Swindon is a charming town located in the county of Wiltshire, England. The town has a rich history, dating back to the Roman times, and boasts of various landmarks, attractions, and activities that are sure to leave visitors amazed. Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or just looking for a fun day out, Swindon has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll explore the 15 best things to do in Swindon.
Interesting facts about Swindon:
- Swindon was once known as the ‘Railway Town’, as it played a significant role in the development of the Great Western Railway.
- Swindon is the largest town in Wiltshire, and it has a population of around 185,000 people.
- The town is home to the UK’s largest roundabout, the Magic Roundabout, which consists of five mini-roundabouts arranged in a circle.
- Swindon was the first town in the UK to introduce a comprehensive recycling scheme, and it has one of the highest recycling rates in the country.
- Swindon is known for its music scene, with many famous bands and musicians hailing from the town, including XTC, Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues, and Jahmene Douglas.
- The town has a strong literary heritage, with the Victorian writer and naturalist Richard Jefferies and the contemporary author Terry Pratchett both calling Swindon their home.
- Swindon has a thriving arts and culture scene, with many galleries, theatres, and museums showcasing local talent and history.
- The town is surrounded by beautiful countryside, including the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Cotswolds.
- Swindon is home to a diverse range of international cuisine, including Indian, Chinese, Italian, and Mexican food.
- Swindon is known for its iconic landmarks, including the Brunel Shopping Centre, the Old Town Railway Village, and the Museum of Computing.
Visit the Steam Museum
The Steam Museum is a fascinating attraction that explores the history of steam power and its impact on the town of Swindon. Visitors can see a collection of steam engines, including the world’s oldest surviving steam locomotive, the North Star. The museum also has interactive exhibits and workshops that allow visitors to learn about the science behind steam power. A guided tour of the museum is a great educational experience for both adults and children.
Explore Lydiard Park
Lydiard Park is a stunning estate that offers visitors the chance to explore picturesque gardens, lakes, and woodlands. The park is also home to the Grade I listed Lydiard House, a beautiful 18th-century mansion that has been restored to its former glory. Visitors can take a guided tour of the house, learn about its history, and admire its elegant architecture. The park is also a great place for picnics and leisurely walks.
Discover the Swindon Designer Outlet
The Swindon Designer Outlet is a shopper’s paradise, with over 90 high-end brands offering discounts of up to 60% off. The outlet is housed in a beautifully restored railway building, adding to its charm. Visitors can shop for clothes, accessories, and homeware, as well as enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants and cafes. The outlet is a great place to pick up designer items at a fraction of their original cost.
Take a walk in Coate Water Country Park
Coate Water Country Park is a tranquil oasis located just a few miles from Swindon town centre. The park is home to a large lake, which is popular with anglers and boaters, as well as a children’s play area, a miniature railway, and a cafe. Visitors can take a leisurely walk around the lake, spot wildlife, and enjoy a picnic in the peaceful surroundings. The park is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the town and enjoy nature.
Admire the art at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery
The Swindon Museum and Art Gallery is a hidden gem that showcases local art and history. The museum has a collection of over 300,000 objects, including paintings, sculptures, and artefacts from Swindon’s industrial past. The gallery also hosts temporary exhibitions and workshops, making it a great place to learn about the town’s artistic heritage.
See the animals at Studley Grange Butterfly World & Craft Village
Studley Grange Butterfly World & Craft Village is a unique attraction that offers visitors the chance to see a wide variety of butterflies, birds, and animals in a beautiful setting. The craft village also has a range of shops selling handmade gifts and souvenirs, as well as a cafe serving delicious homemade cakes and refreshments. The attraction is a great place to spend a few hours and learn about the natural world.
Visit the Richard Jefferies Museum
The Richard Jefferies Museum is dedicated to the life and works of the Victorian writer and naturalist, Richard Jefferies. The museum is located in the house where Jefferies was born and has a collection of artefacts, manuscripts, and personal items. Visitors can learn about Jefferies’ life and the natural world that inspired his writing. The museum is a great place for literature enthusiasts and anyone interested in Victorian history.
