In Exeter, it’s taken for granted that it’s easy to get around the city. It’s compact so you can walk to most places, and there’s a comprehensive bus service. However, if you’re going further afield, then the train station and the airport are well served by frequent links to places around the country and Europe. Exeter is a hub with new routes and services being added all the time. Have a look at the ‘Beyond Exeter’ section for some ideas and tips on Devonshire destinations.
Being such a compact city, it’s easy to walk from A to B, but it’s even easier to get a bus if you’ve been on your feet too long. Most importantly for students, the D bus runs between the Streatham Campus, the city centre, on to St Luke’s Campus, a Tesco superstore, and then comes right back. Departing every 15 minutes during term-time, you won’t find a more convenient service that loops in and out of University grounds. From the city centre you’re spoilt for choice with a comprehensive web of routes running in all directions around the city and beyond, buses running to Plymouth, Newton Abbot, Dawlish, Topsham, Exmouth, Exeter Airport, Budleigh Salterton and Ottery St. Mary. You can also get a bus to Dartmoor to have a ramble and explore the unadulterated natural beauty of the moors and tors, but do check timetables, as services vary by day and by season. There are discounts available for frequent travellers.
Quicker over long distances, and much more scenic, is the rail service around Exeter. A necklace of stations running east and west, parallel to the city centre and the Streatham Campus, provide a regular and efficient service to get from one side of town to the other or to escape further afield for a day. With a rail line running along both sides of the Exe estuary, for the most part a matter of metres from the water, you’ll not find a more scenic and pleasurable way to get to the beach or the countryside – all for a couple for pounds with a railcard. To the eastern side, Topsham and Exmouth, and to the western side Dawlish and, along a stunning seaside route, Newton Abbot, you’ll always find a new day-trip when you wish. The latter journey, to Newton Abbot on the ‘Riviera Line’ along the coast, is known as one of the most picturesque lines in the world.
Further afield, direct trains go to London, Bristol, Plymouth, which are all reasonable day-trips, and Birmingham, Edinburgh, and Manchester, among others. Exeter is a prominent junction, and be it getting home or going off for a day, Exeter St David’s is a stop for many cross-country routes. Exeter is actually the only city in the country with two separate train lines both going to London – Waterloo and Paddington.
Exeter is also serviced by an international airport. Of great use for a holiday or even just travelling to or from home, there are a great variety of destinations available. Charter airlines and budget flights depart regularly, so it’s not difficult to find a flight to suit you, and there are some bargains to be had.
With flights to parts of the UK, the Channel Islands, Europe and even Canada, Exeter is a gateway to the rest of the world. The 56 bus or 379 bus on Sundays run to the airport from St David’s Station, passing through the city centre and the bus station on their way to the airport.