If we think about memorable events in our lives – weddings, births, anniversaries, holidays, Swindon Town promotions (!?) – the expectation is an integral part of the experience. Unfortunately, lockdown means expectations are pretty much all we’ve got these days!

But in the spirit of looking forward to better days, the team at Visit Swindon have put together a list of things we can’t wait to do later in 2021 … just hopefully not too much later.

Getting together with family and friends. Top of everybody’s list. We miss you granddad!

Shopping at the Designer Outlet. More brands that you can shake a pair of designer shoes at and now blessed with a Five Guys for the juiciest burgers in the land - all housed in lovingly restored Great Western Railway buildings.

Rock climbing.
If you’ve ever thrilled at the sight of Tom Cruise hanging by his fingertips from a rock face in Mission Impossible, then Rockstar Climbing in Stratton will definitely get your pulse racing.

Art for art’s sake. Enjoy the extraordinary collection of modern art at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery and then check out the latest funky offerings at Oink Gallery just around the corner.

Swimming with the dolphins at the Health Hydro. This splendid Victorian health centre provides a number of unique facilities in addition to the pool – the original, beautifully decorated Turkish Baths are still in use today. It’s also home to the Swindon Dolphins Swimming Club.

Nights out in Old Town. Old by name, new by nature. We can’t wait to pull on the glad rags to enjoy the nightlife in this constantly evolving neighbourhood. Ace cocktails at the stunning new Vault Bar & Lounge are top of our list.

Roller Discos at MECA. Is there anything more exhilarating than gliding (or slipping and sliding) around the ice to the sounds of classic disco and chart goodies. Fun for all the family.

STEAM Museum. You don’t have to be a trainspotter to be fascinated by the history of GWR, God’s Wonderful Railway. There’s social history and a fantastic collection of some of the greatest steam locomotives ever built.

Working out in West Swindon. The popular Link Centre offers an enormous array of sports and activities including swimming, fitness classes and outdoor football, meaning there is something to suit all interests, ages and abilities. The Better Extreme Trampoline Park is also open daily.

Go karting. Cracking track, friendly staff and great facilities is the consensus on the Swindon Karting Arena, the fastest indoor circuit in the South West, based in the same former airfield as the track where the BBC’s Top Gear is filmed.

Ten Pin bowling. If you can’t get enough of the sound of heavy balls crashing into pins head to Tenpin Swindon at Shaw Ridge Leisure Park. Swindon’s go-to destination for bowling is another family favourite.

International cuisine. Whether it’s Italian at Fabio, Greek at Greek Olive, contemporary English at Hall & Woodhouse, tapas at Los Gatos, organic eats at Helen Browning’s Royal Oak, Jamaican at Moshan Island Grill, Brazilian at Rios Brazil, Indian at The Jewel in the Crown or Nepalese at Yak The Himalayan Kitchen, we can’t wait to get stuck into some succulent food at our favourite restaurants.

Going green. Last but not least, something you CAN do during lockdown - take advantage of Swindon’s enviable range of parks and green spaces, perfect for that essential exercise and all big enough to make social distancing easy. Let’s hear it for Lydiard Park, Coate Water, Stanton Country Park, Barbury Castle, The Ridgeway, The Lawns and the rest.

In the meantime, what are you looking forward to doing in Swindon post-lockdown?