Centred around its historic cathedral, Exeter is an eclectic blend of ancient and modern. The city centre offers all the major shopping chains (a fact it has been much maligned for) but, on closer inspection, there are many more independent and individual retailers to be found if you move slightly off the beaten track.
Unfortunately bombing during the Second World War took its toll on Exeter's older buildings, and a city that was once talked of alongside Bath as an important location for historical architecture lost a portion of its character.
However the city's history is still there for all to see - be it in the shape of the Roman walls that partly surround the old town or in the ruins of Rougemont Castle (the name stems from the local red sandstone used in the castle's construction), an 11th century Norman fort surrounded by equally ancient gardens on the edge of town.
For those looking for the arts, Rougemont also serves as the venue for an annual outdoor festival put on by the local repertory company, performing the works of William Shakespeare; also on offer for seekers of culture are Exeter cathedral's own choir, known nationwide, alongside other visiting performers.
Exeter University has become a well-respected establishment since its foundation and is now one of the city's biggest employers, and with its scenic grounds it is not hard to see the attraction to potential students.
The city is linked via the M5 motorway to Bristol and thereby the rest of the country to the east, and by A-road to Plymouth and Cornwall.