Slough has won the title for the most desirable place in the UK to spend winter months because of its warm climate.
Met Office researchers scored the cold season in 50 towns and cities – awarding points for sunshine, warm temperatures, low rainfall, low frost and low winds.
Slough racked up 570 points, scoring well for its low rainfall, frost and mild winds.
The Berkshire town has approximately 25 inches of rainfall a year compared to 36 inches in Manchester. Although the temperatures predictably drop colder in winter months, to around 3C, Met Office said they can reach up to 8C.
Slough also offers winter activities including the nearby Bracknell Ski Slope and Ice Rink and the historic Windsor Castle.
On the other side of the rankings, Leeds earned its title as the worst place to spend winter for its cold winds, high rainfall and freezing temperatures.
It scored minus 460 just after Huddersfield who ranked minus 450, Glasgow at minus 260 and Aberdeen at minus 220.
Slough, famous for featuring in Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman’s writing and Ricky Gervais poking fun at it in TV show The Office, was followed by joint-second-place Sunderland and Poole – both scoring 500 points.
The town’s new status is a far cry from Sir John’s 1937 poem about the town. He wrote about the construction of factories in Slough before the Second World War and said: ‘Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough! It isn’t fit for humans now.’
Similarly, David Brent in The Office, played by Gervais, once joked of the town: ‘More convenient than a Tesco Express. Close to Windsor but the properties less.
‘Keeps the business of Britain great. It’s got Europe’s biggest trading estate.’
Slough’s mayor Preston Brooker said: ‘We have very clean air here and we get a lot of fresh sunny days and that definitely makes the Slough winters more bearable.
‘My wife and I moved here 30 years ago from a one-bedroom flat in London to a three-bedroomed house and we’ve never looked back.
‘The winters in London are disgusting but they are not so bad in Slough.
‘People who take the mickey out of the town should come and see it for themselves. It really doesn’t deserve the reputation it has.
‘We’ve got beautiful open spaces within easy reach and that alone makes the winters better.
‘And you can zip around the town on our e-scooters if you like. This report is good news for the town and nearby attractions like Windsor Castle.
‘Slough is a wonderful place and people who move here tend to stay.’
The ‘warm winter index’
Source: the Met Office
Heating and boiler experts HeatingForce.co.uk, who analysed the weather data to for the study, said: ‘Slough seems to have become synonymous with the grim side of life but our figures don’t lie and the reality is the town has a very sunny outlook.
‘And while it may be stating the obvious to say that some of Britain’s northern cities like Leeds and Manchester are chilly in winter, our findings also throw up some other interesting hotspots where Britain’s winter months may be that bit more bearable.’
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