Proud resident Angie Griffin takes on the 'My home town' mantle and explains why Swadlincote means so much to her

Swadlincote, or ‘Swad’ as the locals know it, is a warm, friendly town.

In former years it was a relatively small town full of pits and potteries. As they closed, many areas were built on for houses, retail and industrial units.

However, given we are in the heart of The National Forest, we also have many parks, woodlands and walks to enjoy.

Three of our parks, Eureka Park, Maurice Lea Memorial Park and Swadlincote Woodlands, have all won Green Flag awards for 2022/23. All are beautifully maintained and wonderfully peaceful and green.

Swadlincote itself now encompasses Swad town centre, Church Gresley, Castle Gresley, Newhall, Midway, Woodville, Linton, Overseal and surrounding villages.

Although now large, it retains a great community. Many residents moved into the area from other parts of the Midlands and soon became fully-fledged ‘Swaddies’ as locals are known.

If you meet a stranger or a friend in Swad you will likely hear the greeting ‘ay up me duck’, usually, in my experience, accompanied with a smile.

If you need help, ‘Swaddies’ are always there for you. Whether that’s a recommendation on social media or directions they will help.

There are so many community groups for all ages, from Swad in Bloom to Knit and Natters, scouts and guides to singing or woodturning, as well as many different support networks.

Great British Life: Swadlincote sits in the heart of the beautiful National ForestSwadlincote sits in the heart of the beautiful National Forest (Image: Ashley Franklin Photography)

Often, the community groups will work with each other on projects, so the town has a real village feel.

Famous people that have lived in our area include Sir Nigel Gresley, designer of The Mallard Steam Locomotive, Jack Bodell, the boxer, and Sir John Hurt, the actor who lived in Woodville as a child where his father was the local vicar.

Swadlincote has so many amenities to visit and some are quite unexpected for a small town. Nestled on the edge of Linton, for example, you will find Sealwood Cottage Vineyard. Here you can book a tour and tasting experience and it is well worth a visit.

Sharpe’s Pottery Museum is based around an old bottle kiln on the site of the pottery that was famous for making sanitary ware.

It has differing displays, based mainly around the local potteries, pits and pipe works. It is also home to The Magic Attic, a wonderful place full of the town’s historical documents, photographs and newspapers. Run by dedicated and passionate volunteers, they have a wonderful choice of local history books.

Swadlincote is also one of the few towns in England to boast a dry ski slope. Swadlincote Ski and Snowboard Centre offers lessons and practice space, plus donuts to ride down the ski slope and a brilliant toboggan run loved by adults and children alike.

There is also a leisure centre with swimming pool, gym, sports courts and an indoor climbing centre right in the heart of town - fun for all ages. Another great place to explore is the outdoor skate park, which is popular with all ages.

Great British Life: Sharpe's Pottery MuseumSharpe's Pottery Museum (Image: Ashley Franklin Photography)

For those looking for a more relaxing activity, Swadlincote boasts a five-screen cinema in close proximity to restaurants and coffee shops and if your passion is shopping, visiting the town centre is a must.

Here you’ll find wonderful little antique and gift shops along with the usual high street stores with plenty of bargains to be had. There is even a nostalgic old-fashioned sweet shop where you can buy sweets from your childhood as well as more modern-day offerings.

The town has several restaurants to suit all palates, including a small but authentic Italian restaurant, Indian cuisine and a couple of individual-style restaurants that will satisfy the taste buds.

The town centre on the Delph hosts a small market on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It is also the scene of the annual Festival of Transport, which sees the whole town centre filled with classic cars and vehicles. The atmosphere is amazing and it is free to visit.

Swadlincote showcases fantastic events all year round. Maurice Lea Memorial Park hosts a free two-day Festival of Leisure in July which fills the park with stalls, rides, activities, bouncy castles, and local groups performing and, in September, there is a scarecrow trail.

A welcome and unusual thing in these days is that all of the car parking is free, but please read the signs as some are short and some are long stay.

In December the town centre hosts a Snowman and Snow dog trail with beautiful sculptures and lots of family-based activities.

Great British Life: Eureka Park, one many open spaces in and around SwadlincoteEureka Park, one many open spaces in and around Swadlincote (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The town has so many places to visit you could easily stay for a few days. Swadlincote is on the border of Staffordshire and Leicestershire so if you are staying in the area there is much to see and do in the vicinity.

Nearby attractions include Conkers Discovery Centre (2.6 miles from the town centre), Moira Furnace Museum and Country Park (3.4 miles), Ashby Castle (4.8 miles), The National Brewery Centre (5.1 miles), Rosliston Forestry Centre (5.4 miles), Calke Abbey (7.1 miles), The 1620s House and Garden (10.2 miles) and the beautiful and poignant National Memorial Arboretum (10.5 miles).

Don’t forget to come back to enjoy more of our fabulous hospitality, though.

Swadlincote is my hometown. I love everything it has to offer but mostly I love the community. Whether born here like me or incomers, we are all Swaddies.


Swadlincote Ski and Snowboard Centre

With Derbyshire experiencing spells of intense heat this summer, why not cool off at Swadlincote’s impressive ski and snowboard centre and experience the thrill of the descent.

Skiing, snowboarding, tubes, toboggans and more are sure to thrill both children and adults alike.

Moira Furnace Museum and Country Park

A short trip over the Leicestershire border, this multi-faceted attraction combines, narrowboat trips, fishing, woodlands to explore and much more. Plus, parking is free.

Events are held throughout the year, ranging from free-to-enter to paid-for, at a place that really does have something for everyone.

Sharpe's Pottery Museum

This quirky Grade II-listed building is the perfect place to discover more about Swadlincote’s industrial heritage and learn about Sharpe’s intriguing family history.

Entry is free and full accessible and look out for the numerous events and activities that take place throughout the year – from art and craft workshops, artisan markets, live music and more.