FACTS AND FIGURES
Located in the South West of England, Exeter has a population of 117,800; a 6% increase rate from the 2001 Census, which is below the national average of 7.8%. Exeter’s population enjoy a high standard of life with low crime rates, which is why the city is consistently rated as one of the best places to live in the UK.
Career-wise, retail trade is the most popular sector, with 17% of the population employed in that area. This is followed by human health and social work at 15%, and education at 12%. In fact, many well-known companies have relocated their Head Office’s to Exeter including Vodafone, B&Q and the Met Office.
Exeter’s main airport is just a fifteen minute drive away, serving just under a million passengers each year to destinations to European holiday destinations. For people wishing to get to Exeter outside of Europe, London Gatwick is the closest international airport 3 hours away; the UK’s second busiest airport after Heathrow with 34.2million passengers travelling through each year.
Exeter can be accessed by train by two stations: Exeter St Davids (the main station) and Exeter Central. St David’s offers direct routes to major cities including London in around two and a half hours, Bristol in an hour and Birmingham in two and a half hours. Those travelling to Exeter from Northern England will likely have to change trains mid-journey. Exeter Central offers trains to the south of Exeter, to the smaller towns and seaside resorts of Devon and Cornwall.
Once in Exeter, travelling around the city is fairly easy, with Stagecoach running the buses. As the city is quite small, the buses are characterised by letters rather than numbers unlike most other places! First Dorset also operate buses to the seaside resort of Dorset, providing cheap transport to the beach.
Exeter is a popular place for business events, ranking second in the most popular cities in the South West for corporate events. In 2012, business trips to Exeter had increased by a massive 123% compared to 2011, with associated spend reaching £40million. With 121 hospitality and meeting venues in Exeter, there is no denying the choice available – however, the smallness of the city is reflected in the lower capacities. 38 of these venues can only cater for up to 30 delegates; and only 25 venues are able to hold more than 150 delegates. The largest venue in Exeter is Westpoint Exhibition Arena, able to hold up to 5,000 delegates, and an exhibition space of 4,590square metres.
Exeter welcomes thousands of tourists each year being located in the holiday resort of Devon, hence resulting in the vast amount of hotels to choose from. There are 151 in total – 4 of which are five star and 64 four star hotels, meaning luxury is certainly in abundance here! There are still plenty of options available for companies with a smaller budget however, with 60 three star and 8 two star hotels.
LEISURE AND TOURISM
Exeter is a city seeped in history, which is apparent when walking round the city centre, with Tudor-style buildings housing shops, to the cathedral, which took over 250 years to complete and is home to the oldest public gardens in the UK; Northernhay Gardens.
If it’s culture you’re after, then there’s no better place than Exeter – although a relatively small city, it boasts four theatres and plenty of museums, including the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery.
Delegates with extra time who wish to explore outside the city can head to the many beaches in Devon, such as Exmouth, a beautiful sandy beach a mere thirty minutes away from the centre of Exeter.
Exeter’s nightlife is best described as relaxed – with the figures of 150 pubs compared to 3 night clubs revealing most people tend to enjoy a pint in the local with friends over dancing ‘til dawn. If you like to sit around in pretty surroundings whilst enjoying a drink, head down to the Quayside where there are plenty of pubs, bars and restaurants.
Images courtesy of DiscoverExeter.net
- The Devon Hotel , Exeter, part of the prestigious Brend chain of hotels, is one of the foremost venues in Devon for conferences and functions.
- Comfortable and well equipped, it is perfectly positioned on the outskirts of Exeter and close by the M5 motorway, making it a highly popular choice with businesses for conferences, seminars and meetings in Devon.
- There are bars to relax in between sessions and fine dining for you and your delegates at the Carriages Restaurant.