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Swindon City Guide

Swindon History

For railway enthusiasts Swindon is an important location where in 1840, Isambard Kingdom Brunel housed his railway works for the Great Western Railway. A whole new town was created at this time to accommodate the workers and this has now become the town centre. Housed in the restored Grade II railway building in the heart of the former Swindon railway works is STEAM - the Museum of the Great Western Railway and its well worth a visit. The central Swindon location of the Scott House Apartments serviced apartments makes them an ideal base from which to explore the railway history of Swindon and the surrounding area.  Plaza 21 offers one and two bedroom serviced apartments in Swindon town centre.

Swindon Today

Probably best known now as the home of the internationally acclaimed comedy 'The Office', Swindon is a large, bustling town located midway between Bristol and London in the county of Wiltshire in the South West of England.

Now an economic hub of the South West, during the first half of the 20th century the railway was Swindon's biggest employer and when the railway works ended in the 1960's big business moved in.  Both Honda and BMW/mini have production plants in the area and several major telecommunications and financial services companies also use Swindon as their base. 

Swindon Leisure

Swindon is a shoppers paradise with its bustling town centre which is fully pedestrianised.  The undercover Brunel Centre with over 100 shops & cafes, The Parade with its distinctive and decorative canopies which houses more well known shops, and the old town area with more established family businesses, make this an exciting time for dedicated shoppers. Just 15 minutes from the town centre is the Swindon Designer Outlet, set into the historic buildings of the railway works.  To be within a few minutes walk of all the shopping available in Swindon stay at The Paramount serviced apartments in Swindon town centre which offers modern, stylish 1 and 2 bed serviced apartments close to Swindon railway station.

The town is also a great base from which to explore the beautiful county of Wiltshire. Here you can find the iconic Stonehenge and Avebury stone circles, the beautiful city of Salisbury and its cathedral, Longleat House and Safari Park, the white horses carved into the rolling chalk hillside and Lydiard House and Park near to Swindon. 


Swindon Transport Tips

  • By plane

    The nearest major airport is Gloucestershire Airport. This airport has international flights from Gloucester, United Kingdom and is 41 miles from the center of Swindon, United Kingdom.

    Another major airport is Bristol Airport , which has international and domestic flights from Bristol, United Kingdom and is 49 miles from Swindon, United Kingdom.

  • By train

    Swindon train station is a great connection point for other locations in South England and you can get to Portsmouth, Cheltenham, Bristol, Swansea as well as London from here!
  • By car

    For car parks in Swindon please have a look at Swindon.gov.uk to find one suitable for your location.
  • By bike

    Swindon is a great place to get round by bike with the whole borogh being very flat and with countryside just around the corner! Have a look at this Cycle Map for Swindon for good routes to pedal!
  • By bus

    For bus routes serving Swindon have a look here for times and routes.

What to do in Swindon

Listed below are some of the great places to visit in Swindon. Click one to find out more.


Stonehenge is the remains of a large stone circle located on Salisbury Plain, in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside.   The stones date back around 3000 years and some were transported over 240 km (150 miles) from the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire, West Wales.

The true meaning of the site is still a mystery but the beauty of the site, the age of these monumental stones and the effort that was put into bringing them to the location make this a truly awe-inspiring place to visit.

For more information visit: www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/stonehenge

Lydiard Park and gardens

Lydiard Park is a beautiful historic parkland on the western edge of Swindon.  The house was once the ancestral home of the Viscounts Bolingbroke and the Palladian house, beautiful church, walled garden and formal parkland are the striking remains of a great country estate.

For more information visit: www.lydiardpark.org.uk

STEAM Museum of the Great Western Railway

STEAM - The Museum of the Great Western Railway - is housed in a beautifully restored Grade II listed railway building in the heart of the former Swindon railway works. The Museum tells the story of the men and women who built, operated and travelled on the Great Western Railway - 'God's Wonderful Railway' - a railway network that, through the pioneering vision and genius of engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, was regarded as the most advanced in the world.

For more information visit: www.steam-museum.org.uk


The town is notable for its roundabouts and the best-known is the so called 'Magic Roundabout' which is five roundabouts around a central contra-rotational hub.  It's located on the junction of five roads: (clockwise from South) Drove Road, Fleming Way, County Road, Shrivenham Road and Queens Drive, and is the scene of much confusion and Englishness. Why not give it a whirl!!

For more information visit: www.swindonweb.com/index.asp?m=8&s=115&ss=289

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