Sustainable Living

The Live Zero guide to… Exeter

InspirationSustainable Living

Exeter is a city known for its rich history and high-paced innovation. Not to mention its location surrounded by dramatic coastlines, wind-swept moorland and picture-book villages. So it should come as no surprise Devon’s capital is one of the best places in the UK to embrace a low-carbon lifestyle. Read on to discover the ultimate guide to living sustainably in Exeter.

Eat sustainably

If you’re keen to taste the best local produce, put together with a touch of theatre, Michelin guide listed restaurant Stage should be top of your list. Promising an ‘immersive tasting menu experience’, plates often feature locally foraged ingredients or vegetables straight from the kitchen garden. It’s bold, playful and fully engaged in promoting mindfully produced food.

For more everyday fare, Sacred Grounds is a café where sustainability is rooted in everything they do. From running entirely on green energy to sourcing preloved furniture to the totally vegan menu, this is somewhere to relax into brunch, safe in the knowledge it’s not costing the earth.

Food to nourish the body and soul at Sacred Grounds, in McCoy’s Arcade on Exeter’s Fore Street

Home chefs are also spoiled for choice when it comes to sustainable produce. Every Thursday, you’ll find a bustling farmers’ market on Exeter’s colourful Fore Street, where the stalls are loaded with so much variety you might think you’ve landed in France.

Fancy a sustainable tipple to accompany your meal? The carbon negative rum Two Drifters is made just a skip and a hop away from Verto’s Nexa Fields on the East side of Exeter. Created by Devon-born husband and wife team Russ and Gemma, this local drink is giving a small yet meaningful challenge to the giant drinks industry.

Shop sustainably

Magdalen Road in the heart of Exeter’s St Leonards district recently featured as one of The Guardian’s ‘10 cool shopping districts around the world’. Buzzing with independent shops selling local and eco-conscious brands, it’s a one-stop location for everything from sustainable fashion to shampoo refills.

Browse beautiful things in Maker Maker on Magdalen Road

In the city centre, you’ll find Finisterre. Founded in Devon, this outdoor clothing brand blends style and sustainability. From base layers to backpacks and wetsuits to winter jackets, they have everything you need to explore Devon’s coast and countryside, all year round.

It wouldn’t be right to talk about Exeter and sustainability without mentioning vintage. Exeter has some of the UK’s best curated vintage shops. Sobeys on Gandy street and The Real McCoy are just a couple of well-established names where you can collect high quality pre-loved treasures.

Play sustainably

A few miles east of Exeter, Exmouth is a mecca for wind sports with the seafront and estuary offering up a range of conditions. For those looking for equipment, tuition or just a friendly chat, Edge Watersports is the place to start. Steph and Eric Bridge live and breathe all things wind and water and work hard to share their passion.

Edge Watersports, making the most of the blue sky and steady wind at Exmouth seafront

If you don’t have your sea legs yet, there’s no shortage of land-based activities close by. Haldon Forest, southwest of Exeter, has something for all the family. There are beautiful walks and a massive selection of mountain bike trails ranging from beginner-friendly to technical and challenging.

And for anyone who needs a little extra motivation to get out and enjoy the Devon countryside, there’s a huge selection of inviting and cosy pubs to discover across Dartmoor. Making that half-day hike just a little bit more enticing.

Live sustainably

Nestled in Pinhoe on the outskirts of Exeter, Nexa Fields is the UK’s first fully Zero Bills development. Each home is specified with solar panels, air source heat pumps, triple glazed windows, super insulation and smart home technology. This combination means the homes at Nexa Fields create zero carbon emissions for the planet and zero energy bills for their owners.

Inside view: clean lines and high-spec integrated appliances feature in every home at Nexa fields

The exciting range of Zero Carbon Smart Homes™ at Nexa Fields offers the perfect base camp from which to fully embrace an active, creative and sustainable life with all Exeter has to offer.


Here are some ideas and inspiration to help you live more sustainably.