Exeter is the ideal city for any prospective student to settle down into their first experience away from home. Exploring the city is easy and safe, and there is plenty to discover! From our low crime and unemployment rates to the stunning views all over the historic city, parents and students alike can rest assured that they are studying in one of the best locations for students in the UK. Read on to find out more about our city, and why you should choose Exeter as your home during your studies.


Exeter’s High Street plays host to some of the most popular brands in the UK, as well as unique independent finds dotted around the city. Fancy a day of retail therapy on the water? The Quay is the ideal location to leisurely explore the shops and stop for a spot of alfresco lunch on the waterside. Gandy Street is the place to be if shopping local and independent is more your thing, everything from chocolatiers to luxury jewellers can be found within this popular area of the city. The street is even rumoured to be the inspiration behind Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter series! Of course, Exeter has all the usual high street favourites, with many like Topshop, Urban Outfitters and Hollister offering student discounts all year round.

Culture & Nightlife

Forget the bright lights and club chains some of the bigger, industrial cities can offer, Exeter is perfect for a quirky student night out. It’s a rite of passage for Exeter students to mingle with the locals at The Old Firehouse, a traditional British pub with an extensive ale offering. Timepiece is one of Exeter’s best wine bars which transforms into a popular nightclub after dark. The club guarantees a night out for everyone, playing host to live DJs, silent discos and salsa nights. During the day, why not take a trip to view the relics at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum or hit Exeter Phoenix, a multi-artform venue with galleries, a cinema and dance studios! Looking for a bigger event? Every May, foodies of Exeter unite for the Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink for a weekend of samples, picnicing and food demos. If you class yourself as a food fan, it is not one to miss!


Exeter’s rich history is ideal for any budding historians heading to university. Immerse yourself in ye olde city by exploring the Underground Passages situated directly below Exeter’s busy High Street. In the light of day, Exeter Cathedral is home to some of the city’s most extravagant ancient architecture, and around the corner, Exeter Guildhall is not to be overlooked. Book a private tour to hear about the 800 years the hall has witnessed and stories from the Jury Room. To experience Exeter’s Roman history for free, take a trip to Northernhay Gardens and walk around the former castle grounds, first opened to the public in 1612.

Exploring the City and Beyond

Exeter is a one of a kind city, blending the joys of the countryside with all the accessibility of city life. It’s perfectly possible to take a stroll through idyllic country gardens between lectures, or even plan a relaxed picnic with friends for lunch. If you miss the bright lights of a bigger city, London is just a £30 train journey away, and it’s easy enough to travel there and back in one day, leaving plenty of time to wander around the capital. When living in Exeter, a summer trip to the beach is mandatory. Exmouth beach is just half an hour away from central Exeter and is the perfect location to spend a warm day on the sand.


Whether you enjoy watching or participating in sport, Exeter has plenty to offer. Rugby Union fans can watch the Exeter Chiefs' Premiership matches at Sandy Park, whilst football fans can get behind Exeter City FC at St. James’ Park. For those who like to dress up and splash the cash, be sure to stop by Exeter Racecourse, especially during the Haldon Gold Cup. Want to jump in and get involved yourself? Exeter is home to the South West’s largest indoor climbing wall at the Quay Climbing Centre who offer advanced walls for experienced climbers, or climbing courses for beginners. Why not use your new climbing skills to master Go Ape in the heart of nearby Haldon Forest?

Choose Exeter

When you choose Exeter, you choose safety, friendly locals and a city full of quirks and interesting tales. The perfect mixture of urban city and countryside escape, Exeter can offer everything the bigger cities can and more. The city provides excellent resources for every student, from sports to history to geography and everything in between - why would you choose anywhere else?

This blog was written by Emily Ware, a Digital Content Writer for The Student Housing Company. This is one of the UK’s leading providers of luxury independent living solutions for students in universities across the UK.


Exeter Quayside
Historic Site
Monolith at Exeter Quayside. Copyright: DOminic Lowther

Exeter's Historic Quayside is the most attractive area in the city, popular with locals & visitors for its fascinating history, pubs & restaurants.

