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“Outlet shopping at Great Western” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Swindon

Swindon
Swindon, England
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Ranked #14 of 17 Attractions in Swindon
Type: Civic Centers, Landmarks
Attraction details
Slough, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Outlet shopping at Great Western”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

Traffic not bad, easy parking (Spend £100 and its free). Great shops, lots of bargains. Lots of choice of food.

Visited November 2012
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
wiltshire
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
36 attraction reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“Its a town that has everything you want from a town.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

It has everything you could want from a town. It has lots of out of town shops. Just watch out for the roundabouts. The rules appear to be different in Swindon to the rest of the country. I also dare you to go across the magic roundabout.

Visited October 2012
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Devizes, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
309 reviews 309 reviews
195 attraction reviews
Reviews in 126 cities Reviews in 126 cities
658 helpful votes 658 helpful votes
“Might be close but we prefer Trowbridge or Bath”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

Swindon is 20 miles from where we live. It can be reached by a decent and usually fast main road. It is a large town ( that recently applied for, but was unsuccessful at acquiring "city" status) and one might therefore assume that it has plenty to offer visitors and shoppers. Unfortunately, we avoid it at all cost.

The main shopping centre in the "new" town is a 60's-built concrete and glass monstrosity, with wide pedestrianised walkways through which the wind howls all day. All you need are the bundles of tumbleweed and a tolling bell.......Like most shopping centres, it has suffered at the hands of the double dip recession but on the other hand, it's never been any different. I have to visit the town regularly for work and I can't see that it's changed much since I first started going there in the mid 1970s.

It's major claim-to-fame is a roundabout, that says it all really, although there can't be many people who have neither heard of, or fallen foul of said "Magic Roundabout". One of the most historic areas of the town was the old railway village, endless rows of 2-up, 2-down terraced houses, built at the same time as the once-enormous railway and wagon works to house thousands of workers. This was all demolished in the 70s which at once, removed an important part of the town for ever.

The existing town centre is in the process of being rejuvenated and by golly, does it need it. But, for the moment, all visitors see are ongoing road works, square miles of building site hoardings and a small forest of crane masts. One area that to my mind is as tatty as anywhere I've seen in the UK is the section of Fleet Street from the bottom of Fleming Way, this is supposedly a major shopping artery but it has all the ambience of an abbatoir.

There are some decent quality shops within the main shopping arcades, ( Debenhams, House of Frazer, etc) although many are of the Poundstretcher/Poundland variety with an equal number of cheap and cheerful clothes shops and the usual uninspiring selection of mobile phone stores and expensive coffee shops.

When the Railway Workshops finally closed, a small part was converted into the "Designer Village Factory Outlet", for me, the only reason to even contemplate a visit to the town. For us, Trowbridge or Bath are a much better place to spend your time and your money.

Visited October 2012
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U.K.
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
56 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“Excellent public transport links”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

A glance at a map reveals that Swindon is surrounded by places of interest - some very near, others further off - suitable for Day Trips using public transport. The Bus Station and Railway Station lie within minutes of each other and there is a choice of hotels nearby. I would have rated Swindon much more highly than two stars but the town itself - a charmless, unfocussed sprawl - has little to recommend it to a visitor except as a convenient base. I have little interest in shopping, still less in Eating Out; Pubs; Nightlife and Activities, so the provision/lack of these features did not influence my overall rating.

Visited September 2012
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Swindon, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
471 reviews 471 reviews
271 attraction reviews
Reviews in 100 cities Reviews in 100 cities
163 helpful votes 163 helpful votes
“Needs the shops to catch up with the refurb”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

Most of the space around the town has now been refurbished but it's still the same shops. There are a few good ones coming through but there are still too many pound shops and discount stores to make it a destination on its own - you need to combine it with a trip to the Outlet Village to do a complete shop.

Visited September 2012
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