Swindon Local Information: 10 top things to know... more

  • 1. History of Swindon

    Swindon is famous for Brunel's Great Western Railway, which arrived in the town in 1840 when it was chosen as the site for an engine building and maintenance works. The works were officially opened in January 1843 and by 1848 it had a workforce of 180 men. Before the arrival of the railway, Swindon had been a small market town, and this original settlement is the Old Town today...Read more. Read less

  • 2. Now in Swindon

    Swindon has a fully pedestrianised town centre with indoor and outdoor shopping, as well as the more quaint Old Town. Due to its position on the M4, Swindon has become a popular commuter town for those working in London. Swindon Town Football Club is a large feature in the town's life. Swindon also has its own daily newspaper, the Evening Advertiser.

  • 3. Events in Swindon

    Swindon Railway Festival takes place in September every year to celebrate the town's railway heritage. The event includes model railways, displays and much more and appeals to both rail enthusiasts and families. The Great Western LEGO Show is held for two days every October and is the largest display of models built by LEGO fans in the UK. The Swindon Half Marathon takes place ...Read morein October and attracts runners from all over the country. The event also includes a family fun run and multi-terrain run. The Swindon Festival of Literature is a celebration of the talent of writers, thinkers, speakers, novelists, poets and storytellers and includes a range of events from live performances to workshops and discussions. Read less

  • 4. Attractions in Swindon

    STEAM is the museum of the Great Western Railway and tells visitors the story of the men and women who built, operated and travelled on the Great Western Railway. The museum includes a reconstructed station platform and a reconstructed seaside pier complete with working vintage amusement machines. Swindon Museum and Art Gallery has displays covering local history, archaeology a...Read morend geology. Among the items on display are a 4.5 metre crocodile and an Egyptian Mummy of a 12-year-old boy. Lydiard House and Park includes The Palladian house, Georgian walled garden, parkland and children's play area. The house itself includes the restored State Rooms with original furnishings, ornate plasterwork and family portraits. Studley Grange Craft Village and Butterfly World has a collection of butterflies and mini beasts as well as an interactive craft experience. Read less

  • 5. Things To Do in Swindon

    The Swindon and Cricklade Railway gives visitors a chance to ride on a steam train on a four-mile round trip.The Oasis Leisure Centre includes a large fun lagoon-style leisure pool with slides and wave machines. The Link Centre houses the town's large ice rink. There are many indoor soft play areas for children in the town, including Jolly Roger, Kidz About and Bonkers.

  • 6. Business in Swindon

    The Brunel is an undercover shopping area in the town centre containing more than 100 stores, restaurants and cafes. The Parade houses many high street names and department stores. The Old Town offers more independent shops including businesses for jewellery, gifts, home furnishings and art. The Swindon Designer Outlet centre is just 15 minutes from the town centre and has over...Read more 100 stores situated in historic railway buildings. Read less

  • 7. Transport in Swindon

    Swindon is situated next to the M4 motorway, giving easy access to the east and west. It takes around 1hr 30 minutes to drive into central London from the town. The A419 is the main road heading north of the town, while the A346 links to the south. The nearest airport to Swindon is Bristol Airport, to the west. London's Heathrow Airport is around 75 minutes away. Rail services ...Read moreinto London are regular and it takes just one hour to reach the capital's Paddington Station. There are also direct routes to Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Cheltenham. Read less

  • 8. Entertainment in Swindon

    The Wyvern Theatre offers a wide selection of live entertainment including family pantomimes, music, comedy, dance and drama. Swindon Arts Centre is small venue featuring live music, professional and amateur theatre, comedy, films, children's events, and one-man shows. Swindon has a thriving local music scene and bands can be seen in a variety of venues including the 12 Bar, Ri...Read moreffs Bar, The Furnace and The Vic. Read less

  • 9. Famous Landmarks in Swindon

    Swindon is famous for its Magic Roundabout, which comprises of one large roundabout surrounded by four normal-size roundabouts. The traffic system, opened in 1972, has often been voted one of the country's most feared road junctions.

  • 10. Interesting Facts about Swindon

    One the most famous people to come out of Swindon was the Hollywood actress Diana Dors. The actress was born in the town in 1931 as Diana Mary Fluck, and was often referred to as "the UK's answer to Marilyn Monroe".

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