London is an exciting but hectic city. Some love its energy, but for others, an opportunity to get away from its busyness and fumes while remaining in easy distance of the capital is appealing.
A commuter town just a 14 minute train ride away from Paddington Station should be this perfect opportunity. Yet Slough has repeatedly been consigned to the lists of the worst places to live in the entire country.
Back in 2003, Slough’s infamous status was memorialised in print in ‘The Idler Book of C**p Towns: The 50 C**p Worst Places to Live in the UK’. Google Books described the book as “the real rough guide to where not to go in Britain”.
READ MORE: The commuter town 30 minutes from London named the worst place to live inside the M25
It added: “The authors name and shame the 50 worst towns on the island, revealing them in all their hideous glory.
“From the dull and lifeless to the ugly and depressing, no concrete monstrosity or phony heritage centre has gone unscathed. Woking, Bognor Regis, Cleator Moor, Crouch End, Slough–your time is up.”
(Image: Grahame Larter)
And clearly the Berkshire town’s reputation has still not been shaken. This year, the satirical website ‘I Live Here’ conducted a poll in which a “record-breaking” 125,681 people voted Slough in at number 24 on its ‘Top 50 worst places to live in England’ list.
One reviewer even dubbed Slough “the toilet of Berkshire”. According to them, the “shops that sell tat for a pound”, the many “unhealthy eating establishments”, and the streets “full of empty takeaway packets and empty beer cans” are just some of the reasons that the town has earned its bad name.
But it is not all bad for Slough. In fact, the commuter town has a fair few positives going for it that we think would only be fair to include.
For starters, that 14 minute commute cannot be brushed over. And combined with the below average house prices compared to others in the county, this has got to be a plus for the area.
The average Berkshire home set buyers back around £472,000 in 2021, while those in Slough were generally priced at around £423,000, revealed BerkshireLive . This means that properties in the growing commuter town cost 10 per cent less than elsewhere.
Meanwhile, neighbouring towns of Windsor and Maidenhead topped the list. Homeowners forked out around £584,706 for properties in the former, which was 23 per cent higher than the county average, and close to £555,499 in the latter.
Moreover, Slough offers easy access to places beyond the capital.
Heathrow Airport is a mere 15 minute drive away and it takes just three quarters of an hour to reach the Chiltern Hills, a piece of countryside so pretty that it has been crowned an area of outstanding natural beauty.
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The town was also dubbed the best place in the country to live and work in two years in a row, topping jobs site Glassdoor’s list for employee satisfaction, jobs and cost of living in 2017 and 2018.
Finally, Slough recently enjoyed £450 million of investment in regeneration and development projects, which spells promise for its ascendance.
And it will become even better connected to the capital once Crossrail opens. See, it’s not all bad for this “c**p town”.
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