The silhouettes of bottle-shaped kilns at sunset create a brooding, dramatic cityscape in this pottery hub near Britain’s largest amusement park.
At the core of Britain’s Industrial Revolution lies the renowned ceramics hub of Stoke-on-Trent. The factories and museums of the Potteries district trace the development of the city, which is today a modern setting with parks and shopping centers. Discover the heart and passion of the local culture with a trip to watch the town’s soccer team at bet365 Stadium, previously known as Britannia Stadium.
The 19th-century Stoke Minster is the crowning jewel of the city center. Look up at the bell tower and enter the church to notice the ceramic tributes to the city’s potters. Visit restaurants and bars and try the local delicacy of Staffordshire oatcake, which resembles a cheesy pancake with a choice of meat.
Since Stoke-on-Trent formed as a fusion of six separate towns, it has several town centers. Travel south to Trentham for the Trentham Monkey Forest and the Trentham Gardens. The vestiges of Trentham Hall overlook the gardens, where a lake, playground and Italian Gardens have plenty of appeal for a fun family excursion.
Head east to Longton for the Longton Exchange and the Longton Park. This district’s highlight is the iconic Gladstone Pottery Museum, whose smoky bricks testify to more than a century of coal-fired pottery production. Observe staff presentations and workshops to learn about the process. Other pottery behemoths in Stoke-on-Trent include the Hanley Potteries Museum and the World of Wedgwood.
Continue east with your family to Alton Towers, Britain’s largest amusement park. Based around the crumbling vestiges of a stately home, the 500-acre (202-hectare) site is split into many lands. Brace yourself for Oblivion’s vertical drop and the corkscrews of Nemesis. Stay at one of the hotels and watch your kids have fun in the water park.
This Staffordshire city stands between Nottingham and Wales in the West Midlands of England. Arrive at the nearby airports of Manchester or Birmingham or take a train from London to arrive here in 90 minutes.
Verdant parks and pottery factories mark the cityscape of Stoke-on-Trent.