Area Guides

A Guide to Living in Exeter

Posted September 26, 2023
A Guide to Living in Exeter

Nestled in the heart of Devon, this charming city offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re a student, a young professional, or a family looking for a new place to call home, Exeter has something for everyone.

From its stunning medieval architecture to its vibrant social scene, there’s no shortage of things to see and do here. This living in Exeter guide will provide you with information on transport, education, eating out and events in the area.

Transport in Exeter

Public Bus
Exeter boasts a well-connected public bus system that caters to both the city centre and surrounding areas. The Stagecoach company operates many routes, providing convenient transport options for residents. With regular timetables and affordable fares, you can rely on the buses to get you around town comfortably and efficiently.

Train
Exeter is served by Exeter St Davids and Exeter Central trains stations. If you’re considering moving here, you’ll be pleased to know that the train services are reliable and link Exeter with various destinations across the country. London Paddington can be reached in just over two hours, making it a viable option for weekend trips or business purposes. 

Walking and Cycling
The compact size of Exeter makes it easy to walk and cycle around. Exploring the charming streets lined with historic buildings becomes an enjoyable daily experience as you discover hidden gems and stumble upon delightful independent shops and cafes scattered throughout the city centre. Whether it’s strolling along the River Exe or exploring the exquisite Cathedral Green, walking in Exeter offers convenience coupled with beauty.

Car
Driving in Exeter enables easy exploration of Devon’s beautiful countryside or planning road trips along stunning coastal routes like those found on the Jurassic Coastline. The M5 runs north-south, connecting Exeter with other cities, such as Bristol, Birmingham, and London. It provides easy access to Exeter from various parts of the country. The A30 road connects Exeter with Cornwall in the southwest. The A38 road links Exeter with Plymouth, providing a direct route between these two cities in Devon. The A377 road heads north from Exeter towards Barnstaple.

Education

Schools

Exeter School
A selective independent co-educational day school with strong academic and extracurricular traditions for pupils between the ages of 7 and above. Source

St Thomas Primary School
Part of the Exeter Learning Academy Trust, educating students in Union Street, St Thomas.

Ladysmith Junior School
On Pretoria Road, this school is part of the Ladysmith Federation, offering quality education under experienced leadership.

St Leonard’s Church of England Primary School (VC)
A mixed primary school with 600 pupils in Exeter, Devon and a member of the St Leonard’s group of schools.

Ide Primary School
It is also affiliated with the Exeter Learning Academy Trust and focuses on knowing children as individuals while delivering education excellence.

Montgomery Primary School
On Redvers Road, this school offers primary education to children in Exeter, Devon.

Colleges and Universities

University of Exeter
A prestigious public research university in Exeter, Devon. It is a member of the Russell Group of UK universities and offers a range of academic programs.

Exeter College
An award-winning further education college that holds an Ofsted Outstanding rating. It is committed to shaping the future by providing high-quality education and training opportunities.

University of Exeter Business School
A Triple Accredited Business School offering undergraduate, masters, MBA, and PhD study programs in disciplines such as accounting, economics, finance, and more.

Shopping

With a mix of high street brands, independent boutiques, and unique markets, Exeter caters to all.

The Cathedral Quarter surrounds the magnificent Exeter Cathedral. Here you’ll find a range of shops selling designer clothing, artisanal crafts, and stylish homeware. The picturesque cobbled streets add to the charm as you wander through boutique stores.

Aside from the Cathedral Quarter, there are several other shopping areas in Exeter worth exploring. Princesshay Shopping Centre is one such destination that boasts over 70 high street stores. These include fashion retailers like Topshop and Zara. Its open-air design adds vibrancy to your retail therapy session.

Guildhall Shopping Centre provides another indoor option with both popular chains and smaller businesses offering everything from fashion to electronics under one roof.

Along Fore Street and Magdalen Road lies an enticing selection of independent boutiques where you can discover unique gifts or one-of-a-kind items crafted by local artisans.

Gandy Street stands out as a vibrant hub for quirky independent stores nestled amidst charming Georgian townhouses—a brilliant spot for art enthusiasts seeking something special or fashionistas looking for trendy outfits away from mainstream labels.

If you’re looking for fresh produce or handmade crafts directly from suppliers, don’t miss Exeter’s Farmers’ Market held every Thursday on Fore Street!

Employers in Exeter

University of Exeter
Known for its excellence in education and research. The university provides employment opportunities across various disciplines. Roles include academics, administration, support staff, and research.

Devon County Council
The local government authority offers a wide range of public sector jobs. Roles in areas such as social work, education services, highways maintenance, public health, and more.

Met Office
Located in Exeter since 2004. The UK’s national weather service employs meteorologists and other professionals involved in weather forecasting.

Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
The largest employer in Devon’s healthcare sector with two major hospitals (Wonford Hospital and Heavitree Hospital). It offers employment opportunities for medical professionals and administrative personnel.

South West Water (part of Pennon Group)
A water utility company providing drinking water supply services to customers across the region; potential job roles include engineers (civil/mechanical/electrical), customer service representatives, technicians, etc.

EDF Energy
Developers of renewable energy projects, including wind farms and solar parks. They provide job openings relevant to sustainable/ renewable energy sectors.

Eating Out in Exeter

The Daisy Cafe
This cosy cafe specialises in British cuisine.

The Thatched House
A popular bar offering a variety of British dishes.

Bill’s Exeter
A restaurant known for its British cuisine and welcoming atmosphere.

Red Panda
This fast-food joint serves delicious Asian-inspired dishes.

The Flat
Enjoy tasty meals at this charming restaurant in Exeter.

Rendezvous
Known for its fusion cuisine, Rendezvous offers a unique dining experience.

The Conservatory
With a relaxed ambiance, this restaurant is perfect for enjoying a meal surrounded by greenery.

Dinosaur Café
A family-friendly spot serving delicious meals with dinosaur-themed décor.

Harry’s Restaurant
Within an iconic gothic-style building, Harry’s offers eclectic dishes and a bar area for drinks.

Green Spaces and Parks

Exeter Quay
This picturesque area is not only a hub for boating activities, but also offers scenic walking paths along the River Exe, where you can enjoy the lush green surroundings.

Rougemont Gardens
Nestled next to Exeter Castle, Rougemont Gardens provides a serene escape from the bustling city. Take a leisurely stroll among its well-manicured lawns and stunning flower displays.

Northernhay Gardens
Step into history at Northernhay Gardens, as it is one of England’s oldest public gardens. Its tranquil atmosphere and beautiful flora make it an ideal spot for a peaceful walk or some quiet reflection.

Belmont Park
Near the city centre, Belmont Park offers a range of recreational activities. From tennis courts to children’s play areas and even a mini 18-hole golf course, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this green haven.

Events in Exeter

When your living in Exeter you can enjoy events all round the year. We have a handpicked a few of these events below.

Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market
One of the biggest Christmas markets in Devon, featuring more than a hundred traders and a festive atmosphere

Exeter Craft Festival
The festival brings together local artisans and craft workers to showcase their unique handmade products. The festival has a wide range of crafts, including pottery, textiles, jewellery, woodwork, and much more.

Exeter Pride
An annual event that celebrates diversity and promotes equality for the LGBTQ+ community. The day includes a colourful parade through the city streets. It also has live entertainment, stalls, and activities in Northernhay Gardens.

Mayfield Gardens

Are you thinking of living in Exeter? Discover Shared Ownership houses at Mayfield Gardens.