Exeter University's Campus in Devon, one of the most beautiful in the country and open to visit!

PUBLISHED: 16:07 08 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:39 20 February 2013

Exeter University's Campus in Devon, one of the most beautiful in the country and open to visit!

Exeter University's Campus in Devon, one of the most beautiful in the country and open to visit!

Exeter University's campus is rated one of the most beautiful in the country, with lakes, parkland, woodland and gardens open to visitors, but that's not all, writes Sarah Hoyle

A Campus for All

Exeter Universitys campus is rated one of the most beautiful in the country, with lakes, parkland, woodland and gardens open to visitors, but thats not all, writes Sarah Hoyle

Visiting the Universitys main Streatham Campus on any given day, you might encounter local people playing tennis, holding a business meeting, walking the dog in the beautiful grounds or even taking their wedding vows. Many students choose Exeter because of its beautiful campus, but the University is not just open to students, says Director of Campus Services Geoff Pringle. We want visitors to come and share our facilities with us.

Plenty of plants
Built around a country estate overlooking Exeter and surrounding countryside, the Streatham Campus is a 20-minute walk from the city centre or a short ride on the D bus. Keen gardeners will appreciate the work that goes into maintaining a 158-hectare estate, which boasts many rare species of plants and trees. In 2007, the University gardeners made history by successfully cultivating a protea a South African plant that is believed to be the first to flower outdoors in the UK. In 2008, a banana plant fruited on the campus and in 2009 the University acquired the national heuchera collection.

Iain Park, Director of Grounds, says: There is something new to see every day. At the moment I am looking forward to the first show of early spring flowering bulbs and then the flowering cherries and hazel. These will be followed by a display of our selection of early flowering magnolias, rhododendron and camellias.

A booklet giving a self-guided tour of the campus is available for 5 from the University supermarket or by contacting grounds@exeter.ac.uk.

Encounter art
The campus is home to 24 sculptures, including works by Barbara Hepworth, many of which are displayed outside. In total, the University has almost 1,000 artworks and holds exhibitions by well-known artists like Lucien Freud and Bridget Riley. Exhibitions planned for 2010 include The Silver Legend Exhibition, which tells the extraordinary story of the Maria Theresa Thaler, and al-Andalus, which will focus on Arabic influences in Spain. Both will take place in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies.

A Sculpture Trail audio guide iPod can be borrowed free of charge. See: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/visit/campuses/sculpture/ to download the sculpture trail or for details of the audio guide.

Life through a lens
The Universitys museum, The Bill Douglas Centre for the History of Cinema and Popular Culture (http://www.billdouglas.org/), holds one of Britains largest collections of film artefacts and ephemera. Displays illustrate the audiences experience of the moving image, from shadow puppets and magic lanterns, through the Golden Age of Hollywood and Disney, to present-day blockbusters. Curator Phil Wickham says: Youll find everything from momentous objects, such as one of the Lumire cameras that shot the first-ever films, to everyday items. We want everyone to enjoy our extraordinary collection of over 70,000 artefacts.

From rap to Rachmaninov
Exeter Northcott brings some of the UKs most prestigious theatre companies to the city as well as producing its own plays, including a popular annual pantomime (http://www.exeternorthcott.co.uk).
To see some of the stars of tomorrow, drama students regularly give performances: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/drama/tickets/. Music students also frequently perform free concerts on campus (e-mail music@exeter.ac.uk to be added to the mailing list). The University attracts some of the hottest music acts to the region and recent sell-out acts include Seth Lakeman and Dizzee Rascal.

A meeting of minds
There are learning opportunities for all at Exeter Uni. If you would like to learn Arabic, Japanese or Spanish or master British Sign Language, a range of courses, including basic Holiday Language Courses, are available to all at the Foreign Language Centre (http://www.sall.ex.ac.uk/flc).

The Shaping the Future series of talks, which is supported by the Met Office, provides an opportunity to hear from leading figures in science, business, the arts and politics. This year, visitors will also have the opportunity to hear some of the UKs most popular writers speak, including Whitbread Award winner Philip Pullman and renowned novelist Rose Tremain, as part of The Writers Series, through the Universitys Centre for South West Writing (http://centres.exeter.ac.uk/southwest
writing/). For details of all performances, exhibitions and events on campus: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/events.

Get fit for less
As well as broadening your mind, the University offers opportunities to exercise your body. If you still havent started your New Year fitness regime, the facilities on offer at the University Sports Park may leave you feeling that you are running out of excuses. Competitively priced gym membership gives you access to two fitness suites and a range of exercise classes: from pilates to pole dancing. When the weather warms up, you might even want to try the Universitys (heated!) outdoor swimming pool.
The Sports Park offers on-site physiotherapy and personal training and it is also home to one of the Westcountrys leading tennis providers. The Tennis Centre has four indoor acrylic courts and six outdoor floodlit all-weather courts, all of which are available for everybody to use. And last year the Sir Christopher Ondaatje Devon Cricket Centre was launched by Mike Gatting, putting Exeter at the forefront of cricket training in the region. For membership details and prices: www.exeter.ac.uk/sport.

And relax
Whether you want a reviving coffee, a celebratory drink or a business lunch, you can have it all at the University. The beautiful and historic Reed Hall and the modern xFI Centre have a range of lunch options and Reed Hall also has a fully licensed bar (see http://www.exeter.ac.uk/reedhall/).
A range of accommodation is available during the vacation periods, including B&B, room only, self-catering and discounted group travel deals.
The University can also cater for a huge range of events, from weddings in the newly refurbished Reed Hall to conferences (www.eventexeter.com).

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