15 Best Walks In Swindon (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks In Swindon (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

Swindon is a great destination for a walk, with plenty of options to choose from. From the historic sights of Old Town to the scenic beauty of Coate Water, there’s something for everyone.

I’ve compiled a list of the 15 best walks in Swindon, from hikes to leisurely strolls, so you can make the most of your time in the area.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful lunchtime walk or a full day’s adventure, this guide has something for you. Read on to discover the best hikes and scenic walks in Swindon.

Lydiard Park

Lydiard House, Lydiard Park, Swindon
Photo by Robert Marshall

You definitely don’t want to miss taking a stroll through Lydiard Park – it’s absolutely stunning!

With its spectacular lake, rolling hills, and beautifully landscaped gardens, it’s the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Lydiard Park is a great place to explore with the family, with its large playground and nature trails.

The lake is a great spot to take a leisurely boat ride or simply sit and relax.

The park also has an array of wildlife, which can be seen from the many hides located around the park.

For those wanting something more active, there is plenty of space for running, cycling, and walking.

Lydiard Park is a great place to take in the tranquil atmosphere and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Old Town

Swindon College
Photo by Des Blenkinsopp

Discover the picturesque Old Town, with its charming cobbled streets and historic buildings, and be enchanted by the beauty it holds.

From the iconic Clock Tower to the many independent shops and cafes, Old Town is a great place to explore.

Take a leisurely stroll around the area and explore the historic buildings, as well as the quaint cobbled streets.

You can take in the stunning views of the local countryside, as well as the many green spaces.

There are plenty of lovely parks and gardens to enjoy, including Queen’s Park, the Old Town Gardens and the Swindon College campus.

With a variety of pubs and restaurants to choose from, you can enjoy a delicious meal or a refreshing drink after your walk.

Old Town is a great place to discover and explore, and you’ll be sure to find something to suit all interests.

Barbury Castle

Barbury Castle, Wiltshire
Photo by Rebecca A Wills

Perched atop a hill, Barbury Castle offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The ancient earthworks of the Iron Age fort are still clearly visible from the castle, and the top of the hill gives a 360-degree view of the Wiltshire countryside.

The hill itself is an easy climb and is an ideal spot to take a break to admire the views. In the spring, the hill is covered in a carpet of wildflowers, making it even more beautiful.

The castle also offers a variety of trails around the area, allowing visitors to explore the countryside. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, Barbury Castle has something for everyone. The trails range from short, flat paths to more strenuous adventures over steep hills.

There are plenty of routes to choose from, with lots of flora and fauna to enjoy along the way. The trails also provide the perfect opportunity to explore the prehistoric monuments that can be found near the castle.

Blunsdon Hill

From the top of Blunsdon Hill, visitors can soak in stunning views of the Marlborough Downs and the Cotswold Hills, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a more adventurous hike.

The area offers a variety of walks, from short walks around the hill itself, to longer hikes into the surrounding countryside.

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The hill is a great location for a picnic, with plenty of grassy areas and benches to relax on and take in the views.

The area is also popular with cyclists, as there are a number of tracks and trails to explore.

There are plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife, with a variety of birds and other animals to be found in the area.

The hill is also home to a variety of wildflowers, making it a great spot for photography.

Blunsdon Hill is an ideal location for a day out, with something for everyone.

Coate Water

Feel the cool breeze as you wander around Coate Water, a beautiful body of water located in Swindon.

The lake is a great destination for a range of activities, from a gentle stroll around the lake to a more vigorous walk up through the surrounding woodland. The footpaths are well maintained and the views of the lake are stunning.

As you make your way around the lake, you’ll pass through a variety of habitats, from wetland and ponds to grassland and woodland. The lake is home to a variety of wildlife, including waterfowl, mammals, and invertebrates.

You can also get a great view of the lake from the surrounding hills, which offer a unique perspective. There are plenty of benches and picnic spots along the way, so you can take a break and enjoy the scenery.

Coate Water is a great place to go for a relaxing walk and to take in the natural beauty of Swindon.

