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  • University of exeter: student guide to accommodation

TSR Wiki > University > Student Life > Accommodation > Exeter Accommodation


Exeter has loads of accommodation, ranging from the large undergrad halls for 1st years to small remote places for postgrads. I'll talk about the main ones, but this is only one perspective and after all, I haven't lived in them all!

Contents

Catered Halls

UPDATED PRICES FOR 2010/2011 (per week)

""STANDARD"" Single £128.45 Shared £112.91

""ENHANCED"" Single £146.65 Shared £129.64

""EN-SUITE"" Single £179.20 Shared £154.42

UPDATED PRICES FOR 2008/2009 (per week)

STANDARD Single £111.86 Shared £98.28

ENHANCED Single £127.68 Shared £112.91

EN-SUITE Single £156.03 Shared £134.40

UPDATED PRICES 2009/2010 (per week)

STANDARD Single £122.92 Shared £108.01

ENHANCED Single £140.35 Shared £124.11

EN-SUITE Single £171.50 Shared £147.77

Duryard (apart form Moberly House, closed 2008)

Known as the most physically unattractive hall, along with the Ransom Pickard block of Lopes, Duryard is slightly off campus to the north west. It is composed of 4 houses where students live: Jessie Montgomery (where I lived for half a year), Moberley, Murray and Hetherington. Central block is located in between, where there are 2 dining rooms, a bar, common room and computer room. £97 per week, catered

PROS

  1. Lovely gardens, v. green
  2. Purportedly better atmosphere than other halls
  3. Near to the Catholic chaplaincy, if you're catholic.
  4. Almost all single rooms
  5. Good breakfasts, fairly generous proportions at lunch
  6. Nice porters (apart from one bald guy )
  7. Common room with sky tv
  8. Computer room
  9. Free laundry, though you have to get there at non-busy times

CONS

  1. Terrible, low quality food (the smell of dinner made me feel nauseous)
  2. 12ish people to about 3 toilet cubicles, 2 bath cubicles and a shower
  3. Far from campus (about 15 mins away up a hill - but not the huge hill that some make out)
  4. The Welly, Duryard's bar, is a bit crap. Also badly painted
  5. Central heating doesn't work so freezing in winter
  6. Probably pretty bad value for money
  7. Apart from in Jessie Montgomery, no plaster and paint on wall - just brick (but people cover this with posters)
  8. Ugly

Mardon

Just beneath Holland Hall and above Nash Grove, this is really near to campus and Reed Hall, which has beautiful gardens. £105 for single enhanced, catered

PROS

  1. Near to campus, etc
  2. Nice rooms and building
  3. Has tennis courts
  4. Library + computer room
  5. Enhanced rooms

CONS

  1. Mostly shared rooms
  2. Has a reputation for sloanes
  3. Have to go to Holland hall for meals and share their bar
  4. Difficult to get a place there


Holland Hall

Aerial view of Holland

The newest hall, but also one of the most expensive, due to only having en-suite catered rooms.

PROS

  1. Lovely, modern, en-suite rooms
  2. Glass fronted restaurant as dining room
  3. Towel heaters
  4. Fantastic view of Exe Valley
  5. Near to campus
  6. Free laundry, like all catered halls
  7. Double beds
  8. Close to sports centre

CONS

  1. There are only en-suite catered rooms, so are one of the most expensive halls
  2. Alleged worst atmosphere of all halls
  3. Bar 'Dutch Courage' lacks atmosphere
  4. A lot of competition to get in
  5. Not proper bathroom -> Wetroom

-> Virtual Tour

Lopes Hall

Aerial view of Pennslyvania Court

Divided into 5 parts that are all rather different: brand new en-suite Pennslyvania Court (Penn Court), Ransom Pickard (older style Penny C, no balconies, dingier interior), Hope Hall and Lazenby, and Lopes main House where meals are eaten and all admin/mail etc is taken care of.

