Dads Sofa : A Parenting and Lifestyle blog based in Exeter, Devon. Focussing on Dad Life, Geek Stuff, and Gluten Free Living

Exploring The (Exeter) Lego Cathedral.

Found near the front of The Exeter Cathedral in Devon, a smaller Lego based cousin can be found.

A team of volunteers are involved in both putting the Lego Cathedral together, and speaking to members of the public about the project. The website nicely sums up the idea behind the project:

The Big LEGO® Build is an exciting project to help members of the project discover and engage with the challenges of maintaining the ‘fabric’ (buildings) at Exeter Cathedral. Thanks to donations from people like you, we have already made progress towards building a 300,000 piece model of the Cathedral from LEGO bricks.

We popped down to have a look while exploring the Exeter Christmas market. While the small one wasn’t keen on adding a brick to the Lego Cathedral herself, as you can see, she was more then up for exploring the Lego Cathedral. (Possibly at risk of appearing as a giant monster compared to the Lego guys.)

More details can be found on the Exeter Cathedral website.

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Christmas Events and Activities in Exeter, Devon

With Christmas now well and truly here, people local to Exeter / Devon will find there are plenty of activities and events happening. As we’ve just had a “pre-Christmas” holiday, here’s a round up of the Christmas Activities we found in the Exeter area.

Darts Farm

Devon does farm shops well. Darts Farm near Exeter is an example of a fantastic farm shop. Except it doesn’t just have a vast varity of fruit, veg, and meat. It also has a huge selection of ciders and beers (including gluten free!), all sorts of foodies treats, its own toy shop, and many other gifts.

On the lead up to Christmas it also a place to get your real Christmas tree, and… you may also bump into Father Christmas himself!

Details about when Father Christmas is at Darts Farm (and he’s around alot), can be found at the Darts Farm website.

Christmas Lights

Because which small kid doesn’t love Christmas lights? If you’re going to look at the Christmas lights in Exeter, make sure you check out, both the lights in the High Street, and Princesshay.

Food Markets

Do you like fresh locally sourced food?

Do you like sampling food and local cider?

Do you like supporting independent businesses? (The answer is yes to this, even if you’ve not answered positively to the above)

If your answers are yes, then look out for Exeter Street Markets. You’ll know them when you see them. (Or check out the website to find out where and when they are!)

Snow Globe

snow-globe
From The Express & Echo Website

Now this is cool. The Exeter Snow Globe is a giant snow globe found around the back of Debenhams in Princesshay. You and friends / family climb into it, and find yourselves transported to the most wintery scene you’ll probably find in Devon. It comes complete with fake snow that you can throw at each other.

Great fun for throwing snow at Daddy!

Christmas Markets

I cannot write a round up of Christmas activities and events in Exeter, without mentioning the Christmas Markets in the Exeter Cathedral Green. This years markets are in a different layout this year, (due to the Exeter fire at the end of October), but its still ram packed with Christmas presents, good food, Gluhwein, and possibly the best cider in the world. (Ok it possibly isn’t, but the guy manning the Northcotts stall was a bit of a legend, so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt).

This is all in the shadow of the beautiful Exeter Cathedral.

Check it out, then have a nose down Gandy Street for other shopping choices. (And more great chocolate!)

Exeter is also filled with many random Christmas markets, Christmas fares, and a fair few hours that are lit up like Blackpool.

Where would you suggest?

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Christmas Card featuring Exeter Cathedral in Devon

Christmas time is just around the corner. Sorry to point it out, but Christmas is nearly here. Have you brought Christmas Cards yet? If not, can I suggest* this card featuring Exeter Cathedral in a rare wintery moment.

As well as supporting a local Devon photographer, you’d also be helping to keep the Dad Sofa running smoothly!

This card is available from redbubble.com

<end of plug>

*When I say suggest, what I mean is that I made a Christmas card**

**And this is a really blatant plug. (I think I’m) Sorry about that. 

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Thank You.

It started Friday morning.

I roused from my sleep, turned over and looked at my phone. It was earlier then I was expecting. I still decided to check Facebook.

What I saw made me sit up, it was a video of the Art Gallery building on Cathedral Green on fire.

As the morning progressed, it looked like the fire was being sorted… Then it spread.

The rooftop of The Royal Clarence Hotel caught on fire, and the fire held on.

We went up to Devon for the day, and even though we were glued to the social media updates about the fire, nothing prepared us for the smell and sight of smoke rising over the city like that.

img_6773Over the next few days, this city has been coming to terms with losing one part of its historic heart, while also massively coming together.

There are a number of companies that kept the emergency services fed and watered.

The people who saw their water pressure dwindle, as the fire was fought.

South West Water for dishing out water.

Exeter Council, and Exeter Cathedral for showing how to engage with the public on Twitter and Facebook.

People for sharing as much as information as possible about who’s open where.

Most of all, the emergency services have simply been amazing, and the fact they stopped the fire taking any other buildings has been a testament to their good work.

To those who run in, while others run out.

Thank you.

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Where To Go In Exeter When Its Raining?

There you are, visiting Exeter, arguably the capital of Devon, and its raining – not just raining, but really wet.  If its just you and possibly other adults, I’d suggest  hanging out in one of the pubs in town. If you’ve got small children with you, then its a different matter.

Heres the Dads Sofa list of where to go in Exeter, when its raining.

The Twisted OakThe Twisted Oak

The Twisted Oak pub, can be found in Ide, just by Exeter. The Twisted Oak is a combination of a pub, restaurant, tuck shop, and a indoor play area. We have a lot more about this playful pub here.

Café Connect at Riverside Church

Spacious cafe with nice food, good tea, and a box of toys. There is also good disabled access if needed. It found by the river, between the city centre, and St Thomas.

The Welcome Inn

Wonder down the quay – keep to the right hand side, and you’ll come across The Welcome Inn. Serving tea, cake, and a very warm welcome. It looks like The Welcome Inn will be closing soon, so make sure you can check it out when you can! (EDIT – Have received the below tweet 🙂 )

 

Stormtrooper-Lego2Thomas Moore

Because who doesn’t love a Toy Shop? That has lego and train play tables? It has loads of Legos, and this guy…

Work out the route from the City Centre down to the river, and you’ll find it.

Royal Albert Memorial Museum

Exeter’s, Royal Albert Memorial Museum is found in the town centre, minutes away from the High Street. There are many things to do, walk through / around, eat, and look at.

Its not open on Mondays or Banks Holidays, but feels like its open the rest of the time. Its free entry, and a great rainy day activity.

Just don’t bring in helium balloons. The staff get nervous.

Exeter Cathedral.

The Cathedral in Exeter is quite simply gorgeous.  While adults are charged, children can visit the cathedral for free, and use one of the “Explorer Backpacks” to explore the cathedral for themselves*! You can also help build a Lego Exeter Cathedral.

If you live within EX1 – 4 areas of Exeter / Devon, ask about their Resident Cards for free access. (Just remember to donate!) Theres also loads of events on, check out their website for more information.

Soft Play!

If you’re feeling brave, you could let yourself be dragged to one of the Soft Play centres in or near Exeter.  You could try…

Bear Feet

Riverside

Waie Inn (If you can get out there – give this a go!)

 

That’s a few ideas.

Are there any rainy day places to go in Exeter, that I’ve missed out, and should be included?

*Parental supervision is probably expected.

 

 

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