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Things to do in Slough, Berkshire

Slough is 22 miles west of London in the royal county of Berkshire, close to Windsor and Maidenhead.

Slough developed from a number of small villages which were spread out along the Great West Road. They have gradually become suburbs of Slough as it expanded.

One of these hamlets was called "Slo" in 1196 which gradually evolved to become Slough. On the east side of Slough, Langley has St Mary the Virgin Church which dates back to the 11th century and Upton Court was built in 1325.

In the mid-17th century stage coaches ran from London to the West Country. Slough was a convenient spot for a second change of horses. In 1838 the railway arrived and a branch line was built to Windsor for Queen Victoria's convenience.

Slough has seen a number of industries come and go. It was a major brickworks prior to the 19th century. With increased traffic using the Great West Road, inns and taverns sprang up.

Around 1825 it was an area of agriculture with nurseries producing Cox's Orange Pippin apples and flowers such as pinks. Mars bars were produced in Slough for over 70 years but production has since moved to the Czech Republic.

Slough Cattle Market was held every Tuesday from 1851 until 1988.

The town was an important centre for the motor trade and Ferrari, Mercedes and Fiat still have offices in the town.

Present Day Slough

The population in 2006 was estimated at 122,000. It is the most ethnically diverse area outside London and has the highest proportion of religious followers in the UK.

Since World War II many immigrants have settled in Slough from the Commonwealth countries of the Caribbean and Pakistan. It has the highest percentage of Sikhs in the country (9.1%) and the highest percentage of Muslims (13.4%) and Hindus (4.5%) in the southeast.

The Slough Trading Estate is the largest privately owned industrial estate in Europe and is an important centre for business in south east England. It was started in the 1920s and its manufacturing base has survived several recessions.

Slough has some 21st century architecture as part of the regeneration of the city. The Heart of Slough plan sees more multi-purpose, environmentally sustainable buildings and public spaces as a focus for its cultural quarter. However, the planned destruction of Art Deco buildings and the redevelopment of the Town Hall have been strongly criticised.

Slough has 96 listed buildings including several churches, Godolphin House, the almshouses at Langley, the Ostrich Inn at Colnbrook and Slough station. The oldest building is St Laurence Church in Upton.

Slough has the worst crime rate in the Thames Valley region and has the highest levels of anti-social behaviour.

Things to Do Around Slough

Upton Park, now known as Herschel Park, is being relandscaped to return it to its former glory. It hosts many festivals and attractions including the Slough Mela.

The Ice Arena is used to train skaters including champions Torvill and Dean. The Grand Union Canal provides opportunities for walking, fishing and boating.

There are 32 pubs and bars for entertainment and many excellent restaurants for enjoying international cuisine.

Windsor Castle is just three miles away along with Windsor Racecourse.

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