Swindon is more than the GWR
Swindon has its origin as a small market town, used mainly for barter trade until the mid-1800s. The original Swindon is now known as Old Town. Take time to wander through its quiet courtyards and alleyways or enjoy a vibrant mix of traditional shops and pubs alongside modern outlets and stylish cafes and bars.
With the arrival of the Great Western Railway in 1840 a whole new town was created between the new railway works and Swindon Hill. Today this is Swindon's Town Centre. The centre is fully pedestrianised and offers both an indoor and outdoor shopping experience. Whether you are in search of the latest fashion, or have an eye for a bargain, this is the place to be. For those more creative purchases, look out for the local and international markets.
Just 15 minutes walk from the town centre lies the Swindon Designer Outlet. Set into the historic buildings of the railway works, the buildings conjour up an image of days gone by however, with over 100 shops on the site the outlet is very much in the 21st century.
Designer names such as Ben Sherman, Ted Baker, Hug Boss and Thomas Pink offer large discounts to customers. As well as clothes the Outlet also sells home furnishings, books, jewellery, toys and gifts and also has a wide selection of places to eat and relax.
The area around Swindon
Towns and Villages
Whilst Swindon might be an urban centre, two-thirds of the borough is rural and within its boundaries are many delightful and historic towns and villages.
Highworth is the largest settlement in the surrounding area and was much celebrated by John Betjeman. It lies about 6 miles to the north east of Swindon and has a population of about 8,000.
Other Villages in the Borough
Other villages in the Borough include Blunsdon, Chiseldon, Wroughton, Bishopstone and South Marston. Nearby, but in surrounding districts are Wootton Bassett, Purton, Aldborne and Shrivenham.