Exeter, the regional capital, has really thrived in recent years.
It is only 10 miles away along the Exe valley road from the village of Thorverton. It is a vibrant university city with a beautiful 11th century cathedral and surrounding green. There are Roman city walls, underground passageways and a historic quayside.
The new Princesshay development has rejuvenated the shopping experience and there is now an impressive selection of top-end retailers, such as John Lewis and Apple, as well as independent traders, many of which are found on Gandy Street, a characterful cobbled street.
Exeter is also a centre for the arts, with good theatres and an award-winning museum, RAMM.
Tiverton and Crediton are busy market towns, both about 7 miles from Fursdon, offering good independent shops and local farmers' markets. Tiverton is a historic town sitting on the River Exe and flanked by the Grand Western Canal. You can experience the history of the town at Tiverton Castle, Tiverton Museum and Knightshayes Court, a National Trust property with lovely grounds. In the other direction, Crediton has a high street full of character and charm. At one end is the church of St. Boniface which has 8th century origins.