Swindon Travel Diary

Discover Swindon

Discover over 90 designer brands at Swindon Designer Outlet and then explore some of England’s finest countryside and attractions, Swindon has a vibrant mix of things to entice visitors.

From art, culture and history, to outdoor exploration and shopping, you'll never ben left scratching your head for things to do. Originally recorded in the Domesday Book, it has a colourful past with ancient roots that can still be observed in some places today. Railway enthusiasts can explore the story behind Great Western at the STEAM Museum, while others can take time to wander through the quiet countryards and alleyways, stroll around the Victorian Town Gardens, and enjoy a vibrant mix of traditional shops, pubs, bars and cafés. In the wider Cotswolds area, visitors can enjoy miles of uninterrupted scenery, picturesque villages, and 40 square miles of beautiful great lakes.

Where to shop

If you're looking for a premium offering, the Designer Outlet has over 90 stores to choose from with up to 60% off RRP. 

Getting there couldn't be easier. The Designer Outlet is just a 15-minute walk away from Swindon train station, with direct services from London, South West England and South Wales. It's also a short 15-minute stroll from the town centre with helpful markings highlighting the route. If you're visiting on two wheels, there's a handy cycle map online and bicycle parking in both of the car parks. 



Where to stay 

From laid back luxury to homely retreats, there are hotels to suit all tastes and budgets in Swindon and the neighbouring areas. 

Set among rolling hills and in the heart of the 152 lakes that spread across the unique Cotswolds Water Par, lies the De Vere Hotel. Blending effortlessly with its surroundings, the beautiful calmness of the lakes makes a striking backdrop, with glass and honey-coloured stone creating a bright and airy ambience throughout. Home to tens of thousans of breeding watering birds, the stunning wetlands surrounding the hotel allow for wildlife spotting all year round. After a day of adventure on the lakes, guests can take advantage of a luxury spa, gym and three restaurants.
For something a little different, visitors can opt for a stay at Mollie's Motel, located in Buckland, Faringdon, a short 25-minute drive from the Designer Outlet. The brainchild of the team behind Soho House, Mollie's is a unique concept that pays homage to the 1950s, but with all the mod-cons and luxurious touches you'd expect from the super-stylish brand. 

A comfortable, budget-friendly option is the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel. In a central location, Swindon town centre, STEAM Museum and Wyvern Theatre are less than 10 minutes from their front door, with the edge of the Cotswolds a short 25-minute journey away. As well as homely decor and thoughtful touches, guests can enjoy access to a 24-hour fitness centre and an excellent on-site restaurant. 


Things to do

From meandering idyllic villages set amongst the rolling hills or shopping at Swindon Designer Outlet and the Cotswolds are a year-round hub of activity. 

Whether you're visiting with family or friends, or for quality time with a partner, there's plenty to see and do. Technology buffs can test their knowledge of gadgets at the Museum of Computing, whilst animal-lovers can visit Cotswold Farm Park to see an assortment of rare breeds of butterflies at the Studley Grange Butterfly World and Craft Village. Those wishing to truly immerse themselves in nature ca pay a visit to Westonbirt, the national arboretum, home to 2,500 different species of tree from the far corners of the globe and 5 national tree collections. 

In addition to the many museums and historical sites, the area is also home to a buzzing arts scene, with events throughout the year at venues including the Wyvern Theatre, Arts Centre and Swindon Museum and Art Gallery. 

Discover the heritage of Swindon Designer Outlet by joining a free guided tour. Gain an insight into the Great Western Railways factory, with real-life accounts from Rodbournite, and ex-GWR employee Ron Johnson who worked “inside” for 30 years.


What to pack:

Plan the perfect wardrobe for your visit. If you're trying your hand a paddleboarding or sailing at the Cotswolds Water Park, then visits to New Balance, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Gant are a must. You'll find a range of stylish, comfortable clothing and footwear that's ideal for a day of activity. 

Stopping by one of the many quaint village pubs for lunch? Dress for the occasion in an outfit from French Connection, Levi's Ted Baker and Reiss. 

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