It's easy to ready Swindon by train. Swindon is on the Great Western Main Line, which runs between Bristol and London. Most trains to Swindon arrive into the town's main railway station, Swindon station. It takes just 48 minutes to reach Swindon from London, 38 minutes from Bristol and 25 minutes from Reading.
Swindon has long been associated with industry and innovation. Once a small market town, it was transformed in the 1840s by the arrival of the Great Western Railway, which brought new factories, housing and ground-breaking social services. Today Swindon is a modern, fast-growing town with diverse attractions, thriving arts and sports scenes and great transport links. And let's not forget its prime location between the picturesque landscapes of the Cotswolds and the North Wessex Downs...
If you want to bag yourself some bargain train tickets to Swindon, there are several convenient methods you can make use of. Whether you’re travelling on business or to explore and take in the Wiltshire countryside, we’ll share our top tips for knocking the pounds off your rail fares.
One of the best ways to save money on your train journeys is to equip yourself with a Railcard. If you travel to Swindon or other locations by train more than a couple of times a year, it’s well worth shelling out for one, since you’ll be looking at saving up to 1/3 off the price of your train tickets. There are some eligibility requirements though, so head on over to our Railcards page for a quick guide. Railcards cater to different age ranges and circumstances so, from the Senior Railcard to the Disabled Persons Railcard and the newly-introduced 26-30 Railcard (Millennial Railcard), you'll be sure to find your match.
Another tactic that can help you secure cheap train tickets to Swindon is to purchase your tickets as far ahead as possible. In many cases, the earlier you buy an Advance ticket, the cheaper it’ll be. Most train companies release their tickets 12 weeks before the departure date, but we have a handy Ticket Alert tool that can email you as soon as they become available for your preferred route. Sign up, and we’ll do the work for you, just in case you forget to check!
To stand a good chance at saving even more money, make sure to book your Advance ticket for an Off-Peak time. Off-Peak trains require you to travel at certain times of the day, certain days in the week or via a particular route, offering good value for money. If you then add your Railcard discount to your Off-Peak train ticket, you’ll be well on your way towards cheap rail travel.
Before you book your tickets, have a quick check that your Return tickets are cheaper than two Singles. At times, it’s possible that one way can be cheaper than the other.
Last, but not least, there are discounts available for those travelling in groups of three to nine. Perfect if you’re going on a family trip or heading to Swindon with friends, you could save up to 34% thanks to GroupSave, a type of free discount that can be applied to your Off-Peak tickets if you book for the correct amount of people. Please bear in mind that GroupSave is not applicable for all journeys by the different train companies and will be applied if valid for your journey and selected in the Railcard dropdown. All tickets must be purchased in a single booking, and all passengers must travel together on the day of departure.
For even more hints on how to save money on your rail fares, check out our cheap train tickets page.
If shopping is your bag, make a beeline for Swindon's fully pedestrianised centre - the Brunel and Parade shopping centres are home to all the high street favourites. Up the hill past the relaxing green expanse of Queen's Park, you'll find Old Town, with a welcoming mix of independent shops, pubs, cafes and bars.
Old Town is also home to the Swindon Museum & Art Gallery, which has a notable collection of 20th-century British art; and the 200-seat Arts Centre, which hosts music, comedy, original drama and more. The town's other major venue, the Wyvern Theatre, is in the centre near Regent Circus.
To trace the story of Swindon's industrial past, head for the STEAM Museum on the former site of the Swindon Railway Works. Here, in the remaining buildings of what was one of the largest railway engineering complexes in the world, you can find out all about the people, ideas and machinery that made up the Great Western Railway.
Opposite the museum, there's another opportunity for shopping in the shape of the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet, the biggest undercover shopping centre of its kind in Europe.