Experience the magic of the Wyvern Theatre
The Wyvern Theatre is Swindon’s premier entertainment venue, hosting a wide range of performances, from West End shows to comedy acts and music concerts. The theatre has a modern auditorium and comfortable seating, ensuring a great viewing experience for all. A night out at the Wyvern Theatre is a great way to experience the town’s cultural scene and be entertained by some of the best performers in the UK.
Enjoy a day out at ATBShop Skate Warehouse
ATBShop Skate Warehouse is the perfect place for adrenaline junkies looking for a fun day out. The skatepark has ramps, rails, and bowls, catering to skaters, BMX riders, and scooter riders of all levels. The warehouse also has a retail store selling equipment and clothing, as well as a cafe serving refreshments. The venue is a great place to practice your skills, meet like-minded people, and have fun.
Learn about Swindon’s railway history at the Railway Village Museum
The Railway Village Museum is located in the heart of Swindon’s railway heritage, showcasing the town’s rich industrial history. The museum has a collection of artefacts, photographs, and interactive exhibits, as well as a recreated railway worker’s cottage. Visitors can learn about the history of the Great Western Railway and its impact on Swindon’s development. The museum is a great place to learn about the town’s past and its importance in the history of the railway industry.
Explore the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
The North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a stunning landscape that covers over 660 square miles of rolling hills, valleys, and ancient woodlands. Visitors can take leisurely walks, cycle rides, or horse rides, enjoying the stunning scenery and spotting wildlife. The area is also home to a number of charming villages, historic landmarks, and traditional pubs, making it a great place for a day out.
Go karting at Supakart
Supakart is an indoor go-karting venue that offers visitors the chance to race against each other on a challenging track. The venue has karts suitable for all ages and skill levels, ensuring a fun day out for the whole family. The track is professionally designed and regularly maintained, ensuring a safe and thrilling experience.
Enjoy a game of golf at Broome Manor Golf Complex
Broome Manor Golf Complex is a beautiful 18-hole golf course set in stunning parkland. The course is suitable for golfers of all levels and has a range of facilities, including a driving range, a putting green, and a clubhouse serving delicious meals and refreshments. The complex also has a mini-golf course, making it a great place for families to spend the day.
Discover the magic of Barbury Castle
Barbury Castle is an ancient hill fort that dates back to the Iron Age. The fort is located on a hilltop, offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Visitors can explore the earthworks, walk the ramparts, and learn about the fort’s history at the onsite interpretation centre. The site is also popular with walkers, offering breathtaking views of the North Wessex Downs.
Visit the Shaw Ridge Leisure Park
The Shaw Ridge Leisure Park is a modern entertainment complex that has something for everyone. The park has a cinema, a bowling alley, a soft play area for children, and a range of restaurants serving international cuisine. The park is a great place to spend a day with family and friends, enjoying a range of activities and dining options.
Swindon is a town that has a lot to offer visitors, from its rich history and stunning natural beauty to its modern entertainment venues and unique attractions. The 15 things listed above are just a small selection of the many things to see and do in Swindon. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, Swindon is a town that is sure to delight and surprise you.
What is the best time of year to visit Swindon?
Swindon is a great place to visit year-round, but the best time to visit is during the summer months when the weather is warm and sunny.
What is the best way to get around Swindon?
The best way to get around Swindon is by car, as the town is spread out and has limited public transportation options.
Are there any free things to do in Swindon?
Yes, there are plenty of free things to do in Swindon, including visiting Coate Water Country Park, exploring the Richard Jefferies Museum, and taking a walk in Lydiard Park.
Is Swindon a family-friendly destination?
Yes, Swindon is a great destination for families, with plenty of activities and attractions suitable for all ages.
What is the food like in Swindon?
Swindon has a diverse range of restaurants serving international cuisine, as well as plenty of pubs and cafes offering traditional British food. There is something to suit all tastes and budgets.