From an Oasis to an Oasis in Swindon Town Centre
Starts at The Oasis Leisure Centre, North Star Ave, SN2 1EP
43 minutes | 1.4miles 2.3km | Leisurely
ID: 183.1 | Developed by: Ben Staite | Checked by: Ron Evans | www.getwalking.org/swindon
This short circular walk takes you through an area known as North Star, passing beneath
the railway and around the outskirts of Swindon town centre, before returning along the
path of the former North Wilts canal. Note this route involves using a subway.
Starts at the Oasis Leisure Centre, North Star Avenue, Swindon, SN2 1EP.
The start point is the main entrance, which can be accessed off Hawksworth Way.
(A) The Oasis Leisure Centre. The Britpop band Oasis took their name after singer Liam Gallagher saw the name of the venue on a poster. In November 2011, twenty years after naming his first band after this leisure centre, he will perform there for the first time with new group Beady Eye.
 With the main entrance of the Oasis Leisure Centre behind you head down the footpath towards the access road. At the end of this footpath take a right turn and continue to follow the path around the perimeter of the Oasis Leisure Centre buildings. As you walk along this path, the car park will be on your left, with the Oasis Leisure Centre on your right.
 At the end of the formal car parking area you will reach a T-junction in the footpath. At this T-junction turn left and this will lead you onto North Star Avenue (by a bus stop). Cross North Star Avenue and once reaching the pavement on the other side, turn right passing the bus stop and shelter serving Swindon College.
This college campus opened in 2006 after relocating from its Regent Circus site.
 At the next road junction, follow the path as it turns to the left and head along Polaris Way. Cross the entrance to Swindon College car park and continue straight on where you will see the road narrows and becomes a bus only access route. The pavement will lead up to its junction with the Great Western Way.
 At this junction, use the traffic island to cross over Polaris Way access and follow the pavement with the vegetation on your right and the Great Western Way on your left. At the next junction remain on the same pavement and head towards the bridge ahead of you. This is Corporation Street. Walk underneath the bridge, known as Whitehouse Bridge, that carries the Great Western Main Line Railway, which at this point is 6 tracks wide.
(B) Whitehouse Bridge. The headroom under Whitehouse Bridge is 10ft (3.1m) – not enough room for a coach, let alone a double-decker bus, but that doesn’t stop drivers trying the impossible. Now officially the country’s most dangerous bridge, it was hit by over 130 vehicles in the 1990s alone.
 Once you have passed beneath this bridge you will come to a traffic-light controlled junction. Cross over at Station Road and continue to walk along Corporation Street, crossing over a back lane entrance, pass a greengrocers called Vegland and a second back lane entrance. Cross straight over at Haydon Street and passing the Rendezvous restaurant and across a further back lane.
 At the junction with Corporation Street and Manchester Road, take a right turn. Walk along Manchester Road, crossing over Aylesbury Street.
 Use the pedestrian crossing facilities to cross Wellington Street and onto Milford Street. Cross over again at Gloucester Street (watch out for taxis turning into this one-way road). Follow Milford Street, with a blue and grey coloured office block on your right. This building is home to the local train operator First Great Western. At the entrance of Milford House, the path curves to the right, with raised bedding areas on either side.
 The path leads to a pedestrian crossing. Use this pedestrian crossing to reach the other side of Holbrook Way and turn right. Cross over Henry Street, which serves as an access road for deliveries and follow the Holbrook Way as it curves to the left, passing the entrance of Western House (the Swindon offices of Network Rail, the owner of the country’s railway infrastructure) on your left. Walk along Holbrook Way until you reach a pedestrian crossing facility next to the Cosmo restaurant.
 Use the pedestrian crossing to cross Holbrook Way. Walk up Bridge Street on theright to reach the junction with Sheppard Street. At the junction turn right and use the pedestrian crossing to cross Sheppard Street.
 Once you have crossed Sheppard Street you will join a signed cycleway-pedestrian path (caution: look out for cyclists). This route is signposted towards Oasis Leisure Centre. Follow this footpath and cycleway passing beneath the subway structure. Safety Note: when using the subway, please take note of the associated risks. Keep to the right of the path to avoid cyclists. As you come out at the other side of the subway, you will set a ramp and set of steps leading up the embankment. Do not turn at this point. Instead continue to head along this shared cycleway-pedestrian path - along the route of the former North Wilts Canal.
(C) The North Wilts Canal. The North Wilts Canal was 8 miles long and ran between Swindon town centre to Cricklade, providing a critical link between the Thames & Severn and the Wiltshire & Berks canal. This canal opened in 1819 but was abandoned by Act of Parliament in 1914, due to competition of other transport modes. Much of the former canal bed has been built on, although a section has been restored at Moredon Locks.
 You will see a tarmac path leading off to your right, with the Oasis Leisure Centre buildings in the background. Take this path up the embankment. Once the path has levelled off, the path will join a T-junction. Take the path heading off to the left, passing between a cycle speedway track on your left and a set of BMW ramps on your right. Follow this path until you reach an access road. You are now again on the site of the Oasis Leisure Centre, with a sports hall building in front of you.
 Cross this access road and head straight on using the footpath provided with the sports hall building on your right. The path curves to the right, following the building. The path then leads to a T-junction, with the ramp up to the entrance of the Oasis Leisure Centre complex on your right. Turn right and head up the ramp to the entrance area that marks the end point of this walk.
For further details on the Swindon Oasis Leisure Centre, please visit the following link:
Thamesdown Transport: Thamesdown operate a service to the Swindon College bus stop on North Star every 10 minutes from Fleming Way-North Swindon between 07:00 – 18:30 on its 15/15A route. Thamesdown Service 15 operates from Swindon Bus Station, Haydon End and Haydon Wick, whilst Service15A runs from Swindon Bus Staton Oakhurst and Haydon Wick.
Checked by: Ron Evans
Filed under: Swindon Walking Routes
Tagged: leisurely walk, north wilts canal, north wiltshire canal, Railway, Ramblers, swindon, swindon town centre, swindon walk, Urban Walk, walk, Walking
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