What you need to know about Slough
When John Betjeman wrote his famous poem that begins “Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough” in 1937, he had taken umbrage at the 850 new factories that had been built in this formerly rural area. But 80 years on, business investment has made Slough the thriving, diverse and cosmopolitan town it is.
It’s certainly not the prettiest town in the UK (or in this corner of Berkshire, for that matter), but it’s in a superb location just west of London and a few miles from Heathrow, with its own 900 year old church, a great local museum and the ancient towers of beautiful Royal Windsor rising tantalisingly to the south.
Food and drink
Slough isn’t renowned as a foodie paradise, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some very well-regarded pubs and restaurants in the town, particularly if Thai or Indian food is your thing. But of course Slough is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Berkshire - nearby Maidenhead has some lovely eating places, and of course you’re just 3 miles from Royal Windsor, where the cobbled streets are lined with delightful restaurants, bars and cafes.
If you fancy some fine dining, it’s just 7 miles to the lovely village of Bray, where you can choose from three Michelin-starred dining options – Michel Roux’s 3-star Waterside Inn, Heston Blumental’s 3-star Fat Duck, or the 1-star Hinds Head next door. Don’t say we never spoil you.
Slough has all the usual high street shopping in a couple of large shopping centres on the High Street, along with (wait for it) the largest Tesco in Europe. If that doesn’t get you reaching for your banknotes, it’s just 15 minutes by train to London Paddington, 45 minutes to Oxford, or 6 minutes to Royal Windsor, where you’ll find all the luxury brands, independent retailers, quirky bookshops and mouth-watering delis you could possibly wish for.
If you’d prefer to stay closer to home, it’s well worth exploring the villages around Slough like Eton and Bray, many of which have lovely farm shops and markets.
Slough is a huge business hub, and a popular choice for FMCG, consumer goods and tech companies looking for a base near London.
You’ll find the European HQs of companies like BlackBerry, McAfee, Computer Associates, PictureTel and Compusys in the town, along with O2, Nintendo, Mars, Black and Decker, Reckitt Benckiser and Amazon.co.uk. Dulux paints are also manufactured in Slough, as well as Sara Lee foods.
It’s hard to imagine a UK town that’s more accessible than Slough – it’s located just off the M4 and M25 motorways, a few miles from London Heathrow airport. There are regular train services to London Paddington, Oxford and Reading, with good bus services throughout the region.
If you prefer to cycle, there is a cycle sharing system at the main rail station, and National Cycle Network route 61 runs through the centre of the town.
Things to watch out for
The centre of Slough is quite sprawling, so it’s a town best navigated by car, public transport or bike rather than on foot from your serviced apartment. If you fancy stretching your legs, jump on a train to Windsor and take a gentle walk along the picturesque Thames Path.