Surgical removal remains the best curative option for patients diagnosed with early‐stage lung cancer. However, it is also associated with significant morbidity and reduced quality of life. Interventions to improve patient outcomes are required. This study aimed to explore the views, attitudes and beliefs of key stakeholders on exercise intervention for people who are surgically treated for lung cancer to inform the development of future interventions. Focus groups and individual interviews were carried out at two Scottish sites. The study was guided by the Health Action Process Approach behaviour change model. A total of 23 (12 patients and 11 health professionals) participated in the study. The data analysis resulted in three main themes: attitudes and beliefs, external factors and intervention design. The results highlighted certain key elements that should be included in an exercise intervention, such as the need for supervised sessions, an element of individualisation and the perceived social benefits of exercising with others. This study emphasises the importance of including key stakeholders in the development of complex interventions such as exercise and provides important information for the development of future exercise intervention trials for people who are surgically treated for lung cancer.