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Slough is a town close to west London that many people use as a base for exploring the surrounding region of southern England in a car rental. Slough’s proximity to tourism draws such as Windsor Park and Castle, Hampton Court and Oxford, and its ambient atmosphere and good selection of shops, has made it a popular alternative to London for tourists. The town itself does not have much in the way of historic sites and its main claim to fame is that it is home to Europe’s biggest industrial park.
Who to Book With
Enterprise, National and Thrifty are among the six international hire companies with service offices in Slough. There are also a few local companies which offer service. The firms’ offices and garages are spread around town or on the Slough Trading Estate. Booking online is a good option for people wishing to ensure they get their desired vehicle at the best rental rates.
Best Time to Go
Due to its location close to the trading estate and IT companies in Reading. Slough is busy for much of the year. The summer months attract tourists and car rental and accommodation rates are higher. May, June and September are quieter, yet the weather is usually warm enough to go sightseeing.
Need to Know Essentials
When picking up your rental car, the clerk will ask to see the items listed below:
- Both parts of your UK driving licence if it is the new photocard style or an International
- Your passport or some other means of identification
- The rental confirmation voucher
- The same credit card used when making the reservation
Apart from during weekday rush hours, Slough experiences few major traffic issues. In the town centre, there are few parking spaces on the street. Council and privately-run car parks charge around £2 an hour and daily rates average at £6. Roads to nearby locations such as Windsor and Black Park Country Park are not usually busy. Routes to two regional motorways, the M4 and the M25 London Orbital, are well-signposted from the town centre.
Cars offer the most convenient method of reaching any location that is not in the town centre. There are a number of taxi companies offering 24-hour service for people who need transport from the bus or train stations, or who want to go out for the evening. Bus routes cover the main roads in Slough, but services are not very frequent and passengers may have to wait 30 minutes at stops before their bus arrives.
Slough Rail Station is on Brunel Way, five minutes’ walk from High Street, and is managed by First Great Western. The station is a stop on suburban routes between London Paddington Station and Reading, as well as on Paddington to Bristol Great Western intercity services. The station also has a branch line service to Windsor. The station has a 615-space car park and a taxi rank.
Private hire and taxi firms are plentiful but do not provide the most economical travel option. A fare to Windsor could cost as much as £15 and possibly more late at night. Slough Taxis is one operator that takes telephone bookings.
Several bus companies serve different routes in Slough. These routes are not particularly useful for tourists as they mainly serve residential and business districts. There are also buses to other towns in the region. First in Berkshire & The Thames Valley operates a Slough-Heathrow Airport service. The bus station is a short walk from the rail station.
Shopping, dining and the town’s museum seem to be Slough’s principal draws. Its real attraction lies in its prime position for taking daytrips and excursions. With car hire, there are quite a few interesting destinations less than one hour’s drive away. Among these are Highclere Castle, Basildon Park and Windsor.
Windsor Castle - Pictured above, this castle was built by William the Conqueror in 1070 and is one of the finest examples of a Norman castle still surviving. Queen Elizabeth II is the latest in the line of 39 monarchs to use the castle as a second home. Parts of the castle are open to the public. Highlights include the St George’s Chapel, the state rooms with masterpieces by the likes of Rembrandt and Rubens, and the opportunity of taking in the spectacle of the Changing of the Guard.
Legoland Windsor - A great day out for youngsters. The 40-million brick Miniland, Pirates Landing and the Kingdom of the Pharaohs are among the eclectic delights that ensure kiddies want to come back as soon as possible.
Highclere Castle - This is an imposing Victorian palace that has recently been the setting for the hit television series Downton Abbey. Opulent state rooms and 1,000 acres of gardens and parklands attract countless visitors every summer.