Swindon is a unique British town with a deep history and a range of things to enjoy. Mainly used as a trading point until it became an important hub for Great Western Railway in the mid-1800s, Swindon’s historical roots go back to Roman times and was even mentioned (as Suindone) in William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book. Today it’s a lively town with plenty of things to do and see from high street shopping to cultural site seeing to lovely scenic walks in its public parks. And, of course, there’s the infamous Magic Roundabout!
Best Bar: The Glue Pot (5 Emlyn Square, Swindon) is full of real ale and quirky characters! Get a true taste of Swindon in here.
Best Restaurant: Authentic Italian in an intimate setting at family-owned Fratello’s (12 Victoria Road).
Best Shopping: House of Fraser (44-54 Canal Walk) has a wide range of designer brands.
Best Kept Secret: Swindon’s Old Town boasts many small shops selling antiques and furnishing and is to many cafes, bars and restaurants.
Hosting a range of entertainment such as live music, dance, stand-up comedy and touring theatre productions, The Wyvern Theatre has something for everybody. The 635 capacity venue is one of Swindon’s more popular stages and was opened by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in 1971. The Ukrainian Dance Company were the first act to perform.
A quick 8 minute walk from Jurys Inn Swindon, The Wyvern Theatre is perfect for anyone unfamiliar with the nightlife and looking to catch an entertaining show!
Swindon Arts Centre
A smaller, 200-seat venue, the Swindon Arts Centre also hosts everything from live music and theatre to stand-up comedy. Although many national entertainers have previously graced the venues stage, it is also used for showcasing world cinema films, one man shows, amateur theatre and children’s events. Check the listings to see if there’s something to suit your tastes!
A bit further on from the Wyvern Theatre, the Swindon Arts Centre is a 20 minute walk from Jurys Inn.
A small pub near the centre of Swindon, The Beehive hosts slightly quirkier evenings such as poker tournaments, music jam sessions and original and cover bands. Only a 15 minute walk from our Swindon hotel, check out what’s on offer and slip in to experience a little fun!
Studley Grange Butterfly World and Craft village
Walk among and watch some of the world’s most beautiful butterflies against a backdrop of tropical plants at the Studley Grange Butterfly World. Having gradually added to the Animal Paddock over the last 7 years, Studley Grange also houses meerkats, otters, goats, pigs, guinea pigs, rabbits, birds, ponds of fish and a range of reptiles. Open almost all year, the admission rates vary on the time of year with special rates for families.
There is a Craft Village on site where you can not only buy what’s on offer but also learn to make it too! A great attraction for getting the kids engaged and stuck in, try your hand at something new and creative – all just a 15 minute drive from Jurys Inn.
Lydiard House and Park is a beautiful, tranquil estate and the perfect place for a family day out. Open all year round, the 260 acre grounds is home to a Palladian house, Church, Walled Garden, and a picturesque lake. The estate also has plenty of sprawling lawns and expansive woodlands for children adventurers.
There is much to be seen and appreciated inside and outside Lydiard House. Inside, the original furnishings, the Viscounts Bollingbroke family portraits, the library, and the lavish wall decorations take you on a historical journey from the Tudor period to the Civil War, to the war years and more. Outside, the Walled Garden has spectacular floral displays and fruit trees as you enter into Swindon’s own secret garden.
STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway
Housed in a restored Grade II railway building, STEAM – the Museum of the Great Western Railway is a fun and educational outing for all the family to enjoy. Originally opened as a railway engineering complex in 1843, STEAM was one of the largest of its type in the world, at one point employing over 12,000 people and producing an average of 3 locomotives a week!
Nowadays visitors can climb aboard and appreciate the many classic locomotives on display, as well as enjoy the various interactive displays detailing the railway yard’s history. Only a 14 minute walk from Jurys Inn Swindon, STEAM is open every day from 10:00 – 17:00, with ticket prices depending on the size of your group.
Swindon Museum and Art Gallery
The Swindon Museum and Art Gallery is a culturally important centre of 20th Century art, having accumulated one of the most impressive collections in the UK. It features works by Lucien Freud, Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, and many more. Established in 1944 by HJP Bomford, the Museum also houses extensive historical, archaeological, and geological displays including Roman and Egyptian artefacts.
Unless there is a specific event on, admission to the Gallery is free and it’s only a 7 minute drive from our Swindon hotel!
The centre of Swindon is a bustling area with a variety of shops, cafes and restaurants to explore and enjoy. The Brunel Centre is one of the main shopping complexes and offers many of the standard brand shops such as Topshop, Mark and Spencer, Cargo and Waterstone’s. Outside of the Brunel Centre is The Parade, noticeable by the decorative canopies, and Regent Street where there are more high-street shops including a Debenhams, BHS, and Monsoon. The perfect place for a little retail therapy and you can find them only a 2 minute walk from Jurys Inn.
Swindon Designer Outlet
Using the old buildings of the disused railway engine works, the Swindon Designer Outlet is another indoor shopping complex close to Swindon centre and only a 15 minute walk from our hotel. Mainly home to designer brands such as Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger and Ted Baker, the Outlet has over 100 stores making it one of the largest designer shop centres in Europe. A must for any fashion fanatics!
Swindon Old Town
The Old Town area of Swindon offers a different retail experience to the Centre with a unique selection of old-fashioned outlets. Found in the area around the Swindon Museum and Arts Gallery, only a 20 minute walk from our Swindon hotel, many of the shops are long-established family businesses selling a mixture of jewellery, art and home furnishings.