PROS

  1. Near to main campus and town + Cornwall House (where the Lemmy is)
  2. Beautiful gardens
  3. En-suite, towel heaters, nice building + interiors (Penn Court)
  4. Lovely converted manor house (Lopes main)
  5. Double beds in (Penn Court)

CONS

  1. Penn court is one of the most expensive accomodation on campus becasue the rooms are en-suite catered
  2. Far away from sports centre

-> Virtual Tour

The rooms in Pennsylvania Court:Link title

To begin, the location of Penny C is towards the east of campus, just of Pennsylvania road which leads straight into town (approximately 10 minutes walk, 7 if you walk fast/run a little). Birks and Holland are the west side of campus near the sports facilities, thus significantly further out of town, an extra 10-15 minutes. Along Pennsylvania road (about half way down 5ish minuets) there is a Co-operative, which stocks basics and some fresh bakery goods at a MUCH better price than the campus shop. If you walk to the tip of town, a new Sainsbury’s has been built, which depending on what you need, may be more useful.

Contrary to popular belief, not all rooms in Penny C actually have a balcony – the rooms facing front (facing towards the Lopez grounds) have a balcony; the rooms on the rear have an extremely large window on looking trees. The window itself does not open a huge amount, however it does let enough air in and you can sit on the window ledge and look out. I think the window offers more privacy at times, in addition to being safe to leave open at night (unlike the balcony door which would need to be closed). Birks hall has all of its rooms with this window. The balconies in Penny C are actually shared with one neighbour and only have one opening door (unlike Holland hall where a lot of the balconies are separate and most have two opening doors). Pennsylvania court is somewhat a happy medium in that regard. All of the en suite catered rooms have a double bed (except disabled rooms). The double bed is comfortable, yet I would advise brining your own pillows, a throw and bed linen as what is provided can be pretty naff and it really does make the room feel more like your own. The laundry service in penny C is also great, I used to change my towel (which they provided) every Friday, while other students would change their sheets and pillow cases etc.

The bathroom is actually very nice in Penny C (cleaned every week), with a power shower, a large sink, two mirrors and a bathroom cabinet. You can lock your wardrobe, which initially may look small but there’s actually a lot of room up on the self above and piling things below. Of course you have the chest of draws also, which you can move around for more space. Security is actually rather a comfort in Penny C, you feel safe with the ability to lock doors from the inside and out and peep through the peep hole on your door. Some people critique the newer en suites for being “unsociable” due to having locked fire safety doors throughout the corridors of the building – but if anyone wanted them open, bins and fire extinguishers did the trick. While on the topic of fire extinguishers, be prepared for the fire alarm to go off rather often. Especially near the beginning of term, there will be fire drills – often and undesirably late at night when we were all in our pjs. Obviously you will learn the procedure, but it can get pretty annoying when you know someone has deliberately set it off and your standing outside in the cold while it’s both raining and dark, with this dire alarm going off in your ear.


Just a quick word about block A which I picked up on while talking to people who stayed there last year; it is most defiantly a smoking hall and this is prominent throughout the block A building. I think within block A a bond will form within that singular block and at times it is easy just to stick to that group of people and not mix outwards. I don’t understand why they put non smoking people in there as the second hand smoke will be vast.


Food for Penny C All meals are of course eaten in the Lopez dining hall, which isn’t newly built like that of Birks and Holland, but is rather vintage, with a large portrait above the head table. Breakfast is from 8am – 9.30am and is possibly the best meal on offer in the hall. You have a selection of cereal (muesli oats, cornflakes and coco pops) porridge and or several items from a full English. You then have the option of one piece of fruit, yogurt and bread, with orange juice on offer also. They can be quite pernickety and from what i can remember only allow you to have 3 items – 1 hot 1 cold and then something else etc.

Dinner is from 5.15 until 7pm and I would always head down at 6ish as the initial crowd will have died down by then. It is set up like a school canteen, you have a tray and cutlery and pick what you like; Sheppard’s pie, tuna pasta, curries, couscous in peppers, salmon, tuna steaks, chips, chicken, mash potatoes, boiled potatoes, a roast on a Sunday. There is always a salad bar and a baked potato on offer, although the fillings weren’t always desirable. There were two different vegetables on offer each day, alternating between: peas, carrots, green beans, parsnips, roast vegetables, cauliflower, broccoli, swede and cabbage etc. For pudding there are different cakes, a yogurt, sometimes donuts or ice cream, and of course a choice of one piece of fruit (banana, orange, apple and sometimes kiwi). Apparently the food in both Holland and Birks is slightly nicer, yet I suppose I beg to differ – yes it may not be the best but throughout the catered halls the food is around the same standard. It is by no means unbearable and you can always take extra fruit and yogurt if the dinner really isn’t what you fancy (just inform the staff that you aren’t having much for dinner so could to have extra of X.

