Slough is a large industrial town in Berkshire, just north of the M4. Up until 1974 is was classed as being in the county of Buckinghamshire, where much of its unitary authority still seems to lie.

The Office, Slough Trading Estate

"The Office", Slough Trading Estate © Darren Smith (CC2)

Although the largest town in Berkshire, it is a relatively new town with bland housing, undistinguished architecture and large featureless industrial estates. It was immortalised in verse by John Betjeman in 1981, when he wrote: 'Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough. It isn't fit for humans now. There isn't grass to graze a cow.'

Slough developed as an urbanised area from a number of small villages along the Great West Road, during the 19th and 20th centuries. Located just 20 miles (32 km) west of Central London, it is now a convenient commuter town and the headquarters of several international companies and some light industry.

Slough was made famous by the television series 'The Office', staring Ricky Gervais and also by Gerry Anderson’s iconic British puppet show 'Thunderbirds', which was filmed at SEGRO’s Slough Trading Estate. This vast estate has expanded over the years to become one of the largest trading centres in Europe and a key economic hub for Britain.

Known for its notoriously ugly concrete buildings the architecture of Slough is quite brutalistic with little or no historical value, so there's not much for the tourist to see. Although, it has a number of attractive parks and gardens, providing extensive opportunities for sport, recreation and entertainment. Green spaces worth visiting include:

  • Baylis Park Walled Rose Garden - Park and garden.
  • Haymill Valley - Nature reserve run by the local Wildlife Trust.
  • Herschel Park - Restored Grade II listed Victorian Park.
  • Upton Court Park - Large town park and gardens.

Local astronomer Sir William Herschel (1738-1822) made the first true map of the universe with the aid of a telescope he built in his garden. A monument commemorates his achievements in Windsor Road.

St Mary's Church (completed in 1876) is noted for its stained glass by Kempe and Alfred Wolmark.

Slough Festival of Arts, which has been running for over 8 decades, is an annual dance competition held during the Easter celebrations.

Map of Slough

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