Friday, 04 September 2015

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Coate Water

Coate Water Country Park has a 56-acre reservoir built in the 1820s as a headwater tank for the Wiltshire and Berkshire Canal. In the 1970s a smaller lake was created as a flood storage lagoon, which was made Wiltshire’s first Local Nature Reserve (LNR) in 1976. Most of the site and all the water have been declared a Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI) in order to protect the wildlife and wildflower meadows.

Coate Water Ranger Centre and Information Point is found in the Coate Water car park (please see map below - How to find Coate Water ). It was originally built in the 1820’s and was used as accommodation for the water bailiff.

To contact the Ranger Centre and Information Point please call 01793 490150

Park Facilities:

  • Ranger centre and information point
  • Café
  • Toilets
  • Splash Park 
  • Play area
  • Nature reserve
  • Events programme
  • Bird Hides (permits available from the Activity Centre)  
  • Barbeque hire
  • Education service
  • Easirider
  • Wheelchair access
  • Coate Water Miniature Railway (

Barbeque Hire

Costs for large static BBQ hire:

  • Private groups £45
  • Community groups £45
  • Corporate hire £135

This price includes full use of the field and the permanent BBQ.

Family and community groups are able to pay on the day; corporate groups are asked to pay in advance.

All cheques need to be made payable to Swindon Borough Council

A map showing the BBQ locations is available (PDF)

For large groups of 20 or more

If you have a group of 20 or more people you will need to book out the static BBQ that is now situated in the Horse Field.

Please contact the Activity Centre on 01793 522837 for further details.

Splash Park

​The free interactive splash park for children, with water-spitting dragons and flowers is open every day from May-September. The site has been designed for children up to the age of 12 but there is no formal age restriction. Visitors are asked not to take in any glass into the area.

The Nature Reserve

Here is a quiet haven for wildlife. Deer and foxes can regularly be seen in the wildflower meadows. A large heronry has become established which can be viewed from the bird hides. Permits are available in advance from the Activity Centre.


There are several walks in and around the park, many of which are level and surfaced - making them suitable for wheelchair users. The most popular route is around the lake. This is 1.75 miles (2.8km) long and takes about 45 minutes at a gentle pace. For longer walks out of the park there are routes to Hodson, Chiseldon and Barbury Castle.

The Woodland

In the wetter areas of the woodland you will find willow and ash with oak and birch on drier ground. These large mature trees provide an attractive backdrop to the lake and a home to many woodland birds.

Lake Habitats

This is a valuable nesting site for waterfowl, reed bunting and warblers in the spring and summer. The lakes also provide an important habitat for dragonflies and damselflies, along with a wide range of fish such as carp, bream and pike.

How to Find Coate Water Country Park

Coate Water Country Park is situated on the south-east side of Swindon.

Map of Coate Water Country Park

Volunteer Rangers

If you would like to become involved in helping to preserve this site and other habitats within Swindon please ask for details.

The Ranger Centre
Coate Water Country Park
Marlborough Road

Tel: 01793 490150

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