Slough is a vast town in Berkshire located in the Greater London area and has quite the reputation. The town is strategically located between Thames Valley and London which happens to be at the intersection of the M4, M40 and M25. The A4 and the Great Western Main Line are two rail lines that pass through the town. Many people moving to UK will see Slough as a possible destination due to its ethnic diversity and plenty of employment opportunities. Few towns can be the setting for a sitcom like the Office, so don’t let the city’s reputation fool you.
Is Slough a Good Place to live? Glassdoor ranked Slough as the best place to live in the UK in 2017 and 2018. The town has the highest concentration of global corporate headquarters in the UK outside of London and affordable real estate. With many other great attributes, Slough is definitely worth a closer look.
In this article, I will try and provide a clear and unbiased view of the town of Slough for those who want to decide if moving to Slough is a good idea. The town’s name has been smeared in the past and you will repeatedly hear the name mess associated with Slough. However, that is not the case. The town has much to offer. Read on and get to know the city a little better, it may just stun you and open up your mind about new possibilities. More importantly, you will learn not to judge a book by its cover, or more accurately its name.
Is Slough a good place to live?
Just like any other city, Slough has good and bad neighbourhoods. Langley is one of the most affluent parts of Slough. The real estate prices in Langley are affordable and it has access to the M4. Cippenham, Farnham Common and Castleview are other good neighbourhoods in Slough. The worst parts of the city are mostly home to new immigrants with relatively little economic power. Such places include Britwell estate and Chavey.
The level of crime in Slough has risen in the past few years. There is a lot of violent crime in Slough and a lot goes unreported and unsolved. Violent and sexual offenses form the bulk of criminal activity in Slough with about 40% of the offenses. Criminal damage and arson are the second highest form of crime with vehicle crime a close third. Some of the highest crime areas in Slough include Langley Road, Eden Close, Kimberly Close and Oak Tree Drive.
There are plenty of quality institutions of learning in Slough for primary education up to university. Most primary schools are state funded and include schools like Langley Hall Primary Academy, Castleview School, St. Anthony’s Catholic primary school and Pippins School .Good secondary schools in Slough are plenty and include Langley Grammar School, Wexham School, The Westgate School, Beechwood School and Lynch Hill Enterprise Academy to name a few. Institutions of higher education include East Berkshire (Langley) College, Eton College and Slough College of Business Management.
Slough is a town that can rightfully be called a travel hub. For starters, the town is ideally situated near three M4 junctions, the A4, A355 and A412. There are well connected roads in Slough as well where you can use buses, taxis, minicabs and private cars for travel. There is also a road network that connects Slough to London via buses and Greenline coaches. Moreover, if you are moving to UK you can reach Slough from Heathrow Airport through a variety of bus routes, taxis and minicabs. Slough can be accessed through the Great Western Railway with stations at Burnham, Langley and the City Centre. The town is also accessible to cyclists with the National Cycle Network running through Slough.
Slough has many expats which means there is a lot of cultural diversity in the town’s social life. You will find plenty of varied restaurants that offer traditional cuisine such as Indian food, indigenous African dishes and spicy Asian cuisine. For those who like outdoor activities, Slough is home to several outstanding parks like Black Park, Langley Park and Salt Hill Park. There are beautiful parcels of land in these parks to explore with lakes, ponds, rivers and even play areas. The Quensmere Observatory Shopping Centre has over 120 shops and a 3D movie cinema where people can have fun. As is typical with the UK, you will find several drinking holes in Slough including Ostrich Inn and Colnbrook pub where you can sit with your mates and have a pint.
Is Slough a Good Place to work?
Jobs site Glassdoor has twice ranked Slough as the best place to live and work in the UK. The town has a high number of job vacancies with more vacancies becoming available as more multinational corporations set up offices in the city centre. The average salary of £35,000 is higher than the national average despite living costs in Slough being quite low.
The largest industry employing people in Slough is the wholesale & retail trade and motorcycle and vehicle repair industries with administrative & support services coming in a close second. Many people are also employed in the transportation and storage industry. JD, Mars and Blackberry are some of the largest employers in Slough whose industries are no longer predominantly industrial but informational.
Slough has an employment rate of 70% with 6% unemployed and 24% being economically inactive. About 75% of the employed work full time which is slightly higher than the rest of Great Britain. A higher percentage of workers in Slough also report better job satisfaction than in the rest of the country which makes Slough one of the best places to work.
Is Slough a good place to buy a house?
Before moving to Slough one of the most pertinent questions you will have to ask yourself is where you want to live. However, looking at the general Slough area before zeroing on a specific location would be prudent. Langley, Cippenham, Farnham Common and Castleview are examples of good neighbourhoods in Slough. On the contrary places include Britwell estate and Chavey could be labelled unsafe and should be avoided if possible.
The average house price in Slough is £390,000 which seems expensive but is a whopping £100,000 cheaper than the London average. To buy a one bedroom property in Slough will cost you an average of £275,000. A two bedroom apartment will cost an average of £375,000. A three bedroom apartment will cost an average of £500,000. A four bedroom apartment will cost an average of £650,000 while a five bedroom flat will cost an average of £725,000.
The average monthly rent for a one bedroom flat in Slough is £870. The average rent for a two bedroom flat is £1208 per month. The average monthly rent for a three bedroom property is £1500 while that for a four bedroom apartment is £2000. You will have to pay an average of £2276 per month to rent a five bedroom property.
Is Slough a good place to retire?
As we have already seen, Slough is ideally suited to the working class. It is one of the best places to work and live in the country. Therefore, it is not ideal for those that are looking for a place to retire. However, that does not mean there are no retirement properties in Slough. In fact, they tend to be cheaper than regular properties due to their low demand. Renting tends to cost about the same as you would pay for a regular flat.
To buy a one bedroom retirement property in Slough will cost you an average of £250,000. A two bedroom apartment will cost an average of £345,000. A three bedroom apartment will cost an average of £460,000. A four bedroom apartment will cost an average of £550,000 while a five bedroom flat will cost an average of £625,000.
Is Slough a good place to visit?
There are plenty of places a visitor to Slough will find interesting to visit. The first has to be the iconic landmark, Windsor Castle. It is the single largest and oldest occupied castle in the entire world. The Queen spends her private time in the castle and though you probably won’t get to see her, the castle’s beauty and rich history should be just as exhilarating. If you like the outdoors, Black Park is an incredible venue to visit. Over 500 acres of Park in the city with rivers, lakes and ponds will provide a multitude of scenes and fun activities in which to partake. Plant and animal life is also quite vibrant in the park. The Sounding Arch is another place in Slough that is worth a visit. You can stand on the bridge and enjoy the river’s beauty or you can be more proactive and take a boat underneath the bridge and admire the brick bridge. Slough has quite creatively combined a museum and a library and is a place worth a visit. For those who love history, the museum is full of artefacts that pay testament to the city’s history and if more research is needed the requisite information is just nearby. Legoland is also a fun visit for the entire family where you can have hands on fun as opposed to passive enjoyment.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.