The town grew up from the Industrial Revolution, based on the coal and clay industries.
The excellent Sharpe`s Pottery Museum is housed in a former pottery works, where in particular sanitary ware was produced. The Tourist Information Centre is also in the building.
There is a dry ski slope on a landscaped colliery site.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Swadlincote for groups.