The PearShaped Exeter Pub Guide

by Matt Hacke

By the end of Freshers’ week, a typical first year will know the best student-orientated places to drink in and around campus. The Impy and the guild’s very own RAM offer bargain drinks compared to certain city centre bars whilst guaranteeing a raucous atmosphere on big nights of the week. The Old Firehouse on the other hand deserves its popularity for its thriving live music nights and of course its pizzas. We can’t knock these venue’s claims to be among the best student spots in Exeter. However, here at PearShaped, we think it’s worth exploring as many options as possible. After all, you wouldn’t want to leave without uncovering a few hidden gems. We’re about to make that prospecting a bit easier, check out a few of these great drinking spots chosen by our team.

The Well House Tavern 16-17 Cathedral Close

A well situated City-Centre pub that is in our experience rarely frequented by the student body. In fact, it only seems to be recognized as “that place with the body in the basement” (direct quote) from History induction week. An alternative to the terrace atmosphere of the Black Horse for some sporting events, the Well House also offers a wide range of real ales and liquors whilst still being competitively priced. The nearby Ship Inn owned by Greene King makes stumbling between the two easy – perfect for a quick few pints in town while waiting for Timepiece or the Cavern to fill up.

The White Hart Inn 66 South Street

A personal favourite of PearShaped’s Matt, perhaps due to the different vibe it offers from its rivals, The White Hart Inn is a cozy town-center pub dating back to the 14th Century. For anyone missing a village local back home, this offers the same sort of feel, with several quiet rooms across two bar areas. Therefore perfect for a quiet evening drink, inside or in the oddly exotic beer garden. We recommend it for a relaxing midweek drink, however it can of course be used as a pit stop before a Friday on the top floor of Timepiece, or if you’re particularly unfortunate – the top floor of the Chev.

St. George’s Meeting House 38 South Street

The third Wetherspoons in Exeter and consequently one that is overlooked, however PearShaped urge you not to avoid St. George’s in lieu of its infamous cousins. Expect the student-friendly bargain drinks and food of The Impy in a quieter venue, one that is a convenient halfway between the University and the quay. Only 100m or so away from the high street, this is well worth a visit when weekly visits to the Chevalier Inn become tiring. So enjoy this former place of worship that offers great prices and closeness to the nightlife spots – whether it be to mentally prepare yourself for the Mosaic Drunken Twat lap or the throbbing bass of The Cellar Door.

The Bowling Green 29-30 Blackboy Road

Perhaps the venue we expect to frequent the most next year due to the top quality live music every Tuesday. Not only is this weekly event organized by Isaac Indiana a great evening (even if you do later slope off to Cheesy Tuesday), the Bowling Green as a pub is well worth checking out in its own right. Placed strategically near the student-saturated Union Road area of the city, this friendly pub offers a good selection of local ales including the ubiquitous Doom Bar. The Bowling Green is great for a quiet chat or of course as we encourage you to do; to support Exeter-based talent at the free live act events!

The Mill On The Exe Bonhay Road

A bit different from the rest of the pubs on this list, The Mill on the Exe perhaps isn’t the right place for a stop on a crawl or a quick drink on the way back from town. A St. Austell owned spot that offers the Tom Elliott recommend Tribute Pale Ale, this is perhaps one to take visiting family or a date to due to the high-quality food on offer. So, perhaps more a Gastro pub than a drinking spot itself, The Mill on the Exe is still worth remembering for its quality food, we suggest treating yourself to it for a birthday or to fill up after a final exam – obviously before the celebrations become more messy.

PearShaped Pub Crawl Start: The Vic – Finish: The Impy

  1. The Victoria Inn
  2. The Black Horse
  3. The Well House Tavern
  4. The White Hart Inn
  5. St. George’s Meeting House
  6. The Chevalier Inn
  7. The Farmer’s Union
  8. The Impy