Shopping Centre
View of Princesshay from the car park

The award-winning Princesshay is in the heart of the city, with over 70 stores including big brands such as Next and Debenhams, as well as smaller independent and regional brands. Princesshay is seriously stylish, featuring distinctive architecture, that complements Exeter's historic buildings, and landscaped European style squares with cafes and restaurants.

The Old Firehouse
The Old Firehouse meals

Widely acknowledged to be one of Exeter’s best ale and cider pubs, The Old Firehouse is very popular with students and locals alike and offers a buzzy atmosphere along with a great range of food and drink at reasonable prices!

Exeter's Underground Passages
Historic Site
Family image in the passages

The Passages were built to house the pipes that brought clean drinking water into medieval Exeter. A guided tour of Exeter's Underground Passages is a memorable event - narrow, dark, interesting and exciting.

Exeter Historic Guildhall
Historic Site
Exeter Guildhall interior

The Guildhall has served as the centrepiece of Exeter's civic life for more than 800 years.

Sandy Park Conference & Event Centre
Conferences & Weddings Conferences Category
Sandy Park exterior

Sandy Park, Exeter's award-winning Conference and Banqueting Centre and home to Devon's Premiership rugby team, the Exeter Chiefs.

Quay Climbing Centre
Adventure Park/Playground
Two people climbing in Quay Climbing Centre

Enjoy climbing with your family or friends at the South West’s largest indoor climbing wall. The Quay Climbing Centre is located in the heart of Exeter’s Quayside in the Old Electricity Building.

Haldon Forest Park - Forestry England
Country Park/Nature Reserve
Haldon Forest Park - Forestry Commission - walking with view

Immerse yourself in the great outdoors with Haldon Forest Park!

Exeter Phoenix
Arts Centre
Angled image of the exterior of the Exeter Phoenix

Exeter Phoenix is one of the South West’s leading contemporary arts venues, offering an exciting and varied programme of theatre, dance, performance, music, film and visual arts, and attracting over 150,000 visitors a year.

Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery - RAMM
Royal Albert Memorial Museum Queen Street Exeter

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM) is one of Exeter City Council’s flagship services. RAMM is also supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Stunning displays reveal Devon and Exeter’s rich history and global connections. Exotic animals, birds and insects delight children and a changing programme of exhibitions and events means there is likely to be something different to see on every visit. Free entry gives everyone the freedom to visit many times and to stay any length of time.

Exmouth Beach

The oldest seaside town in Devon, Exmouth boasts two miles of sandy beach, and is the gateway to the World Heritage Jurassic Coast.

The Guildhall Shopping Centre
Outdoor Market
The Guildhall Shopping Centre, Exeter

From fashion to food, to booking that perfect family holiday, everything you need can be found at Guildhall Shopping Centre, being home to brands such as Sainsbury’s, Wilko, Primark, WH Smith, Superdrug, Mothercare and Jigsaw, amongst others. Whilst shopping, don’t forget to check out the eight new restaurants at Queen St Dining!

Exeter City FC
Sports Ground/Stadium
ECFC pitch

The home of professional football in Exeter - come and enjoy a great day out and watch Exeter City attempt to regain their rightful position in the Football League.

Exeter Racecourse
Sports Ground/Stadium
Haldon Gold Cup race

Set in a stunning location overlooking beautiful Devon countryside, Exeter Racecourse prides itself as being one of the UK’s most progressive tracks, with excellent facilities and transport links.

The Guildhall Shopping Centre
Outdoor Market
The Guildhall Shopping Centre, Exeter

From fashion to food, to booking that perfect family holiday, everything you need can be found at Guildhall Shopping Centre, being home to brands such as Sainsbury’s, Wilko, Primark, WH Smith, Superdrug, Mothercare and Jigsaw, amongst others. Whilst shopping, don’t forget to check out the eight new restaurants at Queen St Dining!



Nobody has commented on this post yet, why not send us your thoughts and be the first?

Leave a Reply