‘The campus cat’: Here’s seven things that Exeter Uni students love most about the city

The independent coffee shops are also a big hit

From the Cathedral to early morning walks along the Quayside, Exeter is renowned for its seamless combination of bustling highstreets and classic Devonshire countryside. With a population of around 130,000, and 30,000 of those from over 150 countries as students at the uni, it’s fair to say that Exeter also has a fantastic mix of cultures. Residents frequently express their appreciation of Exeter’s nearness to a range of beaches and scenic walks, but what specifically attracts students to this small city? Well, we have the answers! We went and asked students to summarise what makes Exeter so special to them:

1. ‘The size of it’

Tabitha, an undergraduate in her first year at the University of Exeter, expressed her appreciation for the compact and town-like feel of the city. She said: “I like how it’s a small city and relatively easy to get everywhere”, highlighting the city’s walkability. From the university, it is, at most, a 30 minute walk into the heart of the city. Not only this, but Exeter’s recognition as a “small”, home-like city may prove comforting for new students as everyone knows everyone.

2. ‘The quay’

Mia, an undergraduate at the university, said: “I LOVE the quay!” From exploring the ins and outs of this little city, she concludes that the quay is the highlight of Exeter. She continued: “There are lots of little restaurants which I didn’t know were there and they’re so cute [and especially] at night, the vibes are immaculate.” During the summer, cute picnics by the quay or late-night walks are a MUST.

3. ‘The nice mix of architecture’

Nish, a first year student, expressed she immediately fell in love with the city’s historic atmosphere. She said: “[I like] the nice mix of architecture. The cathedral is Gothic but there’s also a lot of Georgian architecture.” She added: “The landscaping and greenery is really purposeful and throughout [the city]”, showing her love for the mix of old and new, natural and manmade in Exeter.

4. ‘The endless amounts of coffee shops’

Amelie, an undergrad, said: “The endless amounts of coffee shops” are her fave thing. In particular, she highlighted the matcha available at Bird & Blend. From the vast range of both independent and chain coffee shops scattered around town, to the university campus itself – this little city has a lot to offer you regarding delicious beverages. Upon speaking to various other students, we noticed that the “independent cafes” were special to many.

5. ‘How green and walkable it is’

Michaela, a student at the University of Exeter, expressed her love of the scenic walks to us. She said: “I like how walkable Exeter is – the train station, town, and the uni are all in close proximity and the greenery creates a very pretty walk.” Two areas which stand out to her are the beachside walks, which she said: “Are also really accessible through short train journeys which I love. The Northern-hay Gardens in the centre of town are also so beautiful for a morning walk.”

6. ‘The charity shops’

Another student at the University of Exeter, Mish, said: “I love the charity shops.” Alongside the range of charity shops, Exeter is also a hub for all things vintage – from timeless clothes to jewellery. Walking down the various narrow streets, with Gandy Street being a hotspot for quirky shops, it almost feels as if you have been transported into a different world.

7. ‘The campus cat’

The final student we spoke to, Joe, said that: “[He loves the] campus cat!” Specifically, the University of Exeter is home of the adored and renowned Napoleon, often found perched on Forum Hill. When trekking to a 9am lecture, seeing a little furry friend is always a nice way to brighten up your day.

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