The Railway section takes you to Swindon’s first Tiny Forest, through Wichelstowe, up though West Leaze and along the disused railway path.
CAUTION: This is particularly steep, and there are steps at the top to gain access the old Railway line – it can be icy in cold weather.
The railway path follows the route of the Midland & South Western Junction Railway (MSWJR), formed in 1884 by a merger of Swindon & Cheltenham Extension Railway and the Swindon, Marlborough & Andover Railway (founded 1881) that connected Andover with GWR’s London to Bristol line.
The original plan to join the tracks was to tunnel 830 yd / 760m through Old Town hill; when this proved too technically difficult and expensive the project was abandoned in what is now Queens Park. The final route, wound its way around the southern edge of Old Town hill to connect the railway lines close to the current railway bridge on Wootton Bassett Road.
The MSWJR was closed for passenger traffic in 1961 but continued in use to bring in materials for the construction of the M4 motorway. The track was lifted in the early 1970s and the current recreational trail developed in the early 1980s.