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Revision as of 15:50, 18 May 2007 by SwindonIAN (talk | contribs) (Understand)
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Swindon [1] is a town of approximately 180,000 people [2] in the North East corner of Wiltshire, in southern England. 95% of the population are of White European descent [3] with Asian or Asian British making up the largest minority group. The population have a mean age of 37.18 years [4]. The town has a lower than average unemployment rate [5] and car ownership is also slightly above the national average [6]. The town is divided into two parliamentary constituencies. North Swindon [7] and South Swindon [8]


This town began its existence as a Saxon village, and derived its name from the Saxon words swine dun meaning pig hill. It grew when quarrying was begun nearby and canals increased trade, but it was the introduction of the railway in the mid 19th century that transformed Swindon from a village into a town.

In 1952 it was designated a "London overflow city" and the town entered a period of rapid development which continues to this day and has led the town to be described as the "Fastest Growing Town in Europe" [9].

For further information please see the article entitled History of Swindon.

Get in


Driving along the M4, take junctions 15 or 16 into Swindon. There are Park and Ride buses now available. Swindon's most defining road feature is the Magic Roundabout [10] built in 1972 it is the junction of five major roads into the town and is adjacent to the Country Ground, home of Swindon Town FC [11].


Swindon is the traditional home of the Great Western Railway [12] and is a major junction for trains serving the South West/Wales and mainline services to the Midlands (via Gloucester and Cheltenham). There is only one station but it has been recently improved [13] and now caters for over 2.3 million passengers a year [14] making it in the top 5% of busiest stations in the UK.


Get around


The town centre is small enough to walk through on foot.



  • Swindon Museum, interesting displays on local history, geology and archaeology. Admission is free, Open: Mon-Sat:10am-5pm; Sun: 2pm-5pm.
  • Swindon Art Gallery, very important collection of 20th century British Art and includes work by Henry Moore and L.S. Lowry.

Admission is free, Open: Mon-Sat: 10am-5pm; Sun: 2pm-5pm.

  • Steam: The Great Western Railway Museum, Kemble Drive, (By car, follow brown tourist signs for the Outlet Centre "Great Western Heritage Area" or "M for STEAM Museum"), 01793 466 646 [15]. 10am until 5pm. Adults £5.95, Concessions(+Students): £3.95
  • Museum of Computing @ Swindon, educational museum with excellent collections, guided tours and admission is free.
  • Wilts & Berks Canal. (See Main Article [16], built between 1795 and 1810 very little of this canal now remains. It's course can be traced by following Canal Street from Kingshill into the town centre but the section between Kingshill Road and the M4 was partially restored a few years ago and is popular wih Dog walkers and cyclists.
  • Coate Water [17] was originally built to supply water to the Wilts & Berks Canal but is now a popular country park.

There also many private and public stately Homes and gardens to see in the area, such as Avebury Manor and Garden,


Swindon is a small town yet there are plenty of things to do such as shopping and visiting the town museum and art gallery.


Cineworld,, UGC Cinema, Films @ The Victoria Pub,


The town centre has mainly well known high street shops brands. McArthur Glen Designer Outlet, Europe's largest indoor designer outlet in the unique setting of restored Victorian buildings. Built on the site of the old GWR railway works.


There are plenty different types of places to choose from, including traditional English and Irish pubs, Chinese and Indian restaurants, and cafes and bars.


Swindon is well served with public houses and many of the most popular can be found in the Fleet Street area of New Town and The Victoria Road area of Old Town. In addition, quiet country pubs are only a short drive away.


Many hotels and B&Bs to choose from, Express by Holiday Inn, Hilton Hotel, De Vere Hotel.

Get out

Head towards Cirencester, Bath or Bristol.

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