Travelling to and from Exeter

Whether you’re coming from abroad or from around the UK, it’s great to know your travel options for travelling to and from Exeter.

Exeter Airport

If you’re flying to the UK, Exeter Airport is the closest airport to the Streatham Campus, and regular buses can take you from the airport to the centre of Exeter or you can book a taxi at a fixed price.

Bristol Airport

Bristol Airport is another option. If you take the Airport Flyer Express Bus Service to Bristol Temple Meads railway station, you can travel by train to Exeter within an hour.

An alternative option is to catch the South West Falcon Bus (via Stagecoach), which takes an hour and a half, change at the Sowton, Honiton Road stop to the RED bus which will take you to the centre of Exeter in under 20 minutes.

London airports

Heathrow Airport 

As flights are normally cheaper into London, here are the options: If flying into Heathrow Airport, you can take the Heathrow Express to London Paddington railway station, and in over 2 hours, you will arrive at Exeter St David’s Railway Station.

However, if you’re feeling anxious about dragging heavy bags after a flight on and off trains and want something more direct, you can take the National Express from Heathrow’s Central Bus Station to Exeter Bus and Coach Station. Depending which bus you get, it can take as little as 3 hours to as long as 5 hours from the Central Bus Station to Exeter.

The pros of travelling by Heathrow Express and train is that you’ll have more legroom, there'll be nicer views and it’s faster, while National Express bus is a more direct journey and you spend less time dragging bags around.

Gatwick Airport

From London Gatwick, you can take a train from the Gatwick Airport Train Station to Reading and from there to Exeter. If you would prefer to take the bus, you can transfer from Gatwick to Heathrow’s Central Bus Station, and follow that route above instead.

Travel tip – always follow the signs and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance if you’re unsure or lost. Also always allow time for connections! 

Exeter has two main train stations: Exeter St David's and Exeter Central. Our Streatham campus is a 15 minute walk from Exeter St David's, the bigger station of the two, with direct trains to and from London Paddington, Bristol, Reading, Plymouth and other cities across the UK. Exeter Central station is located in the city centre, very close to the High Street. There is a third train station in Exeter that is a useful one to know if you live or will live off-campus and possibly further away from the two main stations. St James Park station is very close to a lot of student housing roads, adjacent to the Football Stadium.

If you are interested in getting to and from London, trains via St David's can take you via two different train lines (to either Paddington or Waterloo). On average, a train from Exeter St David's will take over two hours to London Paddington (and the same on return), while the Waterloo journey will take over three hours.

Check out the National Rail, Cross Country, Great Western and South West Trains websites to explore journey possibilities. For longer journeys, try and book in advance as train tickets can get quite pricey, but you can get great deals on specific journeys depending what time or day you travel.

TIP! We highly recommend that you invest in a 16-25 Railcard, in which you get a third off the price of rail tickets – absolutely worth it! If you’re a mature student, there is an alternative option which entitles you to similar perks as a 16-25 Railcard – a Two Together Railcard. If you have a friend or a partner to share with, you also get a third off train fares and you can go on many adventures together around the South West!

*Also tip for those of you interested in a 16-25 Railcard, it doesn’t have to expire after you turn 26. Buy a railcard just before your 26th birthday and you’ll have it for a whole extra year.
If travelling by train from the airports, please check the flying section.

Exeter’s Bus and Coach Station is located in the centre of town with routes across the South West and beyond. If travelling to and from Exeter by bus, visit the Stagecoach, Megabus, and National Express websites to explore your options or use a journey planner. We highly recommend that you take advantage of the local student discounts.

If travelling by bus from the airports, check the flying section.

The M4/M5 links Exeter directly to London, the Midlands, South Wales and the North including Scotland. To the South, the A30 links Exeter to Cornwall. The average journey time from either London or the Midlands is 3 hours. 

Satellite navigation

Use postcode EX4 4QJ for the Streatham Campus and EX2 4TE for St Luke’s. Please note, parking on campus is extremely limited.