Swindon's not short of places get out in the great outdoors and get a few steps in, take in the fresh air and explore!
Enjoying nature and seeing beautiful sites whilst walking is one of life’s great pleasures. We are blessed with many great places in and around Swindon where you can take a stroll (or a speed walk if you’re energetic) on good pathways and on wheelchair friendly routes. Here are some of our favourites in no particular order.
Coate Water is a great walking venue with something for everyone. It’s south east of Central Swindon and access is by the Coate Water Roundabout. There are several walks in the park and many are surfaced and level, making them suitable for wheelchair users. There most popular route is around the water which takes about 45 minutes at a gentle pace. For more advanced walkers there are routes from Coate Water to Hodson, Chiseldon and Barbary Castle. There is parking, and it costs £2.10 for up to 2 hours or £4.40 for 2-24 hours. There are toilets and a café and there is wheelchair access.
There are many other attractions besides walking at Coate Water including children’s play area, Nature Reserve and even a Splash Park and pitches for BBQ’s available to hire. More details are available at the website:
Lydiard Park is a beautiful, historic estate on the west side of Swindon. There is no less than 260 acres of landscape to explore including woodlands, a lake, lawns and pasture. Many of the features of the estate have been restored such as the “Ice House” which was used back in the 18th century for storing chilled food. A Georgian Walled Garden has also been restored to its former glory. There are 2 café options: Forest Café which is close to the children’s play area on the Hook Street entrance or Coach House Tearoom which is by the Hay Lane entrance.
The loop trail walk is 4.3km and is considered easy and wheelchair friendly and on average would take an hour and 7 minutes.
For more information about Lydiard Park visit: www.lydiardpark.org.uk/
This also happens to be the venue for the “Dementia Friendly Walk and Talk at Lydiard Park” hosted by Swindon Carers and Home Instead. Take a stroll around the grounds with either the moderate walkers or the slower group and end up at the café for a well-deserved drink and chat. No-one is left behind and this is a great opportunity to connect with people who understand dementia.
This takes place on the second Monday of the month (weather permitting) and can be booked by registering with Swindon Carers on their website and then booking a place.
For more information call Heather on 07841 503849 or to register visit https://www.swindoncarers.org.uk/
Located just a mile from High Street Royal Wootton Bassett, Jubilee Lake is an area of woodlands and flower meadows which was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 2007. There are plenty of peaceful walks to enjoy around the lake and you may even see the family of geese that live there.
There is plenty of parking at the entrance to the lake and there are toilets and during summer months there’s also the Jubilee Lake Tea Rooms, run by a local resident which opens 10am to 4pm Thursday to Sundays where you can take a refreshing cup or tea & cake, or ice cream.
More information can be found at:
Stanton Park is a beautiful 74-hectare country park with woodland area and a lake and is between Swindon and Highworth. It offers several footpaths for walks of various lengths from the car park area. Some walks will also take you to Stanton Fitzwarren and Blunsdon.
For information about Stanton Country Park visit:
Shaw Forest Park, owned by Swindon Borough Council, is a 40-hectare community woodland approximately 3km and is situated north-west of Swindon. There is a small free car park on site, accessed via Mead Way at the Hillmead roundabout.
The site was originally Old Shaw Farm Landfill and has slowly been reforested over a few years and now has ash and willow woodlands, hedgerows, wildflower meadows, grassland, wetlands as well as two ponds. Dogs are welcome and it is a lovely place to explore on a walk.
Mouldon Hill Country Park is situated just off Thamesdown Drive opposite Taw Hill junction and next to Oakhurst. The park features a lake and has several footpaths and walkways making it the ideal location for a short walk with the family and friends or with dogs. The park is also popular during summer months for picnics and BBQ’s. There is a free car park with no time limit for standard height cars.
If you are looking for a tranquil beautiful place for a short walk then Town Gardens are amazing, with a stunning bandstand, a rose garden and woodland paths to explore. The paths are all flat and concrete making it a good choice for wheelchairs. There are toilets in the rose garden and there is street parking on Quarry Road next to the park.
There is a café serving breakfast, lunches, ice-creams and drinks which is open 8-5pm weekdays and 9-5.30pm weekends in the summer from 20th March to 16th October 2023 and in the winter months 8-4pm weekdays and 9-4.30pm weekends.
More information about the café is at: https://towngardenscafe.com/
For information about Town Gardens visit:www.swindon.gov.uk/directory_record/8471/town_gardens
Another hidden gem of Old Town Swindon is The Lawns. This is an area close to the High Street Old Town, postcode SN3 1EH which includes the site where historically the Goddard family estate and Goddard House stood. There are two beautiful lakes and a huge area of lawn as well as paths that take you through trees at the edges. Some lovely views around the town can be taken in from the higher ground. A lovely place for a short to medium length walk.
For further information visit: www.visitswindon.org.uk/business/76.aspx?b=The+Lawns
Did you know that a canal actually runs through the centre of Swindon town? And even better, a path sits alongside the canal all the way making it great for the 2-3 mile walk! It starts at the bottom of Kingshill and runs down to end where Waitrose and H&W pub is by the Wichelstowe area. Parking can be tricky at the Kinghill end although there is some side street parking nearby, alternatively park at Waitrose instead.
You’ll see great sites including those over Old Town and towards Wroughton and you’ll even see the old railway lines running from Blagrove to Old Town. For the more ambitious, routes can be extended to include the Old Town Railway Path, Lawns Park and Queen’s Park making a 5 mile circular route.
For more information visit: www.swindonrocks.co.uk/listings/canal-walk
For a short walk, then Queens Park is a beautifully maintained park close to Swindon town centre. Gates are open from 7.30am weekdays and from 9am weekends and bank holidays and close half an hour before sunset. There’s a large lake with ducks and swans and many benches so that you can take a rest. There is a “secret garden” which is a sunken garden behind bushes and is formally the Rose Garden. There is no specific parking in the central location although there are carparks at the nearby Regent Circus complex. There are 4 entrances so you can park and take the nearest one. There are toilets are on site.
For more information about Queens Park visit: www.swindon.gov.uk/directory_record/8468/queens_park
So that’s our top 10 walks in or close to Swindon, of course there are many more spectacular walks to be made if you venture a little further out, such as Barbury Castle, The Ridgeway and White Horse Hill, but we’ll save those for another blog! Hope you find a walk to meet your needs and you thoroughly enjoy the pleasure of being outdoors and moving, taking in the sites, sounds and smells in the fresh air!
Find out more about supported living in this area and see if Home Care in Swindon & the Vale of White Horse could be right for you or your loved ones.