Great for children who love rolling around on grassy slopes. Great for walking the dog. Great for family barbecues. Great for bird watching. Great for canoeing. Great for horse-riding. Great for angling. Great for feeding the ducks. Great for spotting deer in the wildflower meadows.
In fact, there are innumerable great reasons why locals consistently choose Coate Water Country Park and its nature reserve as Swindon’s number one attraction. Throw in the fact that it is barely a 10-minute drive from the town centre and just a couple of minutes off junction 15 of the M4, and you will begin to understand why this green oasis with its huge central lake is so popular. Oh, and did we mention it is free to get in?
Coate Water takes its name from its main feature, a reservoir originally built to provide water for the Wilts & Berks Canal. The reservoir formed a 70-acre lake, built in 1822 by diverting the River Cole. Its initial purpose was to provide water for the canal but when the waterway was abandoned in 1914, Coate became a pleasure park. In 1935 a wooden diving platform was replaced with the park’s most iconic feature, a 33ft high concrete platform in an Art Deco style which is listed by English Heritage.
Today this lovely country park provides an idyllic setting for adults looking to unwind, and with a children’s playground, summer splash pool, all year café and ample space to run around, it boasts everything for an enjoyable family day out. A Nature Reserve and a Site of Specific Scientific Interest means that the park is bursting with interesting wildlife species and offers both fishing and birdwatching. There’s also pitch and putt and the amazing Coate Water Miniature Railway offering rides on most Sundays.
Not surprisingly, Coate Water get rave reviews and scores an impressive 4.5 on Trip Advisor, so let’s give the last word on Swindon’s favourite lakeside location to a few happy visitors.
“Perfect place to meet, an ideal halfway point for my friend who lives near Cheltenham and for me in Chippenham for our catch up with a picnic, letting kids play in splash park followed by an ice cream and a stroll round the lake plus a play in the play park.”
“Lovely day out in one of Swindon’s gems. Day out with family and children from babies up to teenagers. Such a beautiful space right on our doorstep. Plenty to do for all ages.”
“You can walk all around the lake and a grand walk it is, I have pushed a wheelchair all the way round. Ducks and swans to feed and pigeons to sit on your head. A grand place to meet the girlfriend and explain the beauty of nature.”
“Great park! First visit to this park, a great find for the kids, they really enjoyed it. The splash park and playground were great, and they loved that they could ride their bikes around the lake.”
“An absolute gem of a country park that has something for everyone. I can see the fitness folk going for a jog but the less energetic can simple walk from the car park to the edge of the lake and have a relaxing break on one of the benches. A sandy play park is a real hit with children. A complete circuit of the lakes is not too difficult with changing scenery to enjoy, including sights of a variety of wildlife including herons nesting in a nearby lake. If you think you have become too fit with your walks there is even a pub next to the park itself!”
Visit Coate Water Country Park. For more information and visiting details click here.