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  • Availability is mainly in the Easter (March, April) and summer (June, July, August, September) vacation periods, when students clear their rooms
  • Rooms typically become available two to three months in advance, so please revisit the website within that period if nothing is available now
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Cheap B&B & Self Catering rooms in Exeter

Not just for students - anyone can book!

  • Staying in university rooms in Exeter is a convenient and affordable way to stay in this historic city in the south-west of the UK
  • Single, twin and double ensuite rooms a comfortable and provide a cost effective alternative to staying in a hostel or cheap Exeter hotel
  • Some rooms are provided by the University of Exeter, and others by independent student accommodation providers
  • Rooms are mainly available in the Easter and summer vacation periods, but some may be available year-round

Exeter Visitor information

An introduction to Exeter

Exeter is an historic city in Devon, England. It is located on the River Exe and is approximately 37 miles northeast of Plymouth, and 70 miles southwest of Bristol.

Exeter was the most south-westerly Roman fortified settlement in Britain and has existed since time immemorial. Exeter Cathedral, founded in 1050 is Anglican.

The city has good transport links, with Exeter St David's railway station, Exeter Central railway station, the M5 motorway and Exeter International Airport connecting the city both nationally and internationally. Although a popular tourist destination, the city is not dominated by tourism.

Activities of interest in Exeter

Exeter has many sites and events as well as great shopping areas within its city. It is an ideal place for you to base your visit to Devon, enabling you to travel out of the city and see some of the other beautiful sites and attractions that the county has to offer. There is a great deal to see, from stately homes and gardens to adventure parks and castles.

Exeter Cathedral is a magnificent example of Gothic architecture which has dominated the skyline since 1114. Exeter Castle, built by William the Conquerer in 1068, is not only a place of historical interest but now hosts art exhibitions, pop concerts and festivals. Northernhay Gardens, located just outside the castle, is the oldest public open space in the whole of England, being originally laid out in 1612 as a pleasure walk for Exeter residents. Along the narrow streets from the cathedral is the commercial heart of the city with one of the best shopping centres in the south west.

Exeter's historic quayside is a popular tourist attraction. Once a Roman waterway, it became a 16th century port and is today a riverside resort. It offers a unique collection of restaurants, shops and outdoor activities. 

Getting to Exeter

By Road: The M5 motorway to Bristol and Birmingham starts at Exeter, and connects at Bristol with the M4 to London and South Wales. The older A30 road provides a more direct route to London via the A303 and M3. The M5 is the modern lowest bridging point of the River Exe. Going westwards, the A38 connects Exeter to Plymouth and south east Cornwall, whilst the A30 continues via Okehampton to north and west Cornwall.

By Rail: There are two main line railway routes from Exeter to London, the faster route via Taunton to London Paddington and the slower West of England Main Line via Salisbury to London Waterloo. Another main line, the Cross-Country Route, links Exeter with Bristol, Birmingham, the Midlands, Leeds, Northern England, and Scotland.

By Coach: Exeter Bus and Coach station is located at Paris Street. There are several express coach services daily from most major cities.

By Air: Exeter International Airport lies east of the city. The airport offers a range of scheduled flights to UK and Irish regional airports as well as charter flights.


History of Exeter

The favourable location of Exeter, on a dry ridge of land overlooking a river that was teeming with fish, and with fertile land nearby, suggests that it would have been a site that was occupied early. The discovery of coins dating from the Hellenistic period in the city indicates the existence of a settlement as early as 250 BC.

More than 1,000 Roman coins have been found in the city indicating its importance as a trading centre. The dates of these coins suggest that the city was at its most prosperous in the first half of the fourth century. However, virtually no coins dated after 380AD have been found, suggesting a rapid decline.

Exeter was the centre of a rebellion in Southwest England in 1068. The Normans lay siege to Exeter for 18 days but they were unable to capture it. Eventually the people of Exeter agreed to submit to William the Conqueror. In return he swore an oath that he would not harm the town. However he built a castle to make sure the townspeople behaved themselves in future. Exeter Castle was built on a hill known as red hill (rouge mont in Norman French) because of its red rock. The castle became known as Rougemont castle.

