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Love Exeter? I bought the domain name, writes Andrew Howard of Lakeside Media public relations.

Perhaps you haven’t like me, dabbled in domain names. I don’t mean those folk who sit at home watching the telly, then registering domains based on people who’ve suddenly been thrust, perhaps unwittingly, into the limelight.

No, I mean buying those which may well come in useful one day. I’ve got a couple, and

‘My Exeter’ because it is, as much as it is also anyone else’s, and ‘Love Exeter’ because I do - more than some others, I suspect.

Update: Since I wrote this piece Exeter City Council has released a video highlighting some more of the good things about our fair town. Watch it here:

But why do I love Exeter? In time-honoured tradition, here is my Exeter top ten:

1: It’s a fine size for a city. With its roots going back to Roman days and beyond, Exeter has been around a long time. But it still doesn’t take too long to walk or cycle from one place to another. You can get to the Quay from our house in less than 20 minutes on a bike, which I reckon is quicker than by bus. And we’re almost in Topsham!

2: It’s a friendly place: Partly due to 1 above, it’s pretty much guaranteed that if you venture out into the city centre at a reasonable hour you’ll bump into someone you know. And even people you don’t know tend to be nice anyway.

3: The crime rate has to be one of the lowest in the country for a city of its size, which is obviously a winner!

4: The weather is better than in most of the rest of the country.

5: Although the cost of living is probably higher than in the rest of Devon, it’s got to be better than just about anywhere in the South East.


6: It’s got a mixed economy, not too heavily dependent on any one company or sector, so is riding out the recession and slow recovery better than many places.

7: It’s retail heaven. For those who like to shop, is there anywhere better? We’ve now got flagship department stores, Princesshay, and that Swedish furniture giant is on the way. Who could want for more? Perhaps one more supermarket?

8: On the subject of heaven, the cathedral is a must see for any local or visitor alike. And now residents don’t have to pay to get in, which is how it should be. Other must-sees include the underground passages, which is fascinating and one of those things on your doorstep that many people never get round to visiting, the Mint, and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum.

9: Life: As in lots of people. The thriving university and tertiary college mean Exeter is a draw for thousands of young people who at least bring more vibrancy to the city. And quite a bit of spending money, which is helpful.

10: The countryside. We live within the city limits but are just a couple of minutes’ walk away from the countryside, and some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country.

So that’s my top ten. It should have been a top 15 or more because there’s so much more to add, including sport and recreation, transport links, neighbours, growth, I could go on.

Please let me know what your Exeter top ten is, by getting in touch at

Why are we based in Exeter?