There’s more to this Wiltshire town than its railway past so emerge from your Swindon hotel to learn why a local postmistress was on Hitler’s hit list.
See how Swindon grew into a prosperous railway town in the Town Gardens in Quarry Road, where a bandstand entertained walkers. An aviary was added in 1928, and in 1936 the Bowl began hosting open-air concerts. The derelict Mechanics’ Institute was built to entertain GWR’s workers and was a temple to reading, theatre and socialising.
Art and museums in Swindon
From your Swindon hotel you can get a whiff of the wood in the carriage body shop at Steam, Museum of the Great Western Railway at Kemble Drive. The Swindon and Cricklade Railway lets you live the steam experience and showcases God’s Wonderful Railway’s impact on the town.
Quirky things to do in Swindon
Take a trip out to Highworth Post Office where postmistress Mabel Stranks was enlisted by Churchill’s resistance movement to vet thousands of people en route to nearby spy HQ Coleshill House. There is a plaque to commemorate this extraordinary woman who was on Hitler’s most-wanted list. Nearby, Ian Fleming was writing Bond books in Sevenhampton.
Events in Swindon
There’s highbrow high jinks at the Swindon Festival of Literature in May when the book world comes to town. The Old Town Festival in mid-June kicks off with a jazz festival and follows up with a pop concert and family fun day.
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Attractions in Swindon:
House daily 11am-4.30pm; grounds daily 11am-5pm; rhododendron walks Apr-Jun: 11am-6pm Mar - Oct 2013 (annual)
Mar & Nov: Tue-Sun 10am-4pm; Apr-Oct: Tue-Sun 10am-5pm Mar - Nov 2013; not Mon (annual)
Tue-Sun 12pm-5pm (Nov & Dec until 4.30pm) Mar - Oct 2013; not Mon (various dates)
Admission times vary throughout the year. Please check venue website for current times. Feb - Oct 2013; not Wed or Thu (various dates)
Daily 10.30am-5.30pm (last admission 4.45pm); park daily 9am-4.45pm; 2 Nov-16 Dec Wed-Sun only Feb - Dec 2013 (annual)
What's on in Swindon:
03/05/2014 to 07/05/2014
01/05/2014 to 01/05/2014
17/05/2014 to 17/05/2014
18/04/2014 to 20/04/2014
18/05/2014 to 26/05/2014
02/05/2014 to 07/05/2014