THE latest route supplied by Mark Jones of the Swindon Striders running group covers 5.35 miles and begins and ends at the Croft Sports Centre. It includes reminders that people living in Swindon are never far from beautiful countryside.

STARTING in the car park, with the centre behind you and the football pitch to your right, go through the entrance to the woods and follow the footpath up towards Pipers Way.

You will exit on to Pipers Way. Turn right and follow the path down until you are opposite the entrance to Broome Manor Golf Club.

Cross the road and take the off-road path to the right of the entrance.

Follow this path until you see another path on the right. This is the Croft Trail.

Stay on this path, first passing a small lake on the right and then, still on your right, Nationwide’s cricket pitch, pavilion and car park.

Opposite the car park there is another footpath on the left; follow this until you come to Pipers Way again.

Cross Pipers Way with care and then turn left on to the footpath.

Follow the road and then turn left at the junction with Croft Road and head toward Wroughton.

Take the Marlborough Road on to Brimble Hill and follow the road up until you reach the sharp right-hand bend at the top.

On the left there is an entrance to Ladder Lane, which also known as Jacob’s Ladder, and a wood.

Take the steep path down but take care, as there are tree roots underfoot which can be treacherous.

At the bottom you of the path you will find yourself in a clearing.

Follow the path over the motorway bridge and continue until you reach Pipers Way.

Re-enter the wood which you ran through at the beginning, and then re-trace your steps back to the Croft Sports Centre.


Members of Swindon Striders are often among the top performers in a variety of events.

Recent examples have included the Hungerford Hairy 8, in which Striders Geri Taylor and Samantha Roylance each won their categories.

Although some Striders are elite runners, the club is for people of all abilities and at all stages of their running careers.

There are three sub-groups of runners in the Striders.

The first is for those who can run a mile in 11 or 12 minutes, or in other words for people who are probably just getting started in running.

The second group is for people capable of running a nine-minute mile. They are the middle set of runners and range from people training in a fairly solitary way to those needing practice as they work towards goals such as a half-marathon.

The third group is composed of runners described by Swindon Striders Secretary Mark Jones as the ons who are pretty quick. This group includes local elite athletes - competition runners.

When the club was set up 24 years ago, it had a dozen members, but the figure is now stands at somewhere between 100 and 120.

The Monday evening club nights now include a 5K to 10K course from the Croft Sports’ Centre or the Oasis. They are for people who can run 5K and want to get better and be able to tackle 10k or more.

The course is free and open to anyone who wants to improve their running.

Aside from advice on running, people who join can expect a thriving social scene.

The Striders also help out at other clubs’ running events; Members have acted as marshals for the Park Runs at Lydiard, for example, and staffed the checkpoints at the Marlborough Downs Challenge last May.

For further information, visit or the Swindon Striders Facebook presence.