Queen’s Park, Swindon

Used all-year round, Queen’s Park is a public park in the centre of Swindon and an absolute gem. With a huge central lake and scores of happy ducks, a large tree lined grass area, benches, memorial garden and VE day 50 artwork, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

First developed in the 1940’s (known then as Central Park), Queens Park has four different entrances that lead to a variety of semi-hidden statues, the most notable of which is a metal sculpture of a gorilla.

Sit on a bench and feed the ducks in Queen’s Park

The top lake has a decorative stone-carved fountain and is surrounded by carefully placed benches that ensure guaranteed sunspots or maximum shade for visitors, and attracts swans and other bird species.  The main pond overlooks a tree-lined field enjoyed by many visitors in warmer months for picnics and playing sports.

Thank you to Prash Gurung for taking and allowing us to share this wonderful photo from May 2021.

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Key information about Queen’s Park Swindon

  • Parking
    Residential parking around the park. Nearest car park is Regent Circus on Victoria Road or in the nearby town centre.

  • Refreshments
    The on-site cafe is closed for all of 2020 because of maintenance work needed on the building it is in.  There is a Co-Op shop a 2 minute walk out of the York Road exit on Groundwell Road. An Aldi is less than a 10 min walk from the Drove Road exit.

  • Public toilets 
    Open from 10am to 5pm every day (check with South Swindon Parish Council during lockdown 2020)

  • Things to do for kids
    Feed the ducks, have photo taken with gorilla statue and run around on the big field.

  • Locals know it well for
    Picnicing on the big field under shade of trees in the warmer months. Lots of benches to rest on, lots of friendly ducks, a water fountain in big lake, another sculpture by pond and Garden of Remembrance.

Other useful websites with information about Queen’s Park and it’s location in Swindon.

When you meander around Queen’s Park try if you can, to imagine what this site used to look like. Because this 12-acre, parkland sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of Swindon town centre grew phoenix-like from a brownfield site. The ponds, the flower beds and the trees all belie the park’s industrial past as the site of Thomas Turner’s (1839- 1911) brick works.

Queen’s Park Swindon – Grade II listed park

Nowadays, the once derelict claypit is a Grade II listed park, developed between 1947 and 1962. In 1950, the Princess Elizabeth (now The Queen) opened the park’s first phase – a Garden of Remembrance to the fallen of WWII. Later, in 1953, Sir Noel Arkell, in his capacity of Sheriff of Wiltshire, opened the second phase.

Queen’s Park continues as a place of remembrance via the Mesothelioma Memorial Garden opened by the then Mayor, Stan Pajak in 2003. Mesothelioma is otherwise known as the ‘Swindon Disease’, caused as it was by exposure to the asbestos in the GWR Works.

The long-time resident gorilla sculpture, by Tom Gleeson, took up his post in Queen’s Park in 1994, following a tenure in Theatre Square in the mid 1980s.

Close to Swindon town centre

A mere hop, skip and jump from the town centre, Queen’s Park has several entrances. There are entrances off Groundwell Road and at the bottom of Durham Street. But the park’s main entrances lie off York Road and Drove Road.

See also this blog on Born Again Swindonian about the park: queens-park-swindon/ and about the Turtle Storm sculpture in Queen’s Park: turtle-storm-sculpture-swindon/

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