What’s it like living in the Newtown and Mount Pleasant areas of Exeter? Hear from current student and Community Engagement Officer, Sarah, about her experiences in this guest blog.

Searching for student accommodation

I have lived in two different areas of Exeter while being in the private housing sector, specifically Portland Street and Monks Road. For me, a priority was to find housing for the cheapest possible price. This can be tricky, but the most important step is to find people to live with who are on the same page about what budgets are and how much everybody is willing to pay for a property, and what your priorities in a house are. For example, some people really want to be near to the university campus, whereas others value being near the city centre to make it easier to access everything the High Street has to offer. Whatever your priorities are, make sure they align with those of your future housemates.

Housing in Exeter can be competitive, and some properties can go quickly. But if you don’t manage to find something that is right for you straight away, DON’T PANIC! Other things will come up later in the year – just make sure you are doing what is right for you.

Newtown area

For my house in Portland Street, I paid £110 a week excluding bills, which is cheap for Exeter. Portland Street prices range a lot, so some properties on the road are expensive. It is five to ten minutes from town, and at the top of Sidwell Street there are some nice independent shops before getting further toward the high street. It’s best to be sensible when walking around this and other areas at night; try to go with a friend or take the bus if that is an option.

There are two great pubs nearby: the Bowling Green and Henry’s Bar. The street is twenty minutes from Streatham Campus, and five minutes from St Luke’s Campus. You also have Belmont Park nearby which is a lovely green space in the city.

Mount Pleasant area
Henry’s Bar, Mount Pleasant

On Monks Road, I am also paying £110 a week – most houses on this street are more affordable compared to other areas in Exeter. This road is brilliant because there are a lot of student houses. The student presence is strong, without it being too loud and ‘party-centred’. You’re very near a train station named Polsloe Bridge, which can connect you to St James Park, Exeter Central and Exeter St David’s Station, so meeting friends on the other side of the city is pretty easy!

Monks Road is twenty-five to thirty minutes from Streatham (the walk is pretty flat most of the way), and ten to fifteen minutes from St Lukes’ Campus and town. It is a bit further out of the city centre than Portland Street, but the houses are generally in better condition. You have Henry’s and the Bowling Green as your local pubs, and the Stoke Arms is also a quick walk away for a change of scene.

My housing recommendations

My recommendation would be living somewhere like Monks Road, or the surrounding streets such as Pinhoe Road, Morley Road and Priory Road because the area has a strong student presence; houses are generally more affordable, and everything is pretty accessible from this area of the city.