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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Please note, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Red Coat Guided Tours have been temporarily suspended until further notice. Watch this space for further information.

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 under 16 must be accompanied. 

All tours start from the Hooker Statue on Cathedral Green and last 90 minutes (unless otherwise stated) and occur each day of the year except Christmas Day and 1 January.

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.

• Please note guided tours may be subject to cancellation or alteration without notice.

• Please note tours will only go ahead with a minimum of two people on the tour.

• It is at the guide's discretion whether the tour is allowed to exceed 15 people

• Groups of 10 or more are not permitted on public tours. Group tours and coach commentaries must be booked in advance and incur a small charge. A minimum of 14 days’ notice is required.

• All tours except the Canal Trip, Churches, Cemeteries and the Catacomb, Cathedral Close & Bishop’s Palace Garden and Forgotten Exeter are accessible by wheelchair and mobility scooter, or have an alternative route.


Tour descriptions 

Cathedral Close & Bishop’s Palace Garden: Learn how the buildings in the Close have evolved through time, and visit the peaceful Palace Gardens.

Cathedral to Quay: A walk from the Cathedral via Southernhay and alongside the impressive City wall, finishing at the historic quayside. 

Churches, Cemeteries & the Catacomb: Visit some of the city’s medieval churches and burial grounds, and, if the bats allow, discover the cathedralesque Victorian Catacomb.

Exeter’s City Wall (2 hours): Discover the fabulous history of the Romans’ City Wall, of which 70% still remain. Some uneven surfaces and steep slopes.

Exeter Old & New: Chart Exeter’s history from pre-Roman times to the present. 

Forgotten Exeter: Be intrigued by hidden corners and curios of the city, long since gone from memory.

Georgian Exeter: How Exeter’s transformation came about, from industrial hub into an elegant Georgian city. 

Ghosts & Legends: Chilling tales of one of the most haunted cities in the country. Suitable for all ages. Special Halloween tours, from 6.15pm
on 31 October. Last tour 7pm.

Heart of Exeter and the Devon & Exeter Institution (DEI): Exeter from Roman times until the present day; and a short visit to the amazing libraries and archives of the DEI.

Introducing Exeter (1 hour): A short introduction to Exeter and its astonishing history.

Medieval Exeter: How Exeter became one of the wealthiest cities, and see some of the surviving medieval buildings, including the Medieval Bridge.

Oddities & Curiosities: Interesting snippets of Exeter’s past, including some of the odder and more curious aspects.

Tudor Exeter: Learn about Tudor Exeter, including its buildings and individuals from that turbulent period of history.


Tours that start outside the Custom House Visitor Centre: 46 The Quay, Exeter EX2 4AN

Canal Trip (1 hour, subject to fee): A brief description of the Historic Quayside, followed by a 20-minute one-way trip along the canal as far as Double Locks pub. You may wish to buy a return fare on the boat.

Exeter’s Historic Quayside: See the port of Exeter, once one of Britain’s busiest, and hear about its fascinating history. Stroll out and back along the canal and the river.


Special Talks and Tours

Exeter Blitz: Monday 4 May: 11.15am & 3pm - (Finishes in Northernhay Gardens)
Discover how Exeter was affected by the air raids of 4 May 1942 and how this event shaped the city we see today. 

VE Day & After: Friday 8 May: 10.30am & 3pm
Find out how the VE Day celebrations marked the end of an era in Exeter and the beginning of a new age. 

Spooks & Broomsticks Halloween Tour: Saturday October 31, Tours from 6.15pm, last tour 7pm
Discover more tales explaining why Exeter is said to be one of the most haunted cities in England. Explore its spooky sites, and come in your scariest costumes.

‘A Red Coat’s Introduction to Exeter’ : Saturday 5 December: 11am, Jury Room at Exeter’s Guildhall
A lively and illustrated talk introducing Exeter’s history. 

Red Coat Mystery Tour : (December 24 & January 1)
Only the guide knows where this tour will take you! Starts at Hooker Statue and ends in the City Centre or the Quay.

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Adult Group£5.00 per ticket
Child Group£2.50 per ticket

Opening Times

Medieval Exeter (1 Apr 2020 - 31 Oct 2020)
Georgian Exeter (1 Apr 2020 - 31 Oct 2020)
Churches, Cemeteries and The Catacomb* (1 Apr 2020 - 31 Oct 2020)
Exeter Old and New (1 Apr 2020 - 31 Oct 2020)
Monday - Thursday14:30
Forgotten Exeter & St Nicholas Priory (1 Apr 2020 - 31 Oct 2020)
Cathedral to Quay (1 Apr 2020 - 31 Oct 2020)
Tudor Exeter (1 Apr 2020 - 31 Oct 2020)
Introducing Exeter (1 Hour) (1 Apr 2020 - 31 Oct 2020)
Tuesday - Friday14:30
Ghosts & Legends (1 Apr 2020 - 31 Oct 2020)
Tuesday - Thursday19:00
Exeter's City Wall (2 Hours) (1 Apr 2020 - 31 Oct 2020)
Wednesday - Sunday11:00
Heart of Exeter and the Devon and Exeter Institution (1 Apr 2020 - 31 Oct 2020)
Exeter's Historic Quayside (starts at Custom House) (1 Apr 2020 - 31 Oct 2020)
Wednesday - Saturday14:00
Cathedral Close and Bishops Palace Garden *** (1 Apr 2020 - 31 Oct 2020)
Forgotten Exeter and Tuckers Hall (1 Apr 2020 - 31 Oct 2020)
Oddities and Curiosities (1 Apr 2020 - 31 Oct 2020)
Spooks and Broomsticks: Halloween Special (31 Oct 2020)
Red Coat's Introduction to Exeter (TALK) (5 Dec 2020)
Red Coat Mystery Tour (24 Dec 2020)
Red Coat Mystery Tour (1 Jan 2021)

* Tours not available Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Years Day (except the Mystery Tour)
* Entry to the Catacomb is dependent on bat activity and may not always be possible.
** There is a fee for this tour. Tickets are available from the Custom House Visitor Centre.
*** There will be no access to the Bishop’s Palace Garden on Wednesday 1 & 22 April 2020

Exeter Blitz - 11:15am and 3:00pm
VE Day and After - 10:30am and 3:00pm
Spooks and Broomsticks - 6:15pm, and regular intervals until 7:00pm
Red Coat's Introduction to Exeter - TALK at 11:00am at Exeter Historic Guildhall

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