A Student Guide to Exeter

By Alex Quayle, 3rd Year BA English

The first view that people often have of Exeter city centre, myself included, is of the imposing and ornate Cathedral. In parts over 850 years old, it has stoically watched Exeter change from a provincial town to an exciting city, a rapid evolution that continues unabated. Exeter’s continuing potential for students and visitors alike is aptly illustrated by the rise of the University to 8th in league tables*, new developments such as the science park on the outskirts of town, and large companies relocating to a city on a seemingly endless rise. The Met Office relocated to Exeter in 2004, and given that Exeter is in the mildest region in the UK, I think it’s safe to assume they knew what they were doing.

Today, the Cathedral looms proudly over an Exeter established at the centre of transport links. An hour from Bristol, only 2 ½ from London, and with direct trains from Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds among others, Exeter is not as far away as you think – not that you’ll tell your parents this. You’ll be too busy exploring a thrilling, modern city, bursting with chains and independent shops, eclectic pubs and cafés, and enjoying the beaches and moors a short journey away.

Big enough to have all the facilities and shops one could wish for, but compact enough to navigate with ease, Exeter is the perfect mix of busy city, leafy avenues, and elegant shops. A moment's idle walk in almost any direction from the High Street brings you upon a rolling green park, arty boutique, landscaped garden, comfy pub, or the Exe as it curls around the city.

When you first arrive in Exeter you needn't be worried by how to get to Dartmoor, or the most scenic route to a sandy, sunny beach. This guide will provide basic information on living in Exeter, as well as ideas for travelling further afield when you’ve settled in – with some handy tips along the way. Hopefully, you’ll find it that little bit easier to live, breathe, shop, eat, drink, and find your way to and from some of the most enjoyable and beautiful sights the country has to offer.

*The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2014

With thanks to Exeter City Council for their sponsorship and invaluable support for this project.

Exeter - it's a Capital City logo

Summing-up Exeter, I would say it’s quite a young, vibrant city, it’s more up-and-coming and cosmopolitan, there’s things going on and increasingly more things to do.

Sarah Baker, 3rd year, Ancient History and Creative Writing

I think Exeter University has the whole package; brilliant lecturers, fantastic facilities, great socials and it’s all based in a beautiful city with loads of shops.

Emma Solomon, BSc Exercise and Sports Science

Exeter is a great place to study; the city is lively and the people friendly.

Sam Jenkins, 3rd year Biological Sciences