The best way to get a quick and affordable journey to Swindon is to book with National Express. From as little as £4 you can travel from London Victoria to Swindon in just 2 hours.
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Surrounded by beautiful Wiltshire countryside, Swindon is a former railway hub that now offers great shopping and leisure options while ever proud of its railway heritage. Whether you’re a shopaholic, a history buff or just open to a good time, Swindon is a town with a lot to offer.
This boutique shopping centre has been built into the formerly derelict old Railway Works, adding a rich layer of heritage to the shopping mall experience. In the centre of the building, they’ve even kept a glorious old steam engine.
As for shops, they have big brands like Superdry, Ted Baker, Ralph Lauren and pretty much any high street chain you could think of. There are also smaller shops selling candles and beauty products. Swindon Designer Outlet also puts on seasonal events (including a Winter Wonderland mall makeover) and there’s a weekly Farmers’ Market.
Hypnotise children and middle-aged men alike with a visit to Swindon’s impressive STEAM Museum of the Great Western Railway. Housed at the heart of the old Railway Works, it soon becomes evident where Swindon got its nickname of “Railway Town.”
The museum tells the story of the railway workers who built and operated the railway with models, videos and memorabilia. There are also plenty of spaces to explore: the foundry, general store and even Queen Victoria’s private carriage have been reconstructed in extraordinary detail. There’s hands-on fun thanks to pull-able signal box levers, a model railway and a steam engine simulator. Enthusiastic trainspotters should head straight for the locomotives – STEAM has an impressive collection of beautifully restored beasts dating back to the 1890s.
Set in 260 acres of lush parkland, Lydiard Park is a historic walled estate to the west of Swindon. Inside the 18th century, Palladian-style house, explore opulent state rooms then head to the Georgian walled garden for rare flowers and fruit trees. For a taste of Lydiard Park, there’s also heritage cider, apples and honey which has been produced on the estate.
For the more active, take on Jungle Park – an assault course involving climbing trees, crossing bridges and zooming back to earth on zip lines. Dust yourself off and head to one of the many cafes for homemade cakes, local ice cream and cream teas.
This small but perfectly formed museum has a great blend of computer history and playable consoles from as far back as the 70s. Machines range from the abacus to cutting-edge Virtual Reality console Oculus Rift.
So whether you’re playing a nostalgic game of Pac Man or want to find out more about coding, the Museum of Computing has plenty to keep you occupied. There are also occasional special exhibits and a popular kids’ club, which includes 3D printing sessions.
While being locked in a room isn’t everybody’s idea of fun, Swindon’s Incarcerated has managed to take the concept and make a leisure activity out of it.
Groups of 2-6 players have one hour to break out of a room by solving head-scratching puzzles and cracking cryptic clues to make good their escape.
There are a variety of different rooms to escape from including the dramatic sounding Dose of Death and Prisoner of War. After the adventure, there’s also an ice cream parlour to explore, although you may not be in such a rush to escape.
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