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A friend from home coming to visit is always a tricky situation to navigate – there’s the concerns about them getting on with your housemates, avoiding getting so drunk that you can’t make sure they get back to your house safely, and managing to show them as much of your uni as possible even whilst nursing a hangover. Exeter may not be as big as London or as edgy as Manchester, but it has its own little charms. Follow this guide to make sure your friend sees Exeter in its best light.

Exeter may not be as big as London or as edgy as Manchester, but it has its own little charms

The arrival

If your friend is also a student, it is very unlikely that they are going to wake up early enough to arrive in Exeter before lunchtime. If your friends are anything like mine, they’ll probably arrive tired and starving because they woke up twenty minutes before they had to get their train and didn’t have time for breakfast. Pick them up from St David’s and head down to arguably one of the cutest spots in Exeter, the Quay. As students, the train fare alone probably blew the budget (thanks for that by the way, National Rail) so Mill on the Exe or On The Waterfront are a little bit out of reach. Pick up a picnic at the Co-op on the walk, taking advantage of your 10% NUS discount of course, and sit by the river with your lunch. It’s practically impossible to spend any time in Exeter without visiting a Co-op, so you might as well get this out of the way as soon as possible.

The afternoon

From the Quay, walk up into town via Fore Street. Fore Street is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated places in Exeter. Take your time exploring all the independent clothing shops, vintage stores, comic book stores and other hidden gems around there, showing your friend that there is in fact more to Exeter students than Topshop and Urban Outfitters, despite what our puffer jackets may suggest.

After this, take them to your house/halls, introduce them to the housemates, potentially sneak in a nap and get ready to go out.

there is in fact more to Exeter students than Topshop and Urban Outfitters, despite what our puffer jackets may suggest.

The evening

There are a couple of options for the evening. If you’re going to eat out, I highly recommend Las Iguanas – the food is great, the tapas allows you to share and the cocktails are two for one.

Also, if it’s a Tuesday, any tortilla based dish is two-for-one. Then, if you’re feeling fancy, head out to cocktails at any of the number of cocktail bars Exeter has to offer (or just Wetherspoons – you can’t beat the Impy). My favourite place for cocktails is Urban Underground, and with two-forone cocktails every night you cannot beat that value. If you’re feeling less fancy, just head to wherever pres is that night.

The night out

This may be a bit cringe, but the best night to take a home friend to is Cheesy’s. Exeter may not have clubs that offer free breakfast at 6am or have five different floors, but we can do cheese like no one else. Other clubs may have cheese rooms, but unless you’re willing to dedicate a whole night to it, why even bother. Dance the night away, do your thing, and try and make sure you don’t lose your friend.

The morning after

After a heavy night out, you’ll be needing a solid English breakfast. There are obviously tons of incredible brunch spots in Exeter but my favourite is No. 1 Polsloe. It’s small, friendly and the food is incredible.

Of course, no visit to Exeter is complete without a trip to the Ram and a basket of our famous curly fries – the perfect lunch for a hungover stomach.

If you’re looking for somewhere a bit cheaper, again, Impy is a classic. The fry up is only £3, and although it’s greasy, it’s delicious. From brunch, head to campus and give your friend the tour and show them all your favourite spots.

Of course, no visit to Exeter is complete without a trip to the Ram and a basket of our famous curly fries – the perfect lunch for a hungover stomach.

From campus it’s just a short walk down to St David’s, say your farewells and then head home to sleep it off.

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