Exeter: the university

After earlier beginnings, university education in Exeter began in 1922 with the conversion of the previous Royal Albert Memorial College into the University College of the South West of England, and the College's inclusion on the list of institutions eligible to receive funds from the then University Grants Committee. At that time the College was conceived as a territorial institution, making university education available relatively locally for students from the four counties of Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset. As was customary for new university institutions in southern England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the College prepared students for external degrees of the University of London. With further growth in the 1920s and 1930s, it was granted increasing autonomy, but full independence was delayed by the Second World War. The university college received its Royal Charter and became the free-standing University of Exeter in December 1955.

Famous Alumni

Exeter has a large number of well-known alumni. Princess Anne's son Peter Phillips attended the University in the late 90s. J. K. Rowling the author of the Harry Potter books read French and Classics in the mid 80's. Robert Bolt playwright and two-time Oscar and BAFTA winning screenwriter (Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, A Man For All Seasons) also attended Exeter. Jonathon Band First Sea Lord of the United Kingdom, the most senior serving officer in the Royal Navy read Economics in the 70s. Fiona Shackleton, the high-profile divorce case lawyer, read law in the 1970s. Thom Yorke, lead singer of Radiohead, read English and Fine Arts at the University of Exeter.

Reviews for Exeter

Based on 348 reviews

This was such a smoothly organised setup, perfect for the open day, gave a real insight into accommodation provided by the university/ Overall we were made to feel really welcome and it really gave a boost to the overall experience of the university and where it ranked in our choice. Thanks!

(Review Of Holland Hall, University of Exeter) Holland Hall, University of Exeter

A very pleasant room - but I must admit that the quality of the matress was way below my expecation (far too soft and worn out)! I could feel every metal spring bit in it.... :-( Everything else was ok :-)

(Review Of Pennsylvania Court, University of Exeter) Pennsylvania Court, University of Exeter

had a most enjoyable stay and added an extra night for sunday ,will be looking to return this weekend on friday if there is availability .Will also look at your website as i am planning to visit sheffield and york with in the next 3 months ,,

(Review Of Northernhay House, Exeter - Students Only) Northernhay House, Exeter - Students Only

An excellent way to stop over night, at a very acceptable price. We did have initial problems with internet access - eventually the porter came to the room and it was a phone line fault he was able to rectify. Would certainly recommend this to friends.

(Review Of Holland Hall, University of Exeter) Holland Hall, University of Exeter

I completed a paper feedback at the end of my stay. Staff were welcoming surroundings great. The only disappointment was the awful mattress. I needed to double the duvet and sleep on top of it, even then it was possible to feel the mattress springs! it need to be replaced asap

(Review Of Holland Hall, University of Exeter) Holland Hall, University of Exeter

I found the room very easy to book. The directions given were very clear as was the arrival information. I would consider an en suite room in the future due to lack of privacy in the shared bathrooms. The breakfast was amazing. All in all, the value for money was brilliant.

(Review Of Mardon Hall, University of Exeter) Mardon Hall, University of Exeter

Very pleasant and staff very helpful. Also quiet at night, making it easy to get a good night's sleep. Position of campus so close to town and station was a bonus

(Review Of Holland Hall, University of Exeter) Holland Hall, University of Exeter

The reception staff were fantastic and when we asked for a " room with a view" they couldn't have been more accommodating. We will definately be coming back.

(Review Of Holland Hall, University of Exeter) Holland Hall, University of Exeter

Lots of well deserved 'positives' as listed above. However, upon arrival, it was disquieting to be informed that despite having given my debit card details upon booking no payment had been made. Moreover, I don't take credit/debit cards on holiday. Fortunately, I had enough cash to pay upon my arrival... but it was a close run thing.

(Review Of Holland Hall, University of Exeter) Holland Hall, University of Exeter
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