Slough is Berkshire’s second-largest town and it is noted mostly for its corporate offices and its massive industrial park. It has the reputation as the quintessential boring new town and the BBC comedy series The Office was set there partly because it is seen as a bland place to base a show about mundane office work.
It is a major business centre that has the United Kingdom’s highest concentration of multinational corporate headquarters outside London including Black and Decker, Blackberry, Burger King, Citroën, Dulux, Lego, Mars, McAfee, Nintendo, O2 and Sara Lee. Slough is a major manufacturing centre and Dulux paint, Horlicks malted milk drink and Mars bars are all made here. It is also home to the Slough Trading Estate, the largest industrial estate in Europe which is home to around 400 businesses including the fictitious Wernham Hogg paper company from the BBC comedy series The Office.
Slough is an anomaly in the sense that it is one of the few affordable towns close to London, it is even more of an anomaly when you consider that it is surrounded by very expensive areas such as Windsor and Eton and it has excellent transport connections into central London.
Slough’s relative affordability and good transport connections are the major reasons why most tourists visit Slough. Primarily because it has reasonably cheap accommodation with an easy commute to Windsor, Heathrow Airport and London. Hotels in Slough are around £50 a night cheaper than the equivalent hotel in London or Windsor and even allowing for travel costs, it is worth the short train journey to get here.
There are around five trains per hour to London Paddington railway station with a travel time of around half an hour (express trains are a quick as 17 minutes). An off-peak day return costs £10.50, £14.90 for a ticket that also includes bus, train and tube travel within London. Peak fares cost around £6 more than off-peak tickets.
Slough is also very close to Windsor and Eton, which are essentially suburbs of Slough. It is only a six-minute train trip to Windsor with frequent trains running between Slough and Windsor and Eton Central. Buses also operate on this route, which may be handy if you’re staying in one of the hotels on Windsor Road.
Heathrow Airport (terminal five) is around a 25-minute bus ride from Slough with both First Berkshire and the Thames Valley and Greenline buses running every 30 minutes and there are connecting buses to other terminals. Staying in Slough before or after a flight is a good option especially if you’re flying from terminal five, particularly since the cheaper Heathrow hotels aren’t actually that close to the airport anyway.