This former mining town is located in the National Forrest, south Derbyshire, is famed today for its pottery, retail sector, leisure centres, and parks.
Its shopping centre is one of the most extensive in the Peak District; with a varied weekly market and over 130 chain and independent retailers, Swadlincote certainly delivers an exceptional retail experience.
Visitors of Swadlincote are spoiled for choice regarding recreation, with two large parks on location, the Maurice Lee Memorial Park and the Eureka Park, where you’ll find exceptionally green space for walking, cycling, and several other activities. There is a long list of pubs and restaurants throughout Swadlincote, including big names like Prezzo.
The town’s rich pottery history is showcased at the Sharpe’s Pottery Museum. This museum also contains the Tourist Information Centre, which is where you can find out what’s going on in the town at the time of your visit.
Although Swadlincote stands today as South Derbyshire’s biggest town, urbanisation and the formation of the town didn’t start until the industrial revolution. It was recorded in 1086 in the Domesday Book as a minor manor, and there was some reference of mineral excavation during the 13th century, however, the area remained almost entirely rural throughout the middle ages. Excavation of coal and clay started on an industrious scale at the end of the 18th century, and the town formed gradually around this boom, and was made a parish in 1846. Swadlincote’s business continued to grow over the 19th century, as numerous potteries, pipeyards, and collieries opened, which grew the population to four thousand by 1901. It was around this time that Swadlincote amalgamated with neighbouring villages, Woodville and Newhall, to form one big town, and thus become the biggest town in South Derbyshire.
Swadlincote Market – The town’s market takes place every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday between 9am and 4pm, and plays an integral role in Swadlincote’s community. With over 14 stalls, Swadlincote Market aims to combine traditional market stalls selling fruit, antiques, and clothing, with up-and-coming entrepreneurs selling innovative products.
The High Street – Swadlincote’s town centre is home to over 130 retailers and delivers the very best in both chain stores and independent purveyors.
Swadlincote Snowsports Centre – This Snowsports centre delivers the very best in winter sports, any time of year! With facilities available across two dry slopes for skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, and sno-tubing, there is certainly something for everyone. Suitable for ages 4 and above, this centre also runs regular lessons for beginners.
Maurice Lee Memorial Park – This park was originally devised by local businessman, Herbert Lea, in 1930 in dedication to his son, Maurice Lee, who died in France during the war. Renovated in 2005, the park now stands as the main outdoor recreational hub of Swadlincote, boasting a bowling green, tennis courts, football pitch, play area, netball court, and an outdoor gym. Its opening times vary throughout the year, so check the website prior to your visit.
Eureka Park – This park dates back to the 1920 and is both an idyllic landscape and a recreational centre. With a fine selection of shrubberies and flowerbeds, this park also boasts a bowling green, a crazy golf course, and several tennis courts.
Sharpe’s Pottery Museum – Discover Swadlincote’s rich pottery history displayed over several exhibitions, which each showcase a different strand of the town’s innovation. Sharpe’s Pottery was once one of the town’s biggest producers. Opened in 1821, Sharpe’s exported household pottery worldwide for 146 years, specialising in toilet and sewage design. Extensive damage caused by a fire caused the pottery to close its doors in 1967; but following major repairs throughout the 1990s, the building re-opened as a museum in 2003. Today, Sharpe’s Pottery Museum showcases the development of pottery from the 16th century onwards, through interactive displays and artefacts, and explains the importance of pottery to both Swadlincote and greater Derbyshire.