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Discover the beauty and history of Exeter on a free guided Red Coat tour

Published: 22 November 2023

Discover the beauty and history of Exeter on a free guided Red Coat tour Exeter’s Red Coat Guides

Visitors and residents can discover more about one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in England with Exeter’s Red Coat Guides.

The current Winter tour programme started in 1 November and continues until 31 March 2024.

The free guided walking tours operate daily throughout the year, offering a wide range from which to choose.

There is no need to book in advance – just turn up and meet your Red Coat Guide at the starting point and discover historic Exeter for yourself.

Throughout the duration of the Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market all Red Coat Guided tours - other than the Historic Quayside tour on a Sunday - will start from outside the Devon & Exeter Institution, found at 7 Cathedral Close.

At other times the tours depart from the Hooker Statue on Cathedral Green - apart from the Historic Quayside and Canal Trip tours - and last approximately 90 minutes. All tours start promptly at the time advertised.

The tour guides are easy to spot by their distinctive red jackets.

Tours will only go ahead with a minimum of two people on the tour and may be subject to cancellation without notice, there is a limit to the number of people that can join each tour.

Only assistance dogs are permitted on tours, and children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Group bookings are restricted to five spaces per booking and only one booking per tour. To make a group booking contact

Winter Tour Programme:

Forgotten Exeter
Monday 11am and Thursday 11am

Be intrigued by hidden corners and curios of the city, long since gone from memory. The tour is mainly focused on the North West corner of the city within the city walls. Monday's tour finishes outside St. Nicholas Priory and Thursday’s tour finishes outside Tuckers Hall on Fore Street.

This tour is not accessible to wheelchairs & mobility scooters

Medieval Exeter
Monday 2pm, Wednesday 11am and Saturday 2pm

This tour celebrates the time when Exeter grew rich from the woollen cloth trade. See many of the surviving medieval buildings, including ‘the house that moved’, then walk across the Medieval Exe Bridge to view the restored Cricklepit Mill. The tour finishes on Exeter’s Historic Quayside.

Cathedral to Quay
Tuesday 11am and Friday 11am

Starting in the picturesque Cathedral Close, proceed into elegant Southernhay before viewing the impressive city wall. The tour then continues to the river Exe and finishes on Exeter’s Historic Quayside.

Georgian Exeter
Tuesday 2pm

Hear how Exeter’s transformation came about, from industrial hub into an elegant Georgian city. Discover how trade was replaced with commerce. Explore the architectural splendours of Southernhay and find out about some of the colourful characters that resided in Exeter at the time. This tour finishes in Princesshay.

Ghosts and Legends
Tuesday 7pm

Find out why Exeter is reputed to be one of the most haunted cities in the country. Visit many of Exeter’s historic buildings and listen to chilling tales about their ghostly history. Suitable for all ages.

Cathedral Close & Bishop's Palace Garden
Wednesday 2pm

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 its uses over 800 years. This tour finishes on Cathedral Close

This tour is not accessible to wheelchairs & mobility scooters.

Exeter Old and New
Thursday 2pm and Saturday 11am

Learn about Exeter’s history from pre-Roman times to the present day. Visit the 11th century Castle Gatehouse – probably Britain’s oldest Norman building – and Northernhay Gardens, the first public gardens in the country.

Introducing Exeter
Friday 2pm and Sunday 2pm (1 hour)

This circular taster tour does exactly what it says in the title; glimpses of over 2,000 years of history, and introducing visitors to Exeter of its rich and varied past.

Exeter’s Historic Quayside
Sunday 11am

Starting at the Custom House, discover the port of Exeter, once one of Britain's busiest, and hear about its fascinating history. Stroll out and back along the river and canal and finish at the Custom House.

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