Offbeat Places in Swindon


When you think of Swindon, you might conjure up images of a bustling town with a rich industrial history, known for its railways and museums. While these aspects certainly make up a part of Swindon’s charm, there’s a treasure trove of offbeat and lesser-known attractions waiting to be discovered by adventurous travelers. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey beyond the familiar tourist spots and introduce you to some of the most offbeat places in Swindon.

The Magic Roundabout

Let’s start with a traffic roundabout that is truly magical in its own right. The Magic Roundabout, located in the heart of Swindon, is a peculiar feat of engineering. It consists of five smaller roundabouts arranged in a circle, creating a maze-like experience for drivers. While it may sound confusing, it’s oddly efficient and has become an iconic symbol of Swindon. Visitors are often left in awe as they watch cars navigate this quirky traffic hub.

Swindon and Cricklade Railway

For a taste of nostalgia and a journey back in time, the Swindon and Cricklade Railway is a must-visit. This heritage railway preserves the history of steam locomotives and the golden age of rail travel. Take a ride on meticulously restored vintage trains and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of yesteryears. The volunteers’ passion for trains and their dedication to preserving this slice of history make this attraction truly unique.

Lydiard Park’s Walled Garden

Lydiard Park is a well-known destination in Swindon, but hidden within its expansive grounds lies a true hidden gem—the Walled Garden. This tranquil oasis boasts stunning floral displays, immaculate lawns, and a rich history. It’s a perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the town and enjoy the serenity of nature. Whether you’re a history buff or simply seeking a peaceful spot for a picnic, the Walled Garden at Lydiard Park won’t disappoint.

Coate Water Country Park

Nature enthusiasts and families will find solace in Coate Water Country Park. Tucked away on the outskirts of Swindon, this park offers picturesque lakeside walks, abundant wildlife, and a range of outdoor activities. Be sure to check out the miniature railway that winds its way through the park—an unexpected delight for visitors of all ages. Coate Water is a reminder that nature’s beauty can be found in unexpected places.

Richard Jefferies Museum

Literature lovers, in particular, will appreciate a visit to the Richard Jefferies Museum. Dedicated to the life and works of the renowned nature writer Richard Jefferies, this museum provides a glimpse into the world that inspired his writings. It’s a serene place for reflection and an opportunity to connect with the natural beauty that captivated Jefferies throughout his life.

Barbury Castle

Venture a little further afield, and you’ll find Barbury Castle, an ancient hillfort steeped in history. Perched on a hill, the site offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Beyond the breathtaking vistas, Barbury Castle is an archaeological treasure trove, with evidence of its Iron Age origins and Roman occupation. Hikers and history enthusiasts alike will find this offbeat spot in Swindon to be a true gem.

The Museum of Computing

If you’re fascinated by the evolution of technology, Swindon’s Museum of Computing is a hidden gem that you won’t want to miss. This museum traces the history of computers, from room-sized machines to modern-day gadgets. Interactive displays and a diverse collection of vintage computers make it an engaging and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

Swindon Arts Centre

Wrap up your exploration of offbeat places in Swindon with a visit to the Swindon Arts Centre. While not entirely off the radar, it’s often overshadowed by larger venues in bigger cities. This intimate arts space hosts a variety of performances, from theater and music to comedy and dance. Supporting local talent and enjoying a show in this cozy setting is a delightful way to end your Swindon adventure.

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