Stoke On Trent

The city of Stoke on Trent can be thought of as an umbrella term for 6 small towns known as 'The Potteries'. The city centre is Hanley where the majority of amenities are located, although the remaining five contain easily enough to justify their own name (and a visit). The city has recently seen a massive amount of money invested in business parks, a redeveloped shopping precinct, hotels and historical sites such as the gardens and museums. The £9.8 million purpose built Wedgewood Museum is set to open in 2007 to compliment the popular visitors centre at Barlaston. Despite the vast number of buildings and historical sites of the ceramics industry, the area remains incredibly green with various parks and only a short drive to the Peak District.


Museums - Despite the significant importance of this area in the world pf pottery, "the world's greatest collection of Staffordshire ceramics" may not appeal to the typical museum visitor! The history of the area and the industry is well documented and also includes other attractions such as a World War II Spitfire. The acclaimed companies Spode and Wedgewood have both opened their doors in the form of visitors’ centres which showcase the skills and processes involved in pottery production. Both run tours and displays in addition to hosting small specialist museums.

The impressive kilns and ovens that make up the Gladstone Pottery Museum give an added atmosphere lacking from many equivalent exhibitions. There are also opportunities to make and decorate your own pot and a cobbled yard complete with story teller!

Trentham Gardens and Monkey Forest – The designer Tom Stuart-Smith won Gold Medal for his garden at the 2006 Chelsea Flower Show. The innovative design ran in the same vein as the Italian garden at Trentham which combines historic design elements and naturalism. Non-botanical highlights include the classical statues and mile long lake. The activity area and tea provide a welcome respite to those with children and/or sore feet.

Now fully settled in their new environment, the 140 endangered Macaque monkeys roam free while entertaining and enthralling visitors in the quaint forest area of the gardens. Concerts and outdoor activity events are also operated on the site, for which there is ample local hotel accommodation. Further developments including a hotel and health spa, winery and retail park.

Waterworld and Alton Towers - For a less cultural experience there are two enormous activity parks a short drive from the city. Waterworld is a sequence of slides, tubes, tunnels, assault courses and waves to leave you thrilled and most likely bruised. Decent poolside snacks are served to quash the taste of chlorine and there is also a weekly Aquadisco. The outdoor alternative Alton Towers has its own hotel, pools and even health spa alongside the expected rides and charm to be expected from a giant theme park.


The Potteries shopping centre in Hanley combines shopping for groceries and indulgences with events such as signings by the city's football team. Bargains on designer labels can be found at the out of town Freeport Outlet Shopping Mall. As inferred by Arnold Bennet's novel Five Towns, each of the towns which make up Stoke has its own character and influences which are reflected in the variations of shop found within them. Stoke and the surrounding area support a number of outlets with limited opening times and specialist stock such as Touchstone Wines in Stone which draws customers from across the country. A Farmers Market has also begun to compliment this trade, serving excellent local produce.

Nightlife and Eating Out

The traditional local specialities are oatcakes, similar to pancakes although slightly thicker and less sweet. They can of course be enjoyed with either sweet or savoury fillings depending on your mood. There is no shortage of international cuisine, Portofino in Hanley offering the best Italian food around. The Staffordshire countryside has no shortage of country pubs offering traditional home cooked food. Most benefit from an attractive rural setting and interesting wooden beamed 17th Century buildings. In terms of nightlife Stoke has a good number of smart pubs serving quality food and a combination of traditional and more fashionable beers and lagers. Familiar chain bars such as Bar Oz and Jumping Jacks line the main street and fuel the younger crowd with cheap pints and cocktails, these venues often have their own dance floor making them unsuitable if you intend to talk to anyone. The pubs offering live music tend to attract a more discerning and slightly older crowd. Bands that no longer rely on playing covers tend to appear at the Sugarmill in Hanley.

Tourist Information

Victoria HallBagnall StreetCultural QuarterStoke-on-TrentST1 3ADTel. 01782 236000Fax. 01782


The nearest airport is Manchester International Airport with a vast range of worldwide destinations mainly in Europe and America. Located 24 miles from the city centre, the airport can easily by reached by bus (50 minutes) or train (1 hour 20 minutes). There is also extensive parking at the airport and on-site hotels to meet all budgets.

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