Exeter's large student population adds a diverse and buzzy vibe to the city's sleepier side. You'll find alternative live music, fun festivals, and miles of glorious beaches on your doorstep.

Exeter is a wonderful city. It’s big enough that there are plenty of things to do, but it’s easy to get around, and not too crowded. For any Harry Potter fans, you can see all the places that were inspiration for J.K. Rowling, such as Mardon Hall for Gryffindor Common Room, and Gandy Street for Diagon Alley. (Second year student, University of Exeter)

What Exeter's famous for...

The Coast

In less than 20 minutes, you can be licking ice cream on sandy beaches.

Exeter city guide coast

Exeter nightlife, according to students

Exeter does not have the nightlife you get in other big cities. That has not bothered me at all, because it means you will absolutely bump into people you know when you’re out, which I love. Timepiece on a Wednesday (‘Wednesday TP’) is known as the best night out. My favourite, however, is Cheesy Tuesdays at Unit 1. (University of Exeter student)

Exeter Quay

As could be expected, the Quayside offers a number of boat-based aquatic activities such as kayaking and canoeing, as well a climbing centre, and a number of pubs and shops. 

Exeter nightlife, according to students

Although Exeter doesn’t have as many nightclubs as big cities [do], the nights out are just as good and never fail to be a good story! There are four main clubs, all situated on the main high street close to university halls and private houses, making them very convenient. (Third year student, University of Exeter)

Dartmoor National Park 

Just half an hour out of Exeter lies Dartmoor. Take a hike through one of the UK's favourite national parks, home to the iconic Dartmoor Ponies.

Student life in Exeter

Local gems, tips, and things to do, as recommended by students.
Low on cash
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum has a surprisingly extensive collection. The Quay is great to sit and watch the world go by. (University of Exeter student)
Friday feeling
Timepiece is the place to be on a Friday evening, with downstairs often having live music, upstairs offering more club and remix music, and an outside space. (Third year student, University of Exeter)
When family visit
The Cathedral is a nice spot. It’s right in town, and surrounded by shops and restaurants including Boston Tea Party which does an amazing breakfast. (University of Exeter student)
Feeling cultural
The Phoenix is an independent cinema, with small showings of independent and foreign films, poetry evenings and workshops, and its own art exhibition. (Third year student, University of Exeter)
Grab a bite
The Firehouse do massive pizzas for about £10, that you can easily split. The restaurant is gorgeous with fairy lights. (Second year student, University of Exeter)
Sunday chilling
Take the train from St David's to Teignmouth beach. This seaside town is full of independent shops. (Second year student, University of Exeter)
Treat yourself
Artigiano! It’s a tapas and wine bar, but is also open for breakfast and brunch. (Second year student, University of Exeter)
Catch up with mates
Chococo offers an amazing selection of hot chocolates for the sugar lovers in your life! (Second year student, University of Exeter)

Exeter in pictures

River Exe

This photo is one I took when running down the river, down to the Quay. It’s always so beautiful, even when it’s less sunny, and reminds me of how lucky I am to have chosen Exeter. (Sally Holcombe, third year student at University of Exeter)

River Exe at sunset

This photo is one I took on one of my sunset walks, down at the end of the Quay. It reminds me of how beautiful Exeter is, and makes me feel like I’m in the middle of nowhere.  (Sally Holcombe, third year student at University of Exeter)

Living in Exeter, according to students

[Heavitree] is a bit further from campus than the main student housing area, which means I have to leave quite early for morning lectures and don't always have someone to walk home from events with. That said, it has a lovely community feel, with lots of families about. Fore Street is really close by and equipped with the basics, like a Post Office and Co-op, so you don't always have to trek all the way into town. (Second year student, University of Exeter)

Exeter Cathedral

The Cathedral is one of my favourite buildings in Exeter, and is especially beautiful on sunny days. (Beatrice Buhannic Destefanis, second year student at University of Exeter)

Old Jewish Quarter

As a history student, Exeter holds a fascinating past, which is reflected in its architecture. This image shows the Early Modern buildings of the Old Jewish quarter. (Callum Chapple, University of Exeter student)

Living in Exeter

Housing, travel, and budgeting tips.

Living in Exeter, according to students

Mount Pleasant is a bit further out from uni, but can be cheaper. Loads of students live nearby. It's close to the big Morrisons, as well as the top end of the high street with takeaway places and Tesco Express. There are a couple of pubs, like The Monkey Suit, nearby. It's a flat walk to campus (a godsend in Exeter!), and really not as far as people think! (Third year student, University of Exeter)
Where you'll find students*
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Pennsylvania Road
  • Heavitree
Local transport*
  • £14.50
  • Megarider
  • (bus)
*Average mean rents via Spareroom.co.uk (Feb 2017). Value for money via Which? University Survey 2016. Local transport via local operators' website.

Student money tips

Being surrounded by nature and such a quick (and cheap) train ride from the beach makes for a pretty cheap way to spend an evening, or a date night. There's always a spot for a cost-effective, easy picnic. (Third year student, University of Exeter)

The cost of living as a student soon adds up, us our budget calculator to find out roughly how much you'll need each month.

​Discover more savings on student life in Exeter with UCAS student discounts. Find the latest deals, from fashion brands and eating fresh, to big discounts on tech and travel.