Another great city in the South West is the ancient city of Exeter which is, funnily enough, on the River Exe. If you’re hitting Exeter in the rain there are plenty of indoor attractions to keep the family busy. The Cathedral is a must-see and did you know that there are medieval underground passages under the city’s streets. The kids will love to visit the South West’s largest indoor climbing wall. If you are braver and don’t mind getting wet then hire a canoe or kayak and explore England’s oldest ship canal. Exeter is also well known for it’s top notch University of Exeter.

Straddling the River Exe, Exeter is a vibrant city rich with independent arts and steeped in history and boasts being one of the oldest cities in England.  Perfectly located in Devon between Dartmoor National Park and the Jurassic coast, Exeter has an exciting food scene allowing you to sample many of the local produce of the South West.  JK Rowling attended Exeter University and the city is said to have provided inspiration for her Harry Potter books.

What to see and do in Exeter:

Exeter Quay – an easy walk from the city centre leads you to Exeter Quay.  Great place to sit, eat and people watch before exploring the many shops.  Enjoy the birdlife who also come to visit the quay.   The Quay, Exeter, EX2 4AP

Exeter Cathedral – one of the oldest cathedrals in England, located in the heart of the city.  Stand in awe of the beautiful stained glass windows and architecture.  The guides are very helpful and unobtrusive so you can enjoy a peaceful and calming visit.  Cathedral Yard, Exeter, EX1 1AE

Underground Passages – Explore the historic passages under Exeter city, the only passages of their type in England.  Constructed in the 1930s to enable easy access to repair the fresh water pipeline into the city, the underground passages are filled with stories of wars and plagues.  Guided tours take you through the history and lengths of the passages with interactive displays to entertain both young and old.  2 Paris Street, Exeter EX1 1GA

Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery – there’s something for everyone here making it hugely popular with families to discover Exeter and Devon’s history with displays of local and international artefacts thousands of years old.  Lots of exciting activities to entertain and educate children.  Queen St, Exeter, EX4 3RX

The House that Moved – Many of us have moved house but not many have taken the house with us! This 14th century Tudor house is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Exeter.  In the early 1960s the building avoided being demolished to make way for a new road by being lifted and moved in its entirety along the road from Edmund Street to its new location near Western Way and Fore Street.

exeter old harbour

Are you looking for family law support in Exeter?

Some people prefer a more boutique style, smaller law firm. If this is you, head to Crosse and Crosse. You will find their offices at 14 Southernhay West, EX1 1PL and there is plenty of available parking. Crosse + Crosse also have a specialist Domestic Abuse Team. This is such a great initiative.

A toxic divorce. Just walk away with nothing but your sanity

Terry Bastyan qualified as a solicitor in 1979 and is “one of the most experienced solicitors in Exeter.” You can contact him at Gilbert Stephens 15-17 Southernhay East, EX1 1QE. It is also worth mentioning that Gilbert Stephens also have offices in Ottery St. Mary EX11 1BS, Crediton EX17 2BR, Sidmouth EX10 8ED, Budleigh Salterton EX9 6LG and Okehampton at 9 Red Lion Yard EX20 1AW. You probably have one near you!

Find out more about separation and divorce

Rundlewalker Solicitors is based at the beautiful Kings Wharf, The Gallery, The Quay EX2 4AN. It seems that many of the team have been at bigger firms in the past but now prefer the more relaxed and friendly atmosphere of a smaller firm.

Ian Walker Family Law and Mediation Services has it’s Head Office in Exeter, and has also been recognised as a superb smaller firm. At the prestigious Modern Law Awards 2020 they were recognised as: Boutique (specialist) Law Firm of the Year (11+ employees). They also have offices in Bath, Bristol (Central), Bristol (Henleaze), Honiton, Plymouth, Shaftesbury, Taunton, Torquay, Wells, Weston-Super-Mare and Yeovil. Ian Walker founded the practice in 2012. In October they were recognised in the 2021 edition of the Legal 500. They really are flying high!

Visit The Exeter Hug Directory

I founded Ian Walker Family Law and Mediation Solicitors in 2012. We are leading divorce and family law solicitors in the South-West. Our growth has been driven by client demand and because we have been able to meet this demand by attracting outstanding solicitors to our team. We are all committed members of Resolution.

I have been the elected Chair of the Devon region of Resolution for nearly a decade. I have a track record in progressive family law legal practice, promoting sensible family dispute resolution and practice innovation.

Bad decision making can have irreversible consequences. That’s why it is important to get good legal advice

Ian Walker – Founder – Ian Walker Family Law and Mediation Solicitors

McKenzie Friend

Mary-Ellen Glasgow has been supporting people for the past 25 years and is based in Devon


Louise Barnes is a Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist based in pretty Cullompton in Devon – she offers a free initial consultation

Career Coach

Becky Kilsby is a career change coach – even in tough times you can explore what’s important to you and how that fits in with what’s going on in the work-world right now.

Key South West Businesses

Wales & West Utilities – A Gas Network. The emergency gas and pipeline service for the South West of England.

Western Power Distribution – An Electricity Network. Supplying to areas such as the South West of England.

South West Water – a water and wastewater services supplier based in the heart of the South West of England

South West Comms – A Business Telecomms provider across the South West and sponsor of The Exeter Chiefs rugby club.

Key The Group Hug partners and marketing agencies in the South West SmithkinBaker, Bluestone360, Launch Online & Resin Marketing.

Are you thinking about separation or divorce because of domestic abuse?

A common reason for divorce one party being abused in some way by the other party. This could be emotional or physical abuse and for the divorce court comes under the heading of “unreasonable behaviour”. Whilst the divorce proceedings trundle on through the civil court system, victims can find themselves also going through the criminal courts if the Police are involved and there is enough evidence to bring a case. 

Do you want to change your child’s name?

In recent years, there has been much talk in the UK regarding the law around the subject of Domestic Abuse and divorce with draft legislation proposed by Theresa May in February 2017.  This draft was finally released in January 2019 and will now be brought to Parliament for debate. The bill sets out a statutory government definition of domestic abuse which includes controlling and manipulative behaviour. For the first time, abuse does not have to be physical or violent.

The changes

The bill will recognise economic abuse, (also known as financial abuse) which is where a partner is prevented from accessing bank accounts or employment. The victim becomes financially controlled. They may not be allowed to go out to work, or if they are employed, their wages may be paid into their partners account or they may not have access to benefits as they are given to a partner. December 2016 saw the introduction of the new law meaning that coercive or controlling behaviour is now a crime. This offence carries a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment, a fine or both.

Separating from my wife wasn’t any easier just because I’m a man!

The future

Slowly changes are being made. Escaping a domestic abuse situation leaves victims susceptible to many issues which also affect children as a parent may find themselves homeless, relying on foodbanks for daily essentials along with dealing with their mental health as they navigate the family court system against their perpetrator. Emotions run high and post separation abuse can be rife. The abuser is losing control and many say that economic abuse is the “tail” of physical abuse as the victim is out of arms reach.  Read the rest of this article here

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