Swindon is a large town in south-west England situated halfway between Bristol , to the east, and Reading , to the west. London is about 81 miles (130km) east. If you include the small towns of HIghworth and Wroughthon, the population of Swindon is around 209,000 people. The town has a fairly mild climate, with winters and summers of equal length. To the south and east, the town is bordered by the chalk hills of the Wiltshire Downs. The River Ray forms the western border, including its tributary of the River Cole.
Swindon was originally a Saxon settlement that sat atop a limestone hill. It was referred to as Suindune, possibly meaning “Sweyn’s Hill”. It was a small trading town, up until the mid 1800s. The original market area is not confined to the hill located in the centre of the town, referred to as “Old Town”. With the construction of the Wilts and Berks Canal in 1810 and the North Wilts Canal in 1819, Swindon was able to prosper in the heart of the Industrial Revolution. The Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Swindon Works was built in 1842 for the repair and maintenance of the Great West Railway (GWR) trains. The New Swindon Improvement Company was formed in 1844 as a co-operative, and had the UK’s first lending library. Through the 20th century, the use of steam engines gradually declined, resulting in the closing of much of the old industry in Swindon during the 70s and 80s. Today, Swindon is very residential, and in 2008 it featured in The Times' list“The 20 best places to buy a property in Britain”.