Looking at that title, I bet you’d choose seaside any day – no brainer, right?! Or is it? We actually had this dilemma back in August when we actually considered moving to the Kent coast. I know, I know, how can the girl who bangs on about how great Slough is suddenly up sticks and move her family to Kent? Well, we CHOSE SLOUGH. We chose Slough over the seaside! Yep, we really must love this town. In this post I’ll share with you the pros and cons of both and how we came to our decision.
A bit of background on how we found ourselves considering relocation. As long as I’ve known my husband, we’ve always said ‘Let’s move to the seaside!’, whenever we went on holiday, we always walk past estate agents windows just to see, just to pretend. But it’s never been serious. That is until we visited Deal and the lure of getting a 4 bedroom house with a garden by the coast for the same price as our 2 bedroom apartment in Slough was too great. All those pastel coloured houses! The high-speed Javelin trains which meant we could potentially come back every weekend to visit my parents. My husband could work from home and if he needed to be in the office, he could stay over at his mum’s. We were seriously considering it. We even bounced the idea around our family, parents, siblings, friends – they all said ‘YES! Go for it!’
But we didn’t. After a week back in Slough, back in our home, Tyler back at school, Lily at her playgroups, I realised I was HOME. I was happy here, and actually what really made my decision was seeing Tyler happy at his school, him having his best friends, being so at home – I didn’t want to take him away from that. I’ve heard many horror stories of children not settling at school, hating it, crying everyday. And here we were, where I’ve found the perfect school for my child – why would I take him away from it! Also, how could I take him so far away from the London Underground? I fear I would have a child who would hate me forever if I did that.
Pros to living in Slough
- Good school my child is happy at and thriving
- Beautiful and big library
- So close to London and the London Underground
- All the trains!
- Windsor as a neighbour, with it’s castle, shopping, parks, riverside and swans
- Multi-cultural – I don’t stick out
- Friendly – people do say hello and hold open the door etc
- Lots of Asians – I say this being a British-born Asian, I feel welcome in this town, and my children have got loads of aunties now, because in Asian culture, everyone is your aunty!
- Shopping – if anything is not in the town centre, just go down the Bath Road, or go to Windsor, Maidenhead, Reading, Uxbridge – so many towns are so easy to get to from Slough.
- Beautiful parks – Herschel, Langley, Black Park, Burnham Beeches
- So many children’s activities and classes that you know I write about in this blog
- Being so close to Legoland and Beconscot Model Village, the Ickenham Miniature Railway.
- Our family just a 15-30 minute drive away
- My blog!
Pros to living at the Seaside (based on Deal, Kent)
- The seaside, the sea, the beach, all the seaside photos I could take every day! The sea air and less pollution.
- Beautiful sunsets and sunrises, seeing the sun come out of the sea.
- Quaint, wonky streets and pastel houses. Having pretty places to walk with Lily, walking along the pier, babycinos looking over the sea.
- How cheap houses are – the ability to live in a house with an upstairs and downstairs, a bedroom each for Tyler and Lily, a spare bedroom for friends and family to stay in, a proper-sized kitchen, a garden.
- We would see friends more often than we do now, as they would probably visit as a holiday and stay over at weekends.
- Kids could grow up as surfers.
- We would add some colour to the place, make it more diverse.
- It’s would be like being on holiday EVERY DAY!
- Tyler could become a boat-spotter instead of a train-spotter
- Fish and chips by the sea and not Slough. And ice cream on the beach!
- The cutesy little village festivals.
- The friendly old people that just talk to you because they like your kids eyelashes
- Imagine dropping the kids to school and then chilling on the beach til it’s pick-up time.
- If my husband worked from home, we’d see him more often, less commuting.
- New areas to explore around the coast and inland, castles, national trust, heritage trains, parks etc.
Cons to living in Slough
- It’s not the seaside and there’s isn’t one that is easy to get to from here. Going by train, you have to go into London and then out. Car journeys are just long.
- Litter – my biggest bug bear, soooo much litter and the council doesn’t seem to bother. Not enough bins on residential roads, so people just litter the streets. Bottles become broken glass. AGH!!
- Lots of traffic, busy roads, careless speedy drivers.
- As it’s mid re-generation, it’s like a permanent building site
- Lots of homeless on the street at night
- Not much nightlife (though that doesn’t really affect me!)
- Lack of choice in restaurants (there are lots but they’re pretty much the same)
- No real high street (unless you’re into Pound & Phone shops)
- It’s not pretty.
- The council
- Having the only dry cleaner in town that doesn’t actually clean on premises (2 day wait minimum)
- The lonely park little park that has one swing and nothing else.
- The free-for-all when Tesco bring out the reduced items.
- Schools are over-subscribed, over-crowded.
- Crap Christmas lights. Apart from the tree – that was good.
Cons to living at the Seaside (based on Deal, Kent)
- It’s so far from my family! Don’t want to take my kids aways from their grandparents.
- You can’t really sit on the beach at winter-time, which in the UK is all the time. Well you could, but it would be cold.
- Teeny tiny old library – all libraries look crap compared to The Curve.
- If you accidentally break your camera, you’ve got to go all the way to Dover to get a replacement.
- Not many children’s activities within a walking distance, you’d have to drive.
- No cinema!
- Not much choice of High Street shops and brands – would have to resort to online shopping.
- Not very multi-cultural, we would stick out like a sore thumb. Or a brown person. PS I can say that cos I’m brown 😉
- Not knowing the area and not knowing about the schools, good or bad. Would my children be uncomfortable being a minority.
- If we lived at the seaside, where would we go on holiday?
- Being so far from London and Tyler’s beloved London Underground.
- Taking Tyler away from his best friends – he would be so unhappy and miss them.
- Having no immediate help with the children as we’d be so far from family, no evenings out as no one to babysit them.
- Sand in the house and more sweeping and cleaning (if we lived by a sandy beach)
- Actually, if we had a house, I would find it really difficult to keep tidy. I find it difficult to keep our 2-bed flat tidy!
So there are our pros and cons to living in Slough vs living at the seaside (my husband contributed – can you guess which points he wrote :D)
Can you see why we chose to stay in Slough? I like the IDEA of living at the seaside, but I think the reality would be lonely, isolating, I think my children would hate us for moving, I think I would get bored of the beach and we would all miss our family and London and all the trains. Going on holiday there in a holiday house will keep the seaside magical for us, and that’s what I want to keep – the magic and excitement of going to the seaside. For us, Slough is home.
What would you do if you had the choice – stay in your hometown or move to the seaside?