Adventures around Swindonwith PlusBus
Swindon is known as a centre for business. All kinds of companies have national headquarters here including the National Trust. The buzzing Swindon Designer Outlet attracts shoppers from far and wide to find bargains in a former Great Western Railway building. But this big Wiltshire town is also a great hub for exploring ancient and beautiful countryside, downs, woods, thatched villages and interesting parkland. Add PlusBus for a small extra fee when you buy your train ticket to Swindon and you can explore all day by bus. Here are just three of the many adventures you could have.
1. Lydiard Park
On the western edge of Swindon, Lydiard Park is a lovely historic estate with 260 acres of parkland spreading out around a Palladian House. You can visit the house, which is now a graceful museum, and the restored walled garden, an oasis of peace in any season. Just ask for PlusBus when you buy your train ticket (or show your train ticket and add PlusBus when you arrive) for unlimited bus travel all day.
- How do I get to Lydiard Park by bus? Bus 1 leaves every half an hour (hourly on Sundays) from Stop L outside the bus station. The stop is a couple of minute’s stroll from Swindon railway station. Walk straight ahead along Wellington Street and head left at the end towards the bus station and you will see Stop L on the road outside.
- After about half an hour, bus 1 stops at Sleaford Close. Get off here, walk a few steps more in the direction the bus was heading and turn left at the brown sign for Lydiard Park. Follow the tarmac path ahead and turn right through stone gateposts into the park itself. The house, full of intricate decoration and family portraits, and the spacious walled garden are beyond the lake.
- The Coach house cafe, next to the walled garden, serves toasted sandwiches and jacket potatoes.
- When you’ve explored the area, you can head back into town via a slightly different route. Turn right along the avenue past the church and car park with fields on your left. Follow this driveway for a few minutes, out of the gates of the park, and left onto Tregoze Way to find Wilmot Close bus stop. Bus 1 leaves from here and passes the Designer Outlet village on it’s way back into town. See 2 below for more.
2. Designer Outlet Swindon
The old Great Western railway works is now an airy shopping mall, Designer Outlet Swindon with more than 100 different stores. Here big name brands offer all kinds of goodies, from Lindt chocolates and Whittard teas to Lakeland leather and Portmeirion pottery, at reduced prices. As you wander through the shops, there are lots of relics from the building’s interesting history including an original locomotive in the food court. There’s a play area too and a choice of restaurants and cafes.
- How do I get to the Designer Outlet by bus? Several buses stop at the bus stop called Great Western Outlet Village, including bus 1, which leaves from Stop L outside the bus station (see 1 above). You can also catch frequent bus 10 from the bus station.
- Walk a few steps back and turn right to find the entrance. If you want to walk to the railway station afterwards, it takes about 15 minutes, past STEAM, the museum of the Great Western Railway.