Swindon is a town in Wiltshire, southwest of England. With a population of more than 185,000 people, the town is a midway point between Bristol and Reading. Swindon also lies 78 miles from Cardiff and London, meaning that it is not only a good place to live but also a good travel base.
Is Swindon a good place to live? Swindon is considered one of the top places to live in the UK, though some people consider it dull. The town offers many employment opportunities, reliable transport links, and good schools. Although the cost of living is relatively high, the house prices are moderately low.
Whether you are moving to Swindon because of work or are just thinking about moving to the UK, you have come to this page because you want to get more information.
- Does Swindon have any bad neighbourhoods?
- How is the transport system?
- Are the schools in the area good?
Is Swindon a Good Place to Live?
Just like any other UK town, Swindon has some good and bad neighbourhoods. Some of the best neighbourhoods in the area are the Old Town, Broome Manor, The Lawns and the villages. The crime index in Swindon is 38.24 and Park North, Park South, Penhill and Pinehurst are considered some of the bad neighbourhoods in the area.
There are more than seventy public primary schools in Swindon; therefore parents have more than enough options to choose from. Some of the primary schools in the area that have gotten “Outstanding” Ofsted rating are- The Croft Primary School, Drove Primary School, Haydon Wick Primary School, Moredon Primary School amongst others.
In accordance with Ofsted ratings, the following secondary schools are worth considering– Isambard Community School, Kingsdown School, Nova Hreod Academy and Swindon Academy. New College Swindon and The Ridgeway School & Sixth Form College have also received good Ofsted ratings.
Swindon has a great transport system, which is no surprise because it used to be a junction for 2 major Roman roads. Junction 15 and 16 of the M4 motorway are found in this town and there’s also a railway station that was opened in 1852. Originally called Swindon Junction, this station was the first railway station to offer refreshment areas for travellers, which were important because trains would stop for at least ten minutes on each journey. This practice was upheld until 1895.
The social life in Swindon is vibrant. The town is well known for offering a live music scene at multiple venues. There are also very many cycle parks for evening walks, cinemas, restaurants, and other amenities.
Is Swindon a Good Place to Work?
Swindon has one of the best-performing economies in the UK. Most people in this town are employed under the manufacturing, backing and insurance sectors. Engineering and pharmaceuticals are also big employers in Swindon. Tourism has developed and is now a thriving industry. Another growing industry is building societies and food distribution.
Amongst vehicle manufacturers, Honda is the biggest. Hondas built in Swindon are among the most popular vehicles in the United Kingdom. Another vehicle manufacturer that continues to grow in this town is BMW, situated in Stratton.
Barclays PLC, the world’s biggest bank is one of the biggest banking firms in Swindon. Barclays offers a huge range of banking and financial services and is among the biggest employers in Swindon.
This town also boasts of being home to some of the largest companies in their respective industries. Motorola is among the leading mobile phone firms and is one of the biggest employers in Swindon. Intel, one of the biggest computer companies in the world has its European head office in this town. There are also other insurance and financial services firms here like Nationwide Building Society and Zurich Financial Services.
The employment rate for Swindon is 71.1% which is higher than many other towns apart from Crawley and Worthing. Moving to Swindon is really worth considering due to the high employment levels. The unemployment rate in Swindon is 3.7% which is slightly lower than the national average of 4%.
Average gross salary is £35,000, which is slightly below the national average of £36,600. Females earn an average gross salary of £28,800 while males earn an average gross salary of £39,600. The average monthly net salary is £2,037.42 in Swindon.
Is Swindon a Good Place to Buy a House?
Though Swindon may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is a really practical place to live. Home prices are affordable. Some of the best places to buy or rent property include; North Swindon, Redhouse, Haydon End, Oakhurst, Abbey Meads, Wroughton, Taw Hill and the Old Town. Park North, Park South, Pinehurst and Pinehill are some of the worse neighbourhoods.
In April 2019, the average property price in Swindon was £261,083. In terms of property types, flats went for an average of £154,130 and terraced houses were sold at £202,935.
The price per square meter to purchase an apartment in the town centre is £1,966.67 and the price to buy outside the town centre is £1,600. The rent per month for a 1 bedroom in the town centre is £719.29 and £575 for a 1-bed apartment outside the town centre.
A 3-bedroom apartment in the town centre demands a monthly rent of £1,141.25 and a 3-bed outside the centre is £914.62 per month.
It is possible to find a 5-bed detached house in Old Town, Swindon for £475,000. A 5-bed rental property in Pulsar Road, Swindon goes for about £1,250 per calendar month.
Is Swindon a Good Place to Retire?
For retirees moving to the UK soon, Swindon offers a very attractive retirement destination. People living in Swindon might have a better quality of life than those staying in some other big cities. There are many things to do here, the transport links are superb and the healthcare facilities are also top-notch.
Swindon has wonderful countryside, low crime levels and good life expectancy. Add in the fact 18 of South England’s 500 firms are located in Swindon. For those looking for a good retirement spot, Swindon is a good option.
Retirement properties are in plenty and they can be found in Redhouse, Highworth, Purton, Westlea, Shrivenham, Wroughton and many other neighbourhoods. Seniors are normally offered good discounts, so retiring in Swindon is worth considering.
In general, property prices for retirement homes in this town are relatively low. It is possible to buy a 1-bed detached house at £100,000 in Wroughton. A 3-bedroom detached house in Shrivenham goes for about £475,000. Rental properties go for as low as £900pcm to as high as £3,875pcm.
Is Swindon a Good Place to Visit?
Swindon is a large town in Wiltshire County that offers a variety of exciting activities for visitors and residents. Lydiard Park is a charming historic estate situated in Swindon’s Western edge. This park features several attractions such as education programs, the Tea Rooms and case, live events and a playground for kids. All these features make the Lydiard Park a great destination for a family day out in Swindon.
The STEAM Museum of the Great Western Railway is a unique museum that is based in Fire Fly Avenue, Swindon SN2. This museum is located opposite the well-known Designer Outlet of Swindon. It tells the stories of the men and women who constructed, operated and travelled in the Great Western Railway a long time ago. During a visit, tourists get to peruse through famous locomotives, operate the signals in the GWR box and drive the train simulator.
Another place that is worth visiting while in Swindon is the Coate Water Country Park. This park enjoys close proximity to junction 15 of the M4 motorway. Coate Water County Park was named after a reservoir, which is its main feature. This reservoir was originally constructed for supplying water to Wilts & Berks canal. The reservoir formed a lake after the River Cole was diverted in 1822.
The National Museum of Computing in Swindon exhibits the history of computers via its artefacts, and it also has a forum for lectures. It has a mixture of temporary and permanent exhibits out of which some have been borrowed from a variety of art collectors including companies. Children get to know the historical background of computing and it is an ideal site for a family day out in Swindon.
Stanton Country Park is situated a few minutes from Swindon’s town centre and it is another place that is worth visiting. This park is the ideal location to unwind and spend some quality time with loved ones. The huge lake and the scenic woodlands are great for walking. Visitors can also enjoy a family picnic on the site to wind up an afternoon perfectly, after finishing a tour.
Roves Farm is an enchanting site too for a great family day out. No matter the weather, this working farm is a perfect destination. Some of the activities that people can do while on this farm include feeding the animals, riding tractors, den building, indoor play barn and many other activities. The place also has a pet corner where visitors can keep their pets while taking a tour of the farm.
Other exciting places are Swindon & Cricklade Railway, Escape Games, Swindon Designer Outlet and Lotmead Farm.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.