(added by Dolly123)

Hope Hall

Just next to Lopes and has lots of shared rooms.

PROS

  1. Bar, The Badger, probably best halls bar (as of Oct 2010, badger no longer open due to 'cutbacks' - all other hall bars also closed)
  2. Near CH, town and main campus
  3. Nice rooms, gardens
  4. Smaller hall, so get to know everyone very well

CONS

  1. Few rooms
  2. Some shared rooms
  3. Dining room has also been closed, so must walk to Lopes for dinner

NB: there is a strong likelihood that you will be placed in a twin room if you have not taken a year out, so bear this in mind in your application. It seems to be a rule that only those who have come straight from school are given a shared room. There are only 9 ensuites!

-> Virtual Tour

Birks Grange

Just down the hill, Birks Grange is the newest hall on campus and has over 100 ensuite rooms for first year students. Moberly House was the last remaining part of the now closed Duryard, now part of Birks Grange and shares its facilities.

PROS

  1. Close to campus
  2. Nice and new, and a good bar
  3. Tradition of good atmosphere
  4. Free Laundary
  5. Nice green garden area

CONS

  1. Cardiac Hill, probably the worst hill on campus
  2. The nice green garden/park area is not so nice if you are walking back from town/campus by night
  3. Relatively long way into town and the way there is not nice.

-> Virtual Tours Birks Grange -> Virtual Tour Moberly House

Self-Catered Halls

Lafrowda and St Davids also cater for non-first years and Nash Grove is mainly first years.

UPDATED PRICES FOR 2012/2013 (per week)

STANDARD (Lafrowda, Cook/Llewellyn Mews, Rowancroft Mews) £97.86

STANDARD (St. Davids) £106.89

STANDARD (Birks Grange Village) £116.48

EN-SUITE (James Owen Court) £122.85

EN-SUITE (Rowancroft) £124.88

EN-SUITE (Birks Grange Village, Duryard, Lafrowda, Nash Grove, Rowe House, St. Germans) £128.80

EN-SUITE (Northfield) £137.00

STUDIO (Lafrowda, Birks Grange Village) £142.94

STUDIO (Holland Hall Studios) £152.39

Lafrowda

A multitide of blocks of flats between Cornwall House and Lopes, this is definitely the cheapest and skankiest place to live! Varies between enhanced and standard flats. Loads of international students live here

PROS

  1. Directly next to Cornwall House and main campus
  2. Best atmosphere out of all student accommodation
  3. Cheap
  4. One double kitchen, one living room, one dining room and 4 bathrooms between 10-12 people (enhanced)

CONS

  1. Building works around premises HIGHLY disruptive.
  2. Quality of appliances and of building structure questionable. Issues with damp in some rooms.
  3. Overlooked by building works and new structures, lack of privacy and daylight.
  4. Accommodation price rises with interest, quality of service and student experience decreases accordingly.
  5. The standard blocks are very unattractive
  6. No plaster or paint - brick wall

-> Virtual Tour

St Davids

£75 per week, flats and houses in Kingdom Mews, and houses in Brunel Close. Good value for money. Mostly, 6 people share a kitchen and two bathrooms.

PROS

  1. Directly next to station (the trains don't disturb you either)
  2. University trading company to buy food/stationary/drink/cheap alcohol/rent videos
  3. Taxi company just outside
  4. Mini bus to take you to campus in the mornings
  5. Nice modern rooms with plenty of storage space
  6. Good kitchens
  7. Nice green area
  8. Best value for money out of self catered
  9. Nice communal spirit

CONS

  1. No central venue to meet people (i.e. no halls bar)
  2. No free laundry
  3. little freezer space
  4. Walk to campus us 3 large hills but there is the mini-bus...

-> Virtual Tour

Nash Grove

PROS

  1. Aesthetically nicest self-catering on campus
  2. TVs
  3. Near to main campus
  4. Next to Clydesdale house, which has a bar and coffee shop place, and the postgraduate centre

CONS

  1. Quite expensive - £85 per week

-> Virtual Tour

St.Germans

Rowe House

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