Swindon’s rich past and beautiful landscape make it a great holiday spot offering a wide variety of museums and countless pristine parks. You will find many peaceful landscapes where you can see diverse wildlife including rare birds, deer and owls. Museums in the area provide opportunities to learn about the Great Western Railway and historic estates.

    You can stay in a charming countryside inn or a modern downtown hotel close to the action. With play areas, splash pads and fun farms, Swindon is great for the whole family. Here are the 10 best things to do in Swindon.

    1

    STEAM Museum of the Great Western Railway

    Learn about the Great Western Railway and its creators

    • History

    The STEAM Museum of the Great Western Railway is housed in a wonderfully restored building and spotlights the vibrant history of the historic railway. While you explore the museum, you will learn about the men and women who helped build and operate the Great Western Railway, as well as those who travelled on it.

    Realistic-looking characters are featured along with bios throughout the museum, including Isambard Kingdom Brunel, whose engineering and insight made the Great Western Railway one of the most advanced in the world. The museum is situated next to the Swindon Designer Outlet.

    Location: Fire Fly Ave, Swindon SN2 2TA, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1793 466646

    Map

    photo by Des Blenkinsopp (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    2

    Museum of Computing

    Play retro video games and view old technology

    • Families
    • History

    The Museum of Computing features over 70 years of technology on display, including desktop and laptop computers, game consoles, calculators and more. The museum is located in the centre of Swindon next to Theatre Square. The exhibits are hands-on, and you can even play retro computer games like Pong and Space Invaders.

    Some displays are permanent, while others feature items on loan from companies and other collectors. The museum is family-friendly and has much to interest visitors of all ages.

    Location: 6-7 Theatre Square, Swindon SN1 1QN, UK

    Open: Saturday from 9.30 am to 4 pm (closed Sunday–Friday)

    Phone: +44 (0)7834 375628

    Map
    3

    Lydiard Park

    Tour a historic estate in a family-friendly park

    • Couples
    • Families
    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Lydiard Park is a 105-hectare park featuring the Palladian House, a historic estate with beautiful ornate plasterwork, original furnishings, and family portraits dating back to Elizabethan times. The park can be found about 15 minutes west of the Swindon town centre. Children can run and climb in the play area, and the park is a wonderful place for a walk, run or bike ride.

    There are plenty of picnic spots available as well as designated barbecue areas, or you can visit the cafe or tea rooms for lunch or an afternoon tea. You can find special events year-round, including an open-air theatre, live music and movie screenings.

    Location: Lydiard Tregoze, Swindon SN5 3PA, UK

    Open: Daily from 7.30 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1793 466664

    Map
    4

    Swindon Museum & Art Gallery

    View famous British art along with artefacts of Swindon’s past

    • History

    The Swindon Museum & Art Gallery features a remarkable art collection paired with displays of local history, archaeology and geology. The Swindon Collection of Modern British Art found at the gallery is considered one of the most exceptional collections of modern art outside of London.

    In the museum, you will find exhibits that outline the history of Swindon starting with its connections to the Roman Empire up to the more modern history of the town. You can find the Swindon Museum & Art Gallery on Bath Road in the Old Town area of Swindon.

    Location: Bath Rd, Swindon SN1 4BA, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1793 466556

    Map

    photo by Neil Owen (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    5

    Coate Water Country Park

    Experience natural beauty while your kids enjoy a playground and splash pad

    • Families
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Coate Water Country Park offers a multitude of activities while you enjoy the location's natural beauty, including Crazy Golf, a splash park, a children’s playground and fishing opportunities. The park can be found in the southeastern corner of Swindon on Marlborough Road. In the centre of the park is the 22-hectare lake, which is surrounded by attractive forests and wildflower meadows.

    Because of its diversity, the area is marked as a nature preserve and holds many species of wildlife from ducks to swans, wild birds and fish. You can visit the cafe for a cold beverage and lunch or use the lakeside barbecues to grill your own meal.

