Swindon is traditionally known for its railway heritage and infamous magic roundabout (six roundabouts in one! And you can drive the wrong way round one of them!). Located an hour away from London it is within close reach of the Cotswold countryside and major attractions such as Avebury (a world heritage site).
Swindon has a population of 200k but retains a friendly, ‘small town' feeling. Many people comment on the number of green spaces on offer with Lydiard House and Park, Coate Water and Old Town Gardens being just a few.
Culturally, Swindon is thriving. The Swindon Festival of Literature, based at Lower Shaw Farm, recently celebrated its twenty year anniversary. The Wyvern Theatre and the Arts Centre serve as cultural hubs, and an award winning new Central Library opened its doors in 2008. Swindon Dance is a National Dance Agency and has launched a number of world class dance companies, choreographers and artists. There's also a thriving amateur dramatics scene.
The Wood Street area of Old Town has a variety of good restaurants and independent shops. Town Gardens hosts the Swindon mela which attracts up to 10,000 people in a celebration of South Asian arts and culture, and Swindon Pride.
If shopping is your thing, the Designer Outlet Village draws in over 3 million visitors a year. It also has a farmer's market on a Sunday and is next door to the STEAM railway museum.
Nationwide, the National Trust, and the UK Research Councils all have their headquarters in Swindon and Honda manufactures the Civic here. A £750m regeneration programme is underway and includes development on the site of the old Swindon College building that aims to link the old and new shopping areas of the town, with cafes and a new cinema.