Trains to Exeter
"Well-heeled and comfortable, Exeter exudes evidence of its centuries-old role as the spiritual and administrative heart of Devon.” Lonely Planet
Exeter is Devon’s county city and the capital of the United Kingdom's southwest peninsula. The historic cathedral city is known for its blend of culture, retail, arts, and history. Today, Exeter serves as the commercial and service centre for the mostly agricultural county. The city provides an excellent base for tourists.
Tip 1: Book in advance to get the cheapest fares
Advance tickets are made available by train companies up to 12 weeks ahead of departure. These fares sell out fast, so make sure to buy them as soon as you can. It is possible to purchase an advance fare up to one hour before you depart if they are still available.
Tip 2: Forget about booking fees
The Trainline charges up to £1.50 per booking. When you buy from us, you will not pay a fee to book or using a credit card. At Split My Fare we only charge if you manage to split your ticket, taking 10% of any saving you make. If you don't save any money, there will be no fee.
Exeter St. David's railway station is the main stop for trains to Exeter. It lies on the London to Cornwall line; an hourly service runs from Paddington throughout the day. There are several smaller train stations in Exeter with local and regional services, including St. James’s Park, St Thomas, and Central. The city centre is only a 5-min walk from Exeter Central station.
Tip 3: If there is a delay, apply for a refund
Delay Repay enables you to claim a partial or full refund on your train tickets when there is a delay in your journey. Compensation is available for delays over 15 minutes but varies depending on the company you travel with. Check with the train operator what their policy is and apply for your refund through them.
The central area of Exeter is relatively small, and you can easily explore it on foot. Begin your tour at the Exeter Cathedral, the city’s top attraction; this magnificent Gothic-style cathedral has the longest unbroken stone beam in the world. The Powderham Castle is another historic building in Exeter, built in 1391; it used to be the Earl of Devon's home.
Tip 4: It costs more to travel to popular destinations at busy times
There are often cheap trains in the UK outside peak hours. Try not to travel during weekends, holidays and at rush hour. Instead, when you search, try to buy tickets for a weekday to grab yourself a bargain. Demand dictates the cost of train fares, you can find cheaper tickets at quieter times.
Another historical building worth a visit in Exeter is the Guildhall being the oldest existing municipal building in England. The Historic Quayside of Exeter includes the Custom House built in the 17th century that has been recently renovated and is now the headquarters of the Exeter archaeological service. Medieval churches featuring remarkable architecture are scattered throughout the city centre. Among these are St. Mary Arches, St. Martin’s, St. Olave’s, and St. Mary Steps.
Tip 5: Book as a group
You can get a Groupsave discount if you're travelling in a group of 3 to 9 people. The saving is 1/3 during off-peak hours, so you are sure to get cheap train fares if you book together. It is easiest to receive e-Tickets to your mobile, and we automatically add the discount for you.
Other famous attractions in Exeter include Parliament Street, the world’s narrowest street, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, St. Nicholas Priory, and the Rougemont Castle.
Tip 6: Compare the cost of single and return tickets
Before booking a return ticket for your journey, it is worth comparing the price with that of two singles. Sometimes booking two one-way fares can be cheaper. Split My Fare automatically finds you the most affordable way to travel.
Tip 7: Use slower trains
If you don't need to get to your destination quickly, it may be cheaper to take a slower train. Less direct services often save you money. We can show you both the most affordable and fastest way to arrive at your destination.
The restaurants of Exeter provide a great reason to visit the city. The Pig and Pallet is a delicious American style BBQ venue, using only locally sourced produce from Devon. Not only is the food delicious, but the atmosphere and staff are great too. Make sure to book in advance to be sure to get a seat.
Tip 8: Check the price of standard and first-class fares
If first-class tickets for your train are in low demand, they might cost the same or less than standard class fares. By travelling first-class, you will have more room with bigger seats and complimentary food and drink.
Tip 9: If you travel often, get a railcard
You can get 1/3 off train tickets by using a railcard.
Most cost just £30, the Two Together card, for example, gives two adults 1/3 off their fares.
The Family and Friends card gives 60% off fares for children and 1/3 off adult fares for up to four kids and four adults.
The senior card offers the same discount, but at a reduced price of £70 for three years.
Disabled passengers can get a discount on their train tickets with the Disabled Person's card, which costs £30.
Other Railcards available include the Network Railcard, 16-25 card and 26-30 card.
You can find more details on the Railcard website. You can find Railcards on sale at any National Rail ticket office.
Tip 10: Be flexible when you travel
If you are flexible with the day and date you travel, use our booking engine to select the cheapest option. By comparing all these fares, you can find significant savings.
Main stations in Exeter
- Exeter St David's
- Exeter St Thomas
- St James Park
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get to Exeter?
The fastest way is to take the train to Exeter St. Davids from London, it takes just over two hours to get from London Paddington to Exeter on GWR's fast service. Alternatively, you can take the West Coast mainline from Birmingham or the North of England - times will vary depending on where you are but typically express services all stop in Exeter.
How many train stations are there in Exeter?
There are four major train stations in Exeter. Of these, Exeter St. Davids is the main station where intercity services stop.