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Arts and culture

Arts and culture

Arts and culture are an important part of life in Exeter. The city is home to a diverse and dynamic arts and culture scene that sets it firmly on the map as the cultural centre of the South West. It also plays a vital role in maintaining Exeter’s reputation as a thriving, flourishing and creative city.

As well as numerous independent theatres, the city centre is home to two multiplex cinemas, plus a pair of smaller independent cinema venues. There's an award-winning museum, plus a number of independent galleries dotted around the city, and a sizeable arts centre and creative hub right in the city centre.

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery (RAMM) was awarded Museum of the Year 2012 and has a wonderfully diverse collection of more than one million individual objects and specimens from across the globe, including over 8,000 objects in its Fine Art collection; an eclectic mix of paintings, watercolours, drawings, prints and sculpture by important British artists while also celebrating the Museum’s location in the South West of England.

› The Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery

T‌he Exeter Phoenix is the city's principal cultural venue. Right in the heart of the city centre, it puts on hundreds of events each year, spanning all genres of music, art, film, theatre and comedy as well as a whole host of learning activities.

Housed in the former home of the University's Law School just off Gandy Street, the Phoenix includes a print workshop, radio station, digital hub, dance studios, a large auditorium for gigs and film screenings, and numerous exhibition spaces, as well as an excellent café bar.

The facilities, location, sound, bar, food, plus the diversity and quality of the acts The Phoenix attracts are all first rate, making it a cultural beacon for the South West.

› T‌he Exeter Phoenix

The city centre is home to two large chain cinemas showcasing the usual blockbusters, but also offers plenty of alternatives for those wanting something a little different.

  • The Picturehouse - the place to go if you want to see arthouse films, world cinema, family and independent films, mainstream and cult movies.
  • Exeter Barnfield Theatre - one of Exeter’s best kept secrets! Run by a registered charity, it offers entertainment from theatre (local and international), comedy, and dance to the best in live music.
  • The Exeter Northcott Theatre - situated on the university's Streatham Campus, the 460 seat venue offers a mixed programme of touring theatre productions, contemporary dance, opera, music, comedy and family shows.
  • The Exeter Corn Exchange - the 500 capacity main hall has one of the largest multi-purpose venues in the city centre. It runs a regular events programme including concerts, dance and comedy, from well-known stand-up comedians such as Jimmy Carr, Al Murray, and Rich Hall. 
  • Exeter’s Rougemont Castle and Gardens - the ideal location for outdoor events has hosted the likes of Coldplay and La Roux. The courtyard and the backdrop of Northernhay Gardens provide an intimate and impressive backdrop for big names and local talent alike. The Castle also hosts an annual Oktoberfest event, which includes a wonderful weekend of live entertainment with a wide selection of locally produced beers and ale.


Just off the high street on South Street, the South Gate Gallery is an independent family-run art gallery and picture framers offering a wide selection of affordable original, limited and open edition art, both framed and unframed. 

› South Gate Gallery