What can you do when you visit Swindon? Although you may not bump into famous Swindonians such as Melinda Messenger, there’s still plenty of interesting things to see and do in Swindon.
Probably the best places to shop in Swindon are the main retail parks such as Greenbridge, the West Swindon Shopping Centre, Stratton and the Orbital Shopping Park. Or, if you’re looking for cheaper brand name items then it’s well worth checking out the discounts available at the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet which boasts that it is the largest such development in Europe. There’s plenty of room there, even though some 3 million people a year are estimated to visit it to save money on their designer goods.
2. Steam Railway Museum
This is next to the designer outlet, so dad can have something to do while the rest of the family shop until they drop. Situated inside a listed ex-railway works, there are many exhibits that will guide you through the history of the railways and even show you how the original railway locomotives were constructed.
3. Sports and Leisure Facilities
With almost 200,000 people living there, Swindon has plenty of leisure facilities from the relatively leisurely 10 pin bowling through gymnasiums and the gigantic Lagoon swimming pool with it’s slides, wave machines and water cannon. Golfers are well catered for locally as well, with the Broome Manor Golf Complex offering both 9 and 18 hole courses together with over 30 bays in the driving range so that you can practice exactly those strokes you need to. Or if you’ve got more time and energy on your hands, you could experience the thrill of flying through the air at one of the local gliding clubs.
4. Arts and Theatre
The Wyvern theatre shows a wide variety of films as well as the normal dramatic productions. It is also host to many one night stands as it is a well known venue for performers to include in their tours. For those who prefer a more intimate atmosphere, check out the Arts centre, which features folk music, smaller production companies and other events, such as the Swindon Music Festival.
Home to the Swindon Robins Speedway team, you could take in an evening watching this exciting sport at the Abbey Stadium. There are three league football teams locally, including the Football League One Swindon Town F.C. If you like watching ice hockey, then make sure your visit coincides with a home game for the Wildcats or the Panthers. The faster motocross circuit is located at Foxhill, just outside the town.
6. History and Celebrity
If you’re a James Bond fan, then you may want to visit Sevenhampton where Ian Fleming is buried. Music fans may want to see where the Moody Blues’ singer Justin Haywood was born. Those who enjoy Mark Lamarr on television can see where he grew up in Park South. Swindon is also famous for being the location of the UK’s first public lending library. Not to mention being the home of the Great Western Railway and the site for one of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s railway works.
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