Exeter Cathedral, I did like living in Exeter :-)     
                                Exeter Cathedral                                                                      Exeter Quay                                                      The Well House            

I have to own up to having a deep love of Exeter, having trained and lived here in the 1980s. It's a city that feels more like a town and, nearly wherever you are in Exeter, you can see green fields or Dartmoor in the distance. You are close to farmland, moorland, the coast, indeed, can walk to the estuary via the towpath of the Exeter Ship Canal. In addition, Exeter has all you want for a city, shops, pubs, restaurants, live music, etc etc, and of course, sport.

I only recently visited St James' Park, despite having lived in Exeter for a few years previously. I enjoyed this visit to Exeter, visiting the ground, and particularly seeing (not so) old friends and visiting old favourite haunts.

If you arrive by train or, indeed, by car as we did, you can stay at the Great Western Hotel, St Davids Station Approach, EX4 4NU (01392 274039), food, bed and breakfast (good value) and real ales, what more could you ask of somewhere to base yourself? We had a few pints in the bar before going into town before the match, and later, before going to bed, the room was comfortable, the beer was good, the staff were friendly and I slept very well, with a refreshing shower in the morning before setting off home.

Somewhere else I have always enjoyed visiting is the White Hart Hotel, 66 South Street, EX1 1EE (01392 279897) which also has good accommodation, decent food (I enjoyed my reasonably priced midday meal) and, of course, real ales. The White Hart also has an impressive selection of port wines that I sampled on my engagement in 1990, excellent with cheese and biscuits, a particular favourite of mine. 

                                  Ship Inn                                                             The Double Locks                                                     The Prospect Inn  

In the centre of Exeter, and nor far from the White Hart, are the Ship Inn, 1-3 St Martins Lane, EX1 1EY (01392 272040), which is an atmospheric old pub that I have fond memories of, and the Well House, 16-17 Cathedral Yard, EX1 1HB (01392 319953), which is part of the hotel above, and overlooks the Cathedral and the green in front of the cathedral (which in turn hides the re-buried Roman baths). The Well House is a great venue to drink at before going St James's Park, as we did, it has a very interesting cellar that you can visit (do), and I met up with 2 very special friends I hadn't seen for ages there. Nostalgia rules...

If you have more time in Exeter, you have to walk down the old Ship Canal to the Double Locks, Canal Bank, EX2 8DY (01392 319953), though this is now owned by Youngs (ex 'of Wandsworth'), the last time I went they did have guest ales still. The Double Locks has always had a fine choice of beers and food, is well placed, and is an enjoyable place to walk to, though a car can get reasonably close to it via the Council rubbish furnace. I always used to enjoy a full English breakfast there with a pint.

On the way to the Double Locks, from Exeter if walking, and it's worth the walk, you need to go down to the Quay and canal. There is an interesting museum here and some good bars and pubs. Before heading off toward the Double Locks, it is certainly worth visiting The Prospect Inn, The Quay, Ex2 4AN (01392 273152), which serves reasonable food and beer.