Badbury Hill

Climb up Badbury Hill and take in the breathtaking views of the Wiltshire landscape.

As you ascend the hill, you can feel the fresh air on your face and the gentle breeze on your skin.

You will find a large number of ancient trees that have been around for centuries, as well as a few wildflowers that have managed to survive the cold weather.

At the summit, you can see the iconic White Horse of Wiltshire, which is carved in the chalk hillside.

The views are spectacular, stretching from the Marlborough Downs to the River Thames.

On a clear day, you can even spot the towers of Windsor Castle in the distance.

The walk is relatively easy, as the hill is not too steep, and can be enjoyed by all ages.

For a truly memorable experience, be sure to bring a picnic and a camera to capture the beautiful views.

Cotswold Water Park

Explore the magnificent Cotswold Water Park, a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, where you can enjoy activities from canoeing and kayaking to horseback riding and cycling. Whether you’re a beginner or expert, the Water Park has something for everyone.

You can take a leisurely stroll along the tranquil lakes and rivers, or venture out on an adventure with a full day of activity.

The Cotswold Water Park is home to over 150 lakes, making it the largest in Europe. With over 500 miles of path, you can explore the area and immerse yourself in its beauty.

There are plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife, such as otters, badgers, and various types of birds. Additionally, you can enjoy a picnic at one of the many designated areas around the park.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing walk, a challenging hike, or a fun-filled day of activities, the Cotswold Water Park has something for you.

Wroughton Nature Reserve

Discover the beauty of Wroughton Nature Reserve, a haven for wildlife and a great spot to observe some of the area’s most fascinating creatures.

Here you’ll find an array of wildlife, from birds, to mammals, to reptiles, insects and amphibians.

The area is ideal for watching waterfowl and wading birds, as well as for spotting wild deer and other mammals.

There are a variety of habitats here, such as chalk grassland, meadows, and ponds, so you can explore a range of different ecosystems.

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The area provides great opportunities for photography or just a peaceful stroll, and you can explore the nature trails, which are well-maintained and clearly marked.

The staff here are friendly and knowledgeable and are always happy to help visitors identify animals and plants.

The reserve has a visitor centre with café and shop, so you can take a break to get a bite to eat and pick up a souvenir.

With so much to explore, Wroughton Nature Reserve is a great spot for a leisurely walk or a nature-filled day out.

Wichelstowe Nature Reserve

Wichelstowe Nature Reserve is a stunning spot to observe a variety of wildlife. It has lush meadows, woodlands, wetland areas, and ponds that provide habitats for birds, mammals, and reptiles.

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the reserve, and it was an unforgettable experience. On a sunny afternoon, I was able to spot all sorts of creatures. I saw birds like the great spotted woodpecker, grey wagtail, and great tit. I also saw mammals such as rabbits, foxes, and badgers. Additionally, I saw reptiles like slow-worms, common lizards, and grass snakes.

The area is also great for walking, with a variety of trails and paths leading through the lush meadows and woodlands. There are plenty of benches and lookouts to stop and enjoy the view. The ponds offer a peaceful atmosphere that always leaves me feeling refreshed.

Wichelstowe Nature Reserve is a wonderful place to explore and connect with nature.

Stanton Park

Stroll through Stanton Park and take in the picturesque views of the surrounding countryside. This 18th-century park is located just outside of Swindon and is a great spot to take a leisurely walk.

The park is home to a variety of wildlife including pheasants, deer, and a variety of bird species, making it a great nature spotting ground. The paths lead around the lake, through woodlands and over open parkland, offering something for everyone.

Enjoy the views of the nearby Savernake Forest and the Wiltshire Downs, as well as the local flora and fauna. Explore the historic park with its old ruins, or take a moment to admire the historic Grade II listed mansion and its formal gardens.

Stanton Park is a great place to visit any time of the year, with stunning views and plenty of wildlife to spot. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll or an adventurous hike, Stanton Park has something to offer.

Dauntsey Lock

Leaving Stanton Park behind, I headed to Dauntsey Lock, another popular spot for a leisurely walk.

The Lock is situated on the Kennet and Avon Canal, which is a great starting point for a relaxing stroll.

