With Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks and the South West coastline all within reach, the small city of Exeter has something for everyone.

For a mix or urban living with a rural escape, Exeter really does seem to have it all. The city is just a short distance from two national parks – Dartmoor and Exmoor – and the South West's golden sandy beaches.

It’s home to a Gothic cathedral, historic quayside and a well-respected university as well as a range of amenities.

It’s little wonder that it attracts a wide range of people, including students, young families, retirees and outdoor enthusiasts.

Firstly, where is Exeter?

Exeter is located in the county of Devon, south west England. It sits at the top of the Exe estuary, where the River Exe leads to the English Channel.

The city is close to the Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Site, otherwise known as the Jurassic Coast, a stretch of coastline that dates back 185 million years.

It’s also a short drive from Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks and their famous rocky outcrops, known as Tors.

How much will it cost to buy?

The average price of a property in Exeter is £299,624. The table, below, shows how many properties have sold in the city over the past 12 months, the average sale price, and how values are changing.

What about renters?

Average asking rents in Exeter currently stand at £1,045 per month. Renters will need to budget £897 for a two-bedroom flat and £1,651 for a four-bedroom house.

Living in Exeter: What to expect

You can pretty much take your pick in Exeter. The city boasts a swathe of period homes, including Victoria, Georgian and Edwardian properties.

There are also homes dating from the 1930s through to the 1960s, as well as gleaming modern, new-build homes emerging.

As a popular university location, students naturally dominate the streets around the Streatham and St Luke's campuses - Exeter University's famous alumni including Harry Potter author JK Rowling and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke.

For affordable properties, explore the areas of St Thomas, Clyst Heath and Exwick.

And for the more sought-after addresses in the city, head for St Leonards, Pennsylvania, St James, Heavitree and Topsham, which is right on the river.

Finding an estate agent

Whether you’re buying or renting you can choose the right agent with our handy AgentFinder tool. On Zoopla you’ll be able to pick from 59 estate agents in Exeter, including 49 letting agents and compare how many listings they have the average time it takes for a sale.

Best ways to get around Exeter

Exeter serves as a gateway to enter and leave the rural South West. There are three train stations - Exeter Central, Exeter St Thomas and Exeter St Davids – where services run to London and Cornwall.

Exeter sits on the end of the M5, which links the city with West Bromwich near Birmingham. And a short drive away, the A303 runs from Honiton in Devon to Basingstoke in Hampshire (which feeds into the M3 to London).

For travel further afield, Exeter International Airport offers domestic and international flights.


There's a variety of schools in Exeter, from infant schools, through to secondary schools, special schools and independent schools.

Notable fee-paying schools include Exeter School and The Maynard School as well as Blundells School in nearby Tiverton.

You can find more information on Devon County Council’s website and the Government website.


Exeter Cathedral is one of the city’s finest landmarks. Enjoy a tour, taking in the astronomical clock and 17th century organ.

History lesson

Exeter can trace its roots back to before Roman times and beyond. Settlements here are thought to date back millennia.

Where to eat, drink and make merry

There’s no shortage of places to let your hair down. The student areas of the city are naturally packed with bars and pubs.

There’s also a cluster in the city centre and the historic Quayside. In fact, there are events throughout the year around the quay, including 10k runs and live music.

Retail therapy

There’s a raft of high street brands, such as M&S, Debenhams and Gap, at Princess Hay shopping centre. John Lewis is also in Exeter.

If you're after independent stores, try Gandy Street, around the Cathedral Green and Magdalen Road in the St Leonards neighbourhood. There’s a mix of antique shops in and around the quayside too.

Trivial pursuit

Gandy Street is supposed to be the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. See the JK Rowling reference, above.

What’s for sale…

…for the first-time buyer?

Two-bedroom terraced house on St Loyes Terrace for £220,000

This mid-terrace house is situated in a quiet cul-de-sac a short distance from a range of amenities, including Heavitree shopping centre, Lidl, local schools and hospitals. It boasts a south-west facing garden and newly-refurbished kitchen.

Available via Your Move

…for the family?

Six-bedroom semi-detached house on Powderham Crescent for £575,000

This Victorian family home is located in a sought-after location within walking distance of Exeter city centre and the university. It retains many period features with a substantial, south-facing walled rear garden.

Available via Wilkinson Grant & Co

….for renters?

Three-bedroom flat on Bartholomew Street East for £2,600 per month

This modern apartment has been finished with high spec appliances. It's located just a two-minute walk from the high street and 15 minutes from the university. There's onsite cycle storage and videocam entry phone system.

Available via Francis Louis Residential

…with the biggest discount?

Three-bedroom bungalow on Bowhay Lane for £181,500

This property is offered at a reduced price for people aged over 60 through Homewise's Home for Life Plan. Located in St Thomas, it boasts a detached garage and parking space.

Available via Homewise

Four-bedroom detached house on Streatham Rise for £1.9m

This modern and spacious home features a grand staircase, galleried landings and stained glass windows, brand new kitchen, dining and conservatory area, four-ensuite bedroom as well as double garage and additional parking.

Available via Wilkinson Grant & Co

The most expensive streets to buy…

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