Living in Slough vs Living at the Seaside

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.

Living in Slough vs Living at the Seaside

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

  1. Good school my child is happy at and thriving
  2. Friendships
  3. Beautiful and big library
  4. So close to London and the London Underground
  5. All the trains!
  6. Windsor as a neighbour, with it’s castle, shopping, parks, riverside and swans
  7. Multi-cultural – I don’t stick out
  8. Friendly – people do say hello and hold open the door etc
  9. 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!
  10. 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.
  11. Beautiful parks – Herschel, Langley, Black Park, Burnham Beeches
  12. So many children’s activities and classes that you know I write about in this blog
  13. Being so close to Legoland and Beconscot Model Village, the Ickenham Miniature Railway.
  14. Our family just a 15-30 minute drive away
  15. My blog!

 

Pros to living at the Seaside (based on Deal, Kent)

  1. The seaside, the sea, the beach, all the seaside photos I could take every day! The sea air and less pollution.
  2. Beautiful sunsets and sunrises, seeing the sun come out of the sea.
  3. Quaint, wonky streets and pastel houses. Having pretty places to walk with Lily, walking along the pier, babycinos looking over the sea.
  4. 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.
  5. We would see friends more often than we do now, as they would probably visit as a holiday and stay over at weekends.
  6. Kids could grow up as surfers.
  7. We would add some colour to the place, make it more diverse.
  8. It’s would be like being on holiday EVERY DAY!
  9. Tyler could become a boat-spotter instead of a train-spotter
  10. Fish and chips by the sea and not Slough. And ice cream on the beach!
  11. The cutesy little village festivals.
  12. The friendly old people that just talk to you because they like your kids eyelashes
  13. Imagine dropping the kids to school and then chilling on the beach til it’s pick-up time.
  14. If my husband worked from home, we’d see him more often, less commuting.
  15. New areas to explore around the coast and inland, castles, national trust, heritage trains, parks etc.

 

Cons to living in Slough

  1. 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.
  2. 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!!
  3. Lots of traffic, busy roads, careless speedy drivers.
  4. As it’s mid re-generation, it’s like a permanent building site
  5. Lots of homeless on the street at night
  6. Not much nightlife (though that doesn’t really affect me!)
  7. Lack of choice in restaurants (there are lots but they’re pretty much the same)
  8. No real high street (unless you’re into Pound & Phone shops)
  9. It’s not pretty.
  10. The council
  11. Having the only dry cleaner in town that doesn’t actually clean on premises (2 day wait minimum)
  12. The lonely park little park that has one swing and nothing else.
  13. The free-for-all when Tesco bring out the reduced items.
  14. Schools are over-subscribed, over-crowded.
  15. Crap Christmas lights. Apart from the tree – that was good.

 

Cons to living at the Seaside (based on Deal, Kent)

  1. It’s so far from my family! Don’t want to take my kids aways from their grandparents.
  2. 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.
  3. Teeny tiny old library – all libraries look crap compared to The Curve.
  4. If you accidentally break your camera, you’ve got to go all the way to Dover to get a replacement.
  5. Not many children’s activities within a walking distance, you’d have to drive.
  6. No cinema!
  7. Not much choice of High Street shops and brands – would have to resort to online shopping.
  8. 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 😉
  9. Not knowing the area and not knowing about the schools, good or bad. Would my children be uncomfortable being a minority.
  10. If we lived at the seaside, where would we go on holiday?
  11. Being so far from London and Tyler’s beloved London Underground.
  12. Taking Tyler away from his best friends – he would be so unhappy and miss them.
  13. Having no immediate help with the children as we’d be so far from family, no evenings out as no one to babysit them.
  14. Sand in the house and more sweeping and cleaning (if we lived by a sandy beach)
  15. 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?

Sabrina x

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5 responses to “Living in Slough vs Living at the Seaside

  1. Well you know my answer with us living at the seaside for nearly 1 year now after moving away from Langley/Stoke Poges. I wish I made the move before Finn went to school and found his 3 friends for live who is missing ALOT (thankfully 1 of them is moving near us to join us soon YAY) The older they get the worse it is. MM with her 3 years took to our new house, area, pre school, new friends like a duck to water Finn who was nearly 7 back then took it pretty hard and we still feel it now. He got more sensible and emotional which I think got a lot to do with us upheaving him with the move. I miss the closeness to London. I miss seeing my friends (who do come to visit but nowhere near as often as we would like because everybody has busy lives). Our pro do outweigh the cons by a lot! I would say 70% – 30% but what I miss the most is visiting the family spontaneous. Its always a big plan to get over to Ruislip for the weekend thankfully my Cousin has a 3 bed house and kids moved out so we always have spare rooms to stay in! I am currently looking for a job and can only look 1 way in a school as a diner lady so I am off when it comes to school holidays where I would never find a cover (hence no family nearby and the only family my niece and her GF work FT).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha yes I know your answer! To be honest, you are living our dream. But yeah if this was before Tyler had started school, our decision may have been different. As each day goes on, he is more and more interested in London and he is so settled here. And I hate to say it but I do factor in our ethnicity, where we will be comfortable. I think for every family, the decision factors will be different. And it sounds like you guys are having a great adventure, I am jealous – I think I will always dream about living by the seaside!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Hi Sabrina!

    Fab blog… you’ve inspired me!

    We’re in Datchet and really want to buy but Windsor is just not offering what we want at our budget! There’s so many benefits of being closer to London and the massive regeneration project… I’m drawn to slough, particularly from your posts. We love our walks to Windsor so the greenery is a big thing but I’d also love to have more things to do for kids (I’ve a 2 year old).

    Are there any suggestions in terms of places to live/avoid? There’s a few new build developments (well a lot 🤭) but really don’t know where to start.

    Thanks so much!
    Erin

    Like

    • Hi Erin, I’m so glad! Personally I love living right by the train station as we can hop on the train to Windsor and be there in 6 minutes. Also that location is near to the High Street and playgroups. That’s where you want to be, it’s a good mix of people in the centre too. And you’d want to be in walking distance to the Curve, the kids activities there are brilliant. Everyone says to avoid Chalvey, just as it’s not too safe at night. Basically, anywhere around the town centre is a good choice. Hope that helps!

      Like

      • Thanks Sabrina

        Very useful… took a drive over today and spotted the Mackenzie development between Windsor rd and mill st; that’s literally a few strides to the station and definitely close to the curve.

        See how things progress but keep up the good work, I think it’s going to be a fab future investment with so much regeneration.

        Thanks again
        Erin

        Like

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