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Nice place to shop
Swindon in General
Member Name: ajaybee
Swindon in General
Date: 21/04/01, updated on 21/04/01 (231 review reads)
Advantages: Good shops, generally clean
Disadvantages: A motorists' nightmare
Swindon's one of what those in the know call 'boom towns' - it's growing at an extremely rapid rate, and this growth has been reflected in its town centre which has been given a near-total makeover in the last few years.
The focal point in Swindon's town centre is the revitalised Brunel Centre, an indoor shopping centre, with House of Fraser, Virgin and M&S been the anchor stores. It's clean and spacious - a little too spacious in fact, the second floor of the complex is still half-empty since the complex opened a couple of years ago. The rest of the shopping area is open-air, but light, spacious, clean and pedestrianised. All the usual High Street names are around: HMV, WHSmith, H&M, Woolies and such. It's not too difficult to get lost either.
...Which is more than can be said for the rest of Swindon. The place is a maze, although a number of bypasses/relief roads in the last few years have helped. The old saying is true: Swindon is famous for three things - Melinda Messenger, Billie Piper and roundabouts. The place is full of massive roundabouts, and drivers all seem to take the rules of the road into their own hands. Stay cool, don't panic...you'll find your way around eventually. The huge number of housing estates which are cropping up virtually overnight do make for added confusion though.
Swindon's other current main asset is its retail outlet, one of these designer discount efforts, located about 10mins from the town centre (if you can find your way there!), which has factory outlets from Gap, Timberland, Next, Nike and about 20 others, selling past-season stock at reduced prices. It's great for picking up designer bargains, though a lot of the stock sold is absolute rubbish, but stay away if you hate shopping.
Adjacent to this complex is Swindon's new Railway Museum, paying tribute to the town's legendary railway history. It's not just something for trainspotters to v
isit, it's excellently put together and suprisingly fascinating, if a bit TOO big. Still worth a visit though.
Ignore the dreadful road planning, and the haphazard urban sprawl which seems to be taking place to a worrying degree, and you may be pleasantly surprised by Swindon. It's not all as bad as many people pre-concieve it to be.