Exeter Red Coat Guided Tours

C/O Exeter Visitor Information & Tickets, Dix's Field, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1GF
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Exeter's Red Coat Guided Tours

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The City's FREE award winning Red Coat Guided Tours are provided by Exeter City Council and are the perfect way to explore Exeter, one of the oldest cities of England.  Run by experienced qualified volunteer guides a variety of tours are available, each one focusing on a different aspect of Exeter's history and culture.

Discover the city's sites of interest and hidden treasures. All tours are on foot so please wear suitable footwear. No dogs (except guide dogs) are allowed on tours. Children must be accompanied. 

Tours commence from the main West Front of the Cathedral (some tours from the Quay) each day of the year except Christmas Day and 1 January. See the website for the full tour programme and starting points, or download the programme below.

Red Coat Guided Tour Programme 1 April 2018 - 31 March 2019

Red Coat Guided Tour programme 1 April 2019 - 31 March 2020

Full details of the tour schedule are also posted on notice boards located outside the Cathedral, Custom House Visitor Centre on the Quayside, as well as outside Exeter Visitor Information & Tickets office, located next to the Princesshay car park entrance. You can also pick-up a leaflet at both visitor centres on your arrival or one can be posted to you.

Tour descriptions 

Cathedral to Quay

Start: Hooker statue, Cathedral Green

Tour description:

We will cover the origins and history of the Cathedral, the expansion and development of Southernhay’s Georgian houses, before descending to the magnificent River Exe and learning about the reasons for Exeter’s canal and its incredible maritime history.

Finish: Custom House, Exeter Quay 

Exeter Old & New

Start: Hooker statue, Cathedral Green

Tour description:

Going back to the city’s Roman origins, our journey takes us through 2,000 years of history, from the ancient City Wall to the modern Princesshay development, before taking the gentle climb up to the Northernhay Gardens, and we finish our tour at the Guildhall.

Finish: Exeter Guildhall

Forgotten Exeter

Start: Hooker statue, Cathedral Green

Tour description:

A discovery trail of many aspects of Exeter’s rich and chequered history which have either disappeared from living memory or were long since ignored. These include the Roman bathhouse, the old brewery areas, the Catacomb, and William the Conqueror’s influence on the city.

Finish: St Nicholas’ Priory (Tuesday) or Tuckers Hall (Thursday)

Introducing Exeter

Start: Hooker statue, Cathedral Green

Tour description:

An hour’s walk to give a taster of Exeter’s glorious past, including the wonderful medieval houses of Cathedral Close, Georgian Southernhay, the city’s C17 connections with the Royal family, the High Street and our wonderful Cathedral.

Finish: West Front, Exeter Cathedral

Medieval Exeter

Start: Hooker statue, Cathedral Green

Tour description:

The fascinating tale detailing how Exeter was once one of the richest and largest cities in the land, and the reasons why we no longer hold such high status. Starting right in front of the city’s original Custom House, we end our tour at the building which superseded it in 1681, at the now gentrified riverside.

Finish: Custom House, Exeter Quay

Exeter’s Historic Quayside

Start: Custom House, Exeter Quay

Tour description:

Discover the fascinating details of Exeter’s maritime history, once one of the country’s busiest ports with access to and from the sea via the Exeter Ship Canal. Learn why it became necessary to construct a canal at all, and some interesting snippets about the charming quayside.

Finish: Custom House, Exeter Quay 

Canal Trip

Start: Custom House, Exeter Quay

Tour description:

Similar information to that contained in our Historic Quayside tour, but with a 20-minute one-way boat trip along the canal to a local pub. When we disembark, choose whether to take lunch at the pub, stroll back along the towpath, or pay for a return trip on the boat, either immediately or at an agreed time with the boat staff.

Finish: Custom House, Exeter Quay 

Oddities & Curiosities

Start: Hooker statue, Cathedral Green

Tour description:

An entertaining wander through areas in and around the city centre, intertwining some of its historical details with some of its stranger or more unusual facts, with a few surprises along the way.

Finish: Devon & Exeter Institution, Cathedral Close

Cathedral Close and Bishop's Palace Garden

Start: Hooker statue, Cathedral Green

Tour description:

See how the buildings in Cathedral Close have evolved through time before exploring a section of the City Wall and entering the Bishop's Palace Garden itself, enjoying unique views of the Cathedral and learning of the development of the Palace and it's uses over 800 years.

Finish: Devon & Exeter Institution, Cathedral Close

Tudor Exeter

Start: Hooker statue, Cathedral Green

Tour description:

This tour includes stories about local Exonians and famous historical visitors to the City during the Tudor period. You will also learn about and see surviving Tudor buildings as you make your way down to the Quayside.

Finish: Custom House, Exeter Quay

City Wall

Start: Hooker statue, Cathedral Green

Discover the fascinating history of the City Wall which dates back to Roman times. Despite attacks by Vikings, William the Conqueror, King Stephen, Perkin Warbeck, Cornishmen in the Prayer Book Rebellion and both sides in the English Civil War, 70% remains standing.

Finish: Roman Walk/Bedford Street.

Exeter Blitz

Start: Hooker statue, Cathedral Green

WW2 air raids include the infamous Baedeker Raid which destroyed 39 acres of the inner City, and caused the deaths of 265 citizens and over 1,000 wounded. The tour explains the background to these attacks and graphically describes their terrible effects. 

Finish: West Front of the Cathedral.

Heart of Exeter and the DEI

Start: Hooker statue, Cathedral Green 

Tour description:

From the tranquillity of Cathedral Close to the hustle and bustle of the High Street, follow the development of Exeter from Roman times to the present day. This circular tour ends with a visit to the Devon and Exeter Institution, a subscription library founded in 1813 which occupies one of Exeter’s historic buildings and houses some of the city’s most important books. 

Finish: DE&I, Cathedral Close.

Georgian Exeter

Start: Hooker statue, Cathedral Green 

Tour description:

Follow Exeter’s progress from the coronation of George l in 1714 into the 21st century. Hear how during the 18th Century population grew and a ‘spirit of improvement’ spread across the city. See the historic George’s Meeting House, admire Southernhay, a street of elegant Georgian town houses and discover how Exeter changed from an industrial hub into an elegant Georgian City.

Finish: T B A

Forgotten Exeter

Start: Hooker statue, Cathedral Green 

Tour description:

Follow Exeter’s history through areas not usually visited by tourists; discover forgotten parts and some interesting hidden curiosities in the north-west corner of the city. Hear about the Roman settlement, the area around the site of the ancient North Gate and enjoy the view to the North from the city wall. The tour ends with a visit to one of two hidden medieval gems (below) in the heart of the city.   

Finish: St Nicholas Priory (Tuesday) or Tuckers Hall (Thursday).

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
AdultFree
Adult Group£4.00 per ticket
ChildFree
Child Group£2.50 per ticket

Opening Times

Exeter Red Coat Guided Tours (1 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2019)

* Tours not available Christmas Day & Boxing Day

Map & Directions

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