By Study Inn

Located in the heart of stunning Devon, Exeter has steadily emerged as a coveted destination for students from all corners of the globe. Recognised as one of the most fun cities for student life in 2023, Exeter effortlessly blends its rich historical tapestry with the vibrancy of modern academia. As we dive deeper into what the city offers, we’ll unravel the reasons behind its rising appeal and showcase why it’s celebrated as a hub of student exuberance and academic excellence. Join us as we explore the many facets that make Exeter the ultimate student destination.

Exeter coastline
Exeter coastline

Where is the best student area in Exeter? 

Exeter offers diverse campus experiences found in breathtaking locations. Together, these campuses are a melting pot of culture, with a community of 22,000 students from over 130 countries. The Streatham Campus in Exeter, set amidst tranquil lakes and green parkland, is home to a harmonious blend of historic charm and modern facilities, attracting a significant amount of students. St Luke’s Campus, positioned at Exeter’s eastern edge, is a hub for diverse departments, from Sports and Health Sciences to the Academy of Nursing. Meanwhile, the Penryn Campus, located close to the scenic Falmouth coast, offers students a unique blend of intimate academia and community spirit.

Beyond the university grounds, Exeter has many areas of interest for students. Popular areas like St. David’s and Pennsylvania are not only close to the university but also offer a rich blend of local culture, cafes, and shops. These neighbourhoods are peppered with student-friendly amenities and provide the opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the broader Exeter community, granting the best of both campus life and city living.

Exeter’s Eating Spots

Exeter is home to a plethora of delightful eateries and coffeehouses. Near Exeter Cathedral lies Grow, a friendly coffee shop with a vast menu, including the popular chocolate chip banana bread. Its student-friendly discounts and outdoor terrace make it ideal for relaxation. A stone’s throw away on Sidwell Street, The Undergrad buzzes with people. Known for its exceptional coffee and a vibrant study atmosphere, it’s a student favourite. Pura Vida reigns supreme for brunch, offering mouthwatering dishes like avocado toast with halloumi. If you’re craving a sandwich, Chandos Deli, tucked behind Princesshay, is your spot with its myriad of options to choose from.

Old Firehouse remains iconic among students, mainly for its enormous pizzas, which are perfect for sharing. As for newer entrants, Flamenca presents a vivid ambience coupled with delectable Spanish tapas, best enjoyed with their homemade sangria.

Old Firehouse, Exeter
Old Firehouse, Exeter

The Nightlife in Exeter

For evening escapades, The Monkey Suit on Sidwell Street promises tantalising cocktails, while Topsham Brewery on the quay delivers home-brewed beer and an eclectic atmosphere, amplified by their open mic nights. Both venues, each with its unique flair, ensure Exeter’s nightlife remains exciting and unforgettable.

Though Exeter may not rival nightlife giants like London or Manchester for endless dance marathons, the city still has an array of nightclubs. Timepiece  humorously brands itself as Exeter’s “half-decent nightclub,” attracting both the city’s sophisticated partygoers and a range of sports team gatherings. Meanwhile, Unit 1 remains a cherished hotspot for students, especially during its iconic “Cheesy Tuesdays,” where retro hits guarantee an unforgettable night of sing-alongs.

Nightlife in Exeter, students enjoying a clubbing night out
Nightlife in Exeter

Student accommodation & cost of living in Exeter 

Living in Exeter comes with a slightly elevated cost for students. Located in the south-west of the UK, this region ranks among the pricier areas for student living. However, Exeter is far less expensive than London as a city (26.3%) and rent is 56% lower. 

To save money on student living costs, try all-inclusive accommodation at our site Walnut Gardens in Exeter. It’s just an 8-minute walk away from the main campus for an easy morning lecture rush. Our serviced apartments blend private en-suite bedrooms with vibrant communal spaces, offering an ideal balance of privacy and community. Central to our offering is the Luxe Lounge, a modern space designed for relaxation, socialising, and entertainment.

