The picturesque traditional English town of Swindon started off as a small market town. During the mid-1800’s it was used as a barter trade. While visiting Swindon, make sure you take the time to meander through the quiet alleyways and courtyards and take in the animated fusion of traditional pubs, traditional shops and modern outlets. Dotted along every street, you’ll be inundated by the impressive number of stylish cafes where both locals and visitors like to relax and unwind.
McArthurGlen’s Swindon Designer Outlet
If you have a penchant for designer items and love a good bargain then this designer outlet is for you. It’s housed under the roof of an intricately renovated Grade 2 listed building and it’s thought to be one of the largest covered outlets of this kind in the whole of Europe.
Avid shoppers will be right at home with the high quality mix of High Street and designer fashion stores. You can find amazing bargains that will blow your minds with goods being reduced by up to 60%. There are well over 90 big name shops that include John Lewis, Kurt Geiger, Hugo Boss, LK Bennett, Ted Baker and of course Britain’s own Marks & Spencer Outlet. Take a break from spending and dine in a number of great cafes or food courts. You’ll be able to enjoy a hot cup of tea to relax or dive into a range of hot and cold snacks.
Museum of the Great Western Railway
Kids and kids at heart will love visiting the Museum of the Great Western Railway in Swindon. This is located in a carefully restored Grade 2 building and can be found right next door to the famous Swindon Designer Outlet, so it’s a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Everyone will love climbing aboard the old locomotives on display and children will have fun imagining they’re the driver as they get the chance at changing the signals themselves. During the spring and summer months, you’ll be able to visit the museum from 10-17.00 every day and in winter from 11-16.00.
This historical ancestral home belonging to the Viscounts Bolingbroke is open all year round and encompassed by a sea of lush well-manicured lawns and English gardens. Visit the grand Palladian house, its quaint little church and walled garden that houses a number of different English flowers. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the elegant estate and visit the grand state rooms that still house all the original family furnishings from the 18th century. Become nobility for the day and stroll through the natural woodlands and take a rest before the peaceful lake while looking out onto and admiring the vast rolling lawns.
Try and visit Lydiard Park in spring when the bulbs begin to blossom, spraying a myriad of colour and emitting the most enticing floral scents. Open from dusk till dawn, this can be easily a half-day trip coupled with another exciting site of Swindon.
Swindon offers a number of different outdoor activities and if you enjoy getting fresh air, this is a place you should head to when in the area. You can enjoy going on a number of self-guided walks, horse riding or if fishing is your thing, there are plenty of quiet untouched fishing spots.
Barbury Castle and the Ridgeway Self-guided Walk
Walk along what’s been rumoured to be Europe’s oldest road. This 5 mile walk can be easily done in two hours and is relatively easy as most of it is downhill. On a beautiful clear day, you’ll be able to get glimpses of the old fort of Barbury Castle and you’ll be taken back in time and able to imagine the period when the Britons were defeated by the Cynric in 566AD.
Lacock Self-guided Walk
This is an easy one hour walk through the gorgeous National Trust village – this is one of the areas true gems. It’s an easy flat walk that the whole family can enjoy – even grandma and grandpa. You’ll be privy to some 13th century houses and cottages that remain intact and in perfect condition. Walk along the winding streets and witness the grand abbey and if you’ve got time, pop in and marvel at its wonderful interior architecture.