Swindon's new walking heritage trail to encourage healthy lifestyles

A new map and trail guide aims to encourage people to take a short walk around Swindon's Railway Village.

The map and guide shows a mile-long trail that takes in some of the interesting heritage sights and history of the area between Swindon's railway station and GWR Park. It has been compiled by Wiltshire and Swindon Sport and Swindon Borough Council, using funding from the GWR Customer and Community Improvement Fund.

Patients from three Swindon GP practices have been invited to test out the trail to encourage more exercise through walking and to enjoy the many health benefits it brings. The guided walk will allow selected people to undertake an easy-to-use, accessible walk taking in Swindon’s railway heritage, while the map is also available for anyone to use.

From November, the printed map will be available to pick up from libraries and selected GP practices, as well as being available as a PDF from the Swindon Travel Choices website.

Councillor Chris Watts, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment and Transport, said: “We were only too happy to support this project as it promotes active travel and has a particular emphasis on encouraging people to exercise and improve their health.

“We are lucky to have such a unique railway heritage in Swindon and this trail provides a good opportunity for local people to explore it on an accessible mile-long route that the whole family can enjoy.”

Dominique Oughton, from Wiltshire and Swindon Sport, said: “This has been an exciting and new innovative project working with GWR and Swindon Borough Council. We really hope that Swindon residents can enjoy and learn about the heritage trail whilst walking outdoors, helping to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

GWR Community Manager Emma Morris said: “The Customer and Community Improvement Fund is a fantastic opportunity for us to invest in projects that really make a difference to our customers and communities at a local level.

“We’re delighted to support this initiative, which will enable Wiltshire and Swindon Sport CIC (WASP) to work with its partners, helping to stimulate people into physical activity through the use of a heritage walking trail in Swindon. The guided walk option will also allow people to join others for an easy-to-use, accessible walk taking in Swindon’s railway heritage.”