Each apartment houses 5-6 premium en-suite rooms, all orbiting a sleek Luxe Lounge equipped with a top-tier kitchen. With our attentive housekeeping and amenities from a drinks cooler to a dishwasher, daily chores become effortless. Enjoy casual chats at the breakfast bar or unwind with a 55-inch smart TV and a host of games in the living area.

Beyond just accommodation, Walnut Gardens promises an unparalleled student experience in Exeter. All-inclusive rent covers utility bills, access to wellness facilities like a gym and spa, entertainment zones, study spaces, high-speed Wi-Fi, 24/7 staff support, events, bike rentals, and a welcome essentials pack. By bundling expenses such as rent, utilities, internet, and sometimes even amenities like gym access or laundry into one fixed monthly fee, students can better predict and manage their monthly expenditures.

Leisure and Extracurricular Activities

Diving into the enriching experiences that Exeter University offers, students find an array of affordable clubs and societies. We recently ranked the Guardian’s top 20 universities on a variety of factors to find the 10 ‘most fun’ universities in the mix. We looked at factors like pint prices, the variety of student societies and student satisfaction scores. Overall, the University of Exeter came in third place as the most fun place to be a student and has the most places to eat out (second only to London) on the list. An average pint in Exeter will set you back around £3.94, just a penny behind the national average

The University of Exeter has over 300 societies to get stuck into, from academic, cultural, and hobbyist groups like acting, computer science and even a cream tea society. There’s usually a modest joining fee, though some might have additional expenses for trips or special events.

Exeter student society dancing presentation
Exeter student society

Nestled in the picturesque Devon landscape, Exeter boasts a mesmerising coastline and lush countryside. Outdoor enthusiasts can revel in activities like hiking, cycling, and surfing, while the city’s dedication to environmental sustainability appeals to eco-conscious individuals. Landmarks like the Exeter Cathedral and the medieval Exeter Historic Guildhall showcase the city’s deep-rooted history, while its myriad of museums, galleries, and live venues offer a rich cultural tapestry.

Nightlife in Exeter offers a mix of student-friendly pubs, bars, and clubs, often with student deals or entry discounts. Exeter has historic pubs like The Ship Inn, once frequented by Sir Francis Drake, and The Turks Head, a favourite of Charles Dickens, alongside popular student haunts such as The Ram Bar on Streatham Campus and The Old Firehouse, renowned for its vast beer selection and oversized pizzas. Summers are best enjoyed at canal-side venues like Double Locks or the scenic views at The Turf. The city is also a hub for music enthusiasts; Exeter Cavern has been a launching pad for renowned bands like Muse and Coldplay.

Is Exeter a safe place to live?

In a national context encompassing England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, Exeter proudly ranks within the top 10 safest major towns. Out of all towns, cities, and villages, it stands as the 2,548th in terms of safety.

In collaboration with Stagecoach, Exeter University provides a Night Bus service for students in Exeter. Operating from late evening to 4 am during term time, it’s available on Wednesdays to Saturdays, connecting the city centre to the Streatham campus. Check out the latest UNI route and Night Bus timetable. Enjoy the flexibility of using Stagecoach network tickets or the discounted Unirider passes. Thanks to the University’s subsidy, a single ride is just £2. For real-time bus tracking and ticket purchases, use the Stagecoach app.

For students walking back from nights out, ensure your safety with Nightline. From 8 pm to 8 am during term time, this free confidential helpline is available. Dial 01392 724000, and a trained student volunteer will accompany you over the phone throughout your journey.

Is Exeter a good place to be a student?

Exeter presents an unmatched blend of academic excellence, rich cultural heritage, diverse eating-out experiences, and lively nightlife. From the serene landscapes of the Streatham Campus to the eclectic streets filled with history, food, and fun, the city promises an enriching student journey. For those on the brink of their university adventure, Exeter stands as an open door. 

It’s time to book your luxury student accommodation in time for term time! Enquire now to start your journey.