The winding towpaths, lined with trees on either side, lead to the old bridge.

From here, you can take in the stunning views of the Wiltshire countryside.

You can also spot the wildfowl that frequent the canal, such as swans, ducks, and moorhens.

This is a great spot for a picnic, as the peaceful atmosphere and the idyllic scenes make it the perfect place to slow down and take it all in.

Rodbourne Cheney

Heading away from Dauntsey Lock, I continued my journey to the quaint village of Rodbourne Cheney.
This picturesque village nestles in the north-west of Wiltshire and is surrounded by lush green pastures that are criss-crossed by an extensive network of pathways.
Its village green, a designated conservation area, is a great place to take a break and watch the world go by.

The paths that branch off from the village form a circular walk that provides stunning views of the nearby countryside and the nearby Ridgeway National Trail.
On the way, you can explore the remains of the Norman motte-and-bailey castle, visit the old church, and admire the many old half-timbered buildings that make up the village.

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The walk also takes you to Rodbourne Cheney Mill, a 17th-century watermill, which is now a museum.
The mill is open to visitors, who can explore the interior and learn about the history of the mill.

By the end of the walk, I was left with a feeling of peace and contentment, knowing that I had explored an area of great natural beauty.

River Cole

Exploring the River Cole adds an extra layer of beauty to the journey, with its winding paths and tranquil waters providing a peaceful contrast to the surrounding countryside.

Its banks are lined with lush vegetation, while a variety of wildlife flock to the river’s edge.

The river is best explored on foot, with a variety of trails and pathways allowing visitors to take their time and soak in the atmosphere.

Whether you choose a leisurely stroll or a more strenuous hike, the River Cole offers something for everyone.

The river is a great place to connect with nature, with numerous spots to pause and take in the sights and sounds of the area.

Birdwatchers will be delighted with the variety of species they can spot, and the river’s tranquil waters are a great place for a spot of fishing or kayaking.

There are plenty of spots to picnic, and the area is a great place to take in some of the local wildlife.

With its winding banks and tranquil waters, the River Cole is an ideal destination for anyone looking for a peaceful and enjoyable walk.

Lydiard Park Meadow

Visiting Lydiard Park Meadow is a great way to unwind and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. It is located in the heart of Swindon and consists of more than 20 hectares of meadows, woodlands, and grasslands. The nature reserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, mammals, and insects. It also boasts a number of rare plants and flowers.

The meadow is dotted with historic features such as an icehouse, a deer park, and a summerhouse. It offers numerous paths and trails for exploration, allowing visitors to fully appreciate the area’s natural beauty. Benches and picnic tables are scattered throughout, making it an ideal spot for a peaceful lunch or a leisurely stroll.

In addition to its tranquil setting, Lydiard Park Meadow hosts a range of events, including guided walks, art exhibitions, and educational activities. This makes it a perfect destination for families and groups looking to enjoy some quality time together. With its abundance of wildlife and stunning scenery, Lydiard Park Meadow truly is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

Stanton Park Nature Trail

Leaving Lydiard Park Meadow, I made my way to Stanton Park Nature Trail.

This trail is great for anyone looking for a leisurely walk with a few surprises. The trail is a little over two miles long, and it takes you through a variety of different environments.

I was amazed at the different sights I encountered, from meadows and woodlands to a tranquil lake. As I made my way around the trail, I was able to observe a variety of wildlife, including foxes, rabbits, and even a few deer.

The trail also has plenty of benches along the way, which I took full advantage of to rest and enjoy the scenery. I was also able to find a few hidden gems, like a quaint old stone bridge.

All in all, this is a great place to go for a peaceful walk, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a relaxing nature trail to explore.

Conclusion

After exploring the 15 best walks in Swindon, it’s clear that the city has a lot to offer. From the sprawling Lydiard Park to the quaint Old Town, you’re sure to find something that suits your needs.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, Swindon has something for everyone. I highly recommend exploring some of these amazing walks and taking in the beauty of the city. It’s a great way to get some fresh air and appreciate the natural beauty of the area.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.