20th September, 2020

Visit Exeter by train from North Devon

This article is more than 3 years old.

Photo: Richard Austin

Whether you want to hit the shops or visit the city’s historic quayside, hop on the train to Exeter.

You’ll arrive right in the heart of the city at Exeter Central station. The station forecourt has some great places to eat and drink including the Exploding Bakery, Zuki’s Caffetteria and Pieminister.

Exeter cafes collage - Pieminister (left), Zuki's (top right), Exploding Bakery (bottom right)

Pieminister (left), Zuki’s (top right), Exploding Bakery (bottom right)


Take a wander down Gandy Street to explore its independent shops and then pay a visit to John Lewis or the Princesshay shopping centre.

Princesshay shopping centre

Photo: Visit South Devon


Visit the historic quayside with its quirky shops, craft workshops, antique stores, restaurants and pubs. It’s 15-20 minute walk from Exeter Central station but well worth it. If you want to venture further afield you can hire a bike, canoe or kayak from the quayside and explore to your heart’s content.


Photo: Visit Exeter

Taking the train

The journey from Barnstaple to Exeter Central takes 1 hour 10 minutes and costs £11.30 Off-Peak Day Return (valid after 08 30 Monday-Friday or any time on weekends or Bank Holidays). The train service was improved at the end of last year and now runs hourly all day, including at commuter times. There are more seats too thanks to longer, better trains (pictured below).

Under 5s travel free on the train, and 5-15 year-olds are half price. Dogs are allowed on board (on a lead, up to two dogs per person).

Class 158 train at Barnstaple station

Remember to plan ahead – face coverings must be worn on public transport and in indoor spaces at stations unless you are exempt.

If you can, please buy your ticket online on the GWR app or website. Please also remember to wash your hands and use social distancing. Read more on GWR’s Coronavirus advice page.

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