    Location: Marlborough Rd, Swindon SN3 6AA, UK

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +44 (0)1793 490150

    Map
    6

    Swindon and Cricklade Railway

    Ride a historic train and visit railway and wartime museums

    • Families
    • History

    The Swindon & Cricklade Railway offers short rides on historic steam and diesel trains on a section of the old Midland and South Western Junction Railway. It also features railway and wartime museums. The trains can be accessed from Mouldon Hill Country Park or Blunsdon Station in North Swindon. Blunsdon is the main station and the site of the Whistle Stop Cafe, a gift shop and both museums.

    The railway museum has an impressive collection of exhibits and antiques from the area. You will find the wartime museum housed in an LNER 12 Ton Van built just after World War II that displays dioramas, models, posters and military memorabilia from 1914 to the present.

    Location: Blunsdon Station, Tadpole Lane, Blunsdon, Swindon SN25 2DA, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1793 771615

    Map

    photo by Train Photos (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    7

    Stanton Park

    Look for wildlife as you stroll through a nature preserve

    • Couples
    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Stanton Park is a pristine park containing a 36-hectare nature preserve as well as a scheduled ancient monument where a Roman villa was once located. You can find the park located in northeast Swindon. In the park, you will find a variety of habitats including ancient forests, hedgerows, wildflower meadows, wetlands, lakes, streams, ponds and hardwood trees.

    As you stroll through the park, be sure to keep watch for abundant wildlife, as you may spot birds of prey, wildfowl, roe deer, badgers or owls.

    Location: The Avenue, Stanton Fitzwarren, Swindon SN6 7SF, UK

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1793 490150

    Map
    8

    Mouldon Hill Country Park

    Walk to a hidden lake and enjoy a picnic while bird-watching

    • Couples
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Mouldon Hill Country Park is a great spot for a peaceful walk while looking for local wildlife. The park is situated northwest of the town centre of Swindon within the parish of Haydon Wick. You'll find several pathways winding through the picturesque terrain, and you may want to pack a lunch and bring binoculars.

    There is a hidden lake that is a wonderful spot to enjoy a picnic and watch for birds and other wildlife. Visitors often spot deer and many species of colourful birds.

    Location: Swindon SN25 1WH, UK

    Map
    9

    Richard Jefferies Museum

    Tour a 19th-century farmhouse museum dedicated to author Richard Jefferies

    • History

    The Richard Jefferies Museum features a 17th-century cottage, a 3-story farmhouse, gardens, a copse, an orchard and vegetable gardens where famed writer Richard Jefferies resided with his family. You can find the museum on the corner of Marlborough Road and Day House Lane. Once inside, you can examine a large collection of items belonging to Jefferies, such as first editions of his writings, photographs and paintings.

    The house has been reconditioned to emulate the inside of a 19th-century farmhouse, with details such as a cheese room and a 4-poster bed. Once you have finished indoors, you can enjoy a relaxing stroll around the gardens and orchards, which are peaceful and well maintained.

    Location: Marlborough Rd, Swindon SN3 6AA, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1793 979224

    Map

    photo by Dr Duncan Pepper (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    10

    Roves Farm

    Enjoy kid-friendly farm activities and shop for local meat and produce

    • Shoppers
    • Families

    Roves Farm features a farm shop and fun activities for the whole family, such as visits with the animals, farm walks and pedal tractors. You will find the farm located on Roves Lane about a 20-minute drive northeast of the town centre. The shop features home-reared meat, fresh produce and baked goods, as well as a cafe and gift shop.

    There are many summer activities for the kids to enjoy, such as music time, animal racing, play areas and the pets corner. The farm also hosts seasonal events like Christmas on the Farm, which is a holiday favourite among locals.

    Location: Sevenhampton, Swindon SN6 7QG, UK

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm (closed Monday–Tuesday)

    Phone: +44 (0)1793 763939

    Map

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