In a year when we've hiked into volcanoes, cruised Norway's fjords, searched for the Loch Ness Monster & even found time to experience the thrill of a bobsleigh at Lillehammer... we're always keen to see if we can add new experiences for our adventurous young daughters.... So where better to try and find some than during our visit to Exeter!!
With Europe's first ever 'Clip'n'Climb' at Quayside Climbing in Exeter we knew we were going to have plenty of family fun but would the weather allow us to enjoy the kayaking and bike rides down the canal paths that line Exeter's quayside?
But first, we'd decided to go back and see Exeter's stunning cathedral and take a peek inside the famous RAMM museum, but not before leaving our bikes with the family friendly quayside company 'Saddles & Paddles' for some much needed 'bike maintenance / repairs' after their European Bike Adventures
So leaving behind the sounds of cranking spanners and the screeching of our complaining bike brakes... we headed up to the Norman Cathedral that sits in the centre of Exeter. Taking the chance to explore the cathedral, see the prayer stones in the ceiling and also add another brick to the lego cathedral replica of Exeter Cathedral before heading to see the RAMM museum with it's fantastic road schooling opportunities in the World Culture rooms, History of Exeter & Natural History exhibitions
With hungry tummies rumbling, it was time to see just how impressive the pizzas were at 'Waterfront' on the Quayside... we'd been tipped off by locals about these ' 16" dustbin lids' or the staggering 30" option to share!! It also gave us the opportunity to meet up with an old friend, Julian Salvi, now playing for the Exeter Chiefs and enjoy the ambience of this waterside restaurant... Lovely in January but we could imagine it would tick every box on a balmy summer's evening overlooking the quayside...
But the real focus of today was to enjoy 'Getting Active' in Exeter... so where better to start than a bike ride down the quayside before heading out onto the water to see the locks and weirs that surround the picturesque quayside.... past new modern artworks on the bridges, dodging the multitude of swans that line the river and even pausing for something to eat/drink enroute
Despite the biting cold winds, the girls love the chance to get back onto the water and we couldn't fault the immensely helpful staff who made it so much more enjoyable.... but with the light fading we returned the kayak and headed to Quay Climbing and a chance to get a climbing lesson followed by some 'Clip'n'Climb'
As we've discovered across Europe, these fantastic experiences are made even better by great guides (like in Dubrovnik or our SUP in Ile de Re)... So we couldn't have had a better guide than Tammi... Both girls warmed to her immediately and were soon off 'self-belaying' or practising their techniques learnt in Eidfjord... but it wasn't just the girls who love it... we all found something to challenge each of us! A real family fun 2hr experience finished off by the amazing Clip'n'Climb, a truly brilliant invention that everyone should try at least once!!!
So with tummies rumbling once more... we set off to see Exeter's Cafe Rouge in the City Centre... Having recently spent 3 months in France, we'd all been looking forward to comparing their menu to dishes we'd experienced in France
Well, we can honestly say that Cafe Rouge nailed it! The Boeuf Bourguignon was as good as any of the meals we enjoyed in French 'foodie hotspots' like Sarlat in the Dordogne... whilst the girls loved the well priced children's menu... But perhaps our favourite aspect, was the warm ambience of the busy restaurant... a great way to finish a busy, busy day!
Tomorrow should see us visit Crealy Adventure Park & then a chance to see Exeter Chiefs play Wasps... which will be the girl's first live rugby match!! Thankfully, we'll be well wrapped up in our new Lazy Jack's clothing....
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