Whilst many people think of Swindon as a vibrant, bustling, new commercial town, Swindon was actually mentioned in the Doomsday Book as early as 1086. Predominantly a market town, like most in that time, it remained as such until the canals were built and brought more trade and people to the area in the early 19th century.
In 1840, the Great Western Railway reached Swindon and the town was adopted to build engines and carry out maintenance. So, the Railway Town was born and within 45 years the population grew ten-fold, expanding rapidly to become the biggest town in Wiltshire. In 1986 the railway works closed; but the impact of this was minimal as the Towns industry by now was so diverse. The railways heritage lives on in the Steam Museum and is now an integral part of Swindons tourist industry.
Swindon offers something for everyone - it s a shoppers paradise with simply too many shops to list, except to say it boasts many high street names together with many specialist independent retailers. There s also the theatre, arts centres, festivals, great restaurants, fashionable bars and premier nightclubs. If this wasn t enough, the refurbished buildings of the Great Western Railway now house one of Europes largest covered designer outlet centres.
For those seeking more active pursuits, the leisure activities in Swindon are numerous. With two extensive leisure centres on either side of the town; the Oasis and Link Centres, lucky Swindon residents and their visitors have access to a range of swimming facilities including family pools with giant slides, wave machine and water cannon. There is an ice skating rink, climbing wall, extensive gym facilities, multipurpose sports halls, outdoor Astroturf pitches, an indoor bowling green, creches, cafes, bars and free parking.
For those who prefer spectator sports there s the speedway and Swindon FC to follow. And for nature lovers, you are spoilt for choice in Swindon with large, well maintained popular country parks such as Coate Water, Lydiard Park, Barbary Castle Country Park and the Cotswold Water Park at Ashton Keynes, to name but a few, where you can take the family for a day out; walk the dogs, or enjoy an exhilarating run (or a pleasant leisurely stroll!).
For those whose passion is golf whether a beginner or a seasoned pro (or anything in between!) there is a wide range of clubs and facilities to suit you, whatever your budget or ability.
Cycling enthusiasts will be pleased to know that Swindon is well blessed with extensive well signed cycle networks which enable you travel to work easily and efficiently by bike, or enjoy a cycle ride with friends or family during your evenings and weekends.
Schools and colleges
If good education facilities are a priority for you rest assured Swindon is well catered for with a variety of high achieving primary and secondary schools. For further education, many of the schools offer sixth form facilities and there are dedicated further and higher education opportunities at Swindon College and Swindon New College. Private schools include Pinewood and Prior Park schools in the town and Marlborough College just outside.
Swindon is conveniently situated with direct links to the M4, Bristol, Reading and London. Swindon main line station is situated approximately 5 minutes walk from the Town Centre and 2 minutes walk from Swindon Bus Station and offers frequent services to London, Paddington with a journey time of approximately 1 hour.
Bristol is about 30 minutes away and Chippenham and Bath spa are also easily accessed by train from Swindon station. The nearest airport is Bristol International, which is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes by car. The Bus station is served by Thamesdown Transport and Stage Coach as well as National Express.
Where to live in Swindon
Swindon has a diverse range of housing where every need and every price range is catered for, from upmarket modern town centre flats for young professionals who work and play hard; to large stylish family properties ideal for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle at the end of a busy day.
Old Town as the name suggests is the oldest part of Swindon with predominately Imposing Victorian and Edwardian properties and pockets of attractive bay fronted 1930 s semi-detached homes. Recently though, Old Town has also seen the addition of a wide choice of modern, stylish, upmarket one and two bedroom flats. These are ideal for young professionals working in and around Swindon. Old Town is probably the most sought after part of the town and properties here sell at a premium. Old Town offers a more traditional shopping environment, where you will find several long-established family businesses. Offerings include antiques, jewellery, unusual home furnishings, books and art. Old Town is also home to a wide range of popular and stylish wine bars and restaurants.
The expansion of Swindon is firmly under way with already over 10,000 new homes built in North Swindon over the last 10 years. The mix of properties range from small 1 bedroom apartments to huge 5 and 6 bedroom 3 storey houses. The Infrastructure for residents is already in place with new schools for all ages, community facilities and the new Orbital Shopping Centre which is home to Asda Wal-Mart, Marks and Spencer, Homebase and Next with a library and a range of places to eat and drink right on your doorstep.
The Western expansion began in the 1970 s and the further west you travel the newer the properties become. In the centre of West Swindon is the Link Leisure Centre with its popular and well used ice rink which is home to Swindon Wild Cats and its Olympic sized swimming pool. Other sports facilities at the Link Centre include indoor and outdoor football, badminton, squash, a climbing wall and large multi-gym. Residents in West Swindon have easy access to the modern Shaw Ridge Leisure Park with hotels, cinema, the very popular bowling complex and vibrant bars and restaurants. West Swindon centre also houses a large modern library with internet facilities, and a choice of large supermarkets with masses of free parking.
There are a variety of housing estates, a good mix of 1970 s and 1980 s developments as well as new developments and older village centres, all around east Swindon. The Stratton area has traditional Victorian properties along-side modern estates and all are conveniently located for access to the business, industrial and retail parks in the east of the town. Facilities in East Swindon include a multi-screen cinema complex, a good range of schools, parks, local shopping areas, restaurants and public houses. East Swindon is popular for its close proximity to Coate Water Country Park and to the M4 Junction 15, the new Great Western Hospital and the A420 to Oxford.
Swindon Town Centre
The Victorian 2 and 3 bedroom homes prove extremely popular with investment and first time buyers alike. With the main shopping centre on your doorstep, all amenities are within walking distance including the main line railway station.