sports Matches – Whatever you’re into, whether it’s hockey, rugby, football or otherwise, the University of Exeter probably has a team that plays it. The spring months are a fantastic time to get out and support your favourite teams both at the university and out of it, with St James Park and Sandy Park just a walk or a train-ride away.
Beaches – One of the things I love the most about Exeter is how easy it is just to pick up and go to the beach for the day. Pack a towel, sun cream, snacks – grab your buckets and spades and a Frisbee and hop on the train to Dawlish or Exmouth, take a drive out to Salcombe or go for a walk around Topsham Harbor. If you’re feeling daring, maybe even take a swim-suit and go for a dip in that cold British sea.
The Quay – Exeter Quay has so much to offer, from cocktail bars, restaurants and beer gardens, to rock climbing walls, kayaks and ice-cream – all within a student-friendly budget. One of my best first year experiences was canoeing down the canal to Double Locks, sitting out on the grass and having a drink in the sun before rowing back. This one requires a lot of physical effort though so if, like me, you’re not the most athletic, tactically place your sportiest friends at the back of the canoe for some added horsepower…
Shopping – There’s nothing to welcome in the new season quite like buying a new, weather appropriate wardrobe. If you’ve been savvy and managed to save some of your student loan then go hit Exeter’s high-street – from charity shops to those favourite high-end names, you’ll be throwing off those thick jumpers and winter coats for something fresher, brighter and lighter. What better way to embrace your new-found energy than dragging your friends from shop to shop? Maybe stop for a coffee and a cake, or a smoothie bowl if you’re already hitting that winter detox.
When those inevitable April showers hit however, you might be looking for something to do out of the house whilst still not wanting to fully embrace the British weather…
Coffee Shops– Round up your friends for an afternoon of coffee, cake and gossip in one, (or several if you’re fancying a cake crawl) of Exeter’s many lovely cafés. Some of my personal favourites include Tea on the Green which looks onto Exeter’s beautiful Cathedral, Artigiano’s on Exeter’s high street with its artisan interior and delicious smoothies, the quirky and bright Glorious Art House and Chococo, which offers a chocolate cream tea (I’m talking chocolate chip scones, dulce de leche, hot chocolate, cream – the whole hog) for just over a fiver!
China Blue – If you’re looking for something a little bit different then drive out (or take a couple of trains) to Totnes for the afternoon and visit China Blue to do some pottery painting! This one is slightly on the pricier side, but when you get to hold that shiny, poorly painted, post-kiln creation in your hands for the first time you won’t regret it.
So, throw off your duvet, open the window and grab a jumper – spring is nearly here and it looks like you’re going to be busy!