Photography competition focuses on Swindon’s architectural gems

Visit Swindon is inviting photographers to focus on Swindon’s architectural gems in its 2021 photography competition.

The Architecture photo challenge follows the success of 2020’s Hidden Gems photography competition. That saw almost 500 images of the town uploaded to the organisation’s Instagram feed.

The competition is a fun way for amateur photographers to get back out into their local environment. All the while following social distancing guidelines. The Visit Swindon team will share selected images on their own social media channels.

Visit Swindon Photography Competition - the david murray john tower
The David Murray John Tower as featured in Swindon in 50 Buildings and here on the blog

Emerging from lockdown

As the town’s businesses emerge from lockdown, one lucky photographer will win a £300 prize bundle sponsored by businesses in Swindon’s Old Town. The bundle will comprise £50 vouchers to spend in the following businesses:

1. Food Magpie
2. Magnum Wine Shop
3. Contemporary art and furniture gallery Oink
4. Lifestyle store Kapada Vintage
5. Willoby’s Furniture
6. The Wood Street Foodhall

There’s also a Sunday roast for two at The Bank restaurant and bar in Wood Street.

* A great bundle of prizes for sure. But what a pity and an opportunity missed by the competition organiser not to show some support for other independent business in the town. There’s enough of them. It’s almost like the rest of the town doesn’t exist. Such a shame.

Old Town-based branding agency Jazzbones is coordinating the competition. It’s MD Nathan Sandhu said: ‘Swindon is steeped in architectural history. And that history is a photographer’s dream.

Swindon boasts:

1. The GWR Railway Village conservation area
2. Victorian houses aplenty in Old Town including Vilett’s House – much-loved by Sir John Betjeman.
3. The Mechanics’ Institution and the Corn Exchange/Locarno and of course …
4. Our GWR Works reimagined as the Designer Outlet centre.

Indeed, what Swindon offers is a giant history book waiting for you to capture with your camera or smartphone.

Not only about old buildings

But it’s not only about the historic buildings. Swindon also boasts plenty of photogenic modern buildings.

Such buildings as the skyscraping David Murray John towert that casts a dramatic shadow over the Swindon skyline. And of course the Brunel shopping centre itself.

Or, of course, the Sir Norman Foster-designed Spectrum/Renault building as seen in the James Bond movie A View to a Kill.

Then there’s the stunning canal-side Hall & Woodhouse pub or the brutalist Wyvern Theatre designed by Sir Hugh Casson.

And for something left field, consider the Hongxin Chinese Restaurant at Peatmoor Lagoon – AKA the Chinese Experience. Or the futuristic Whale Bridge Car Park in Swindon’s town centre.’

How to enter

To enter the competition you must follow @visit_swindon on Instagram. Then upload an image or images using the hashtag #SwindonArchitecture2021.

The competition closes on June 30, 2021. A judging panel, headed by acclaimed Swindon photographer Mitchell Nelson will select a winner.

You’ll find full terms and conditions at

For more on Swindon’s great buildings:

Check out my book, Swindon in 50 Buildings, and
my work in progress blog series – Swindon in 50 More Buildings