Trains to Stoke-on-Trent
Stoke-on-Trent, the UK's ceramics capital, has a centuries-old clay tradition. Famous names like Spode, Wedgwood and Emma Bridgewater all call this city home. Take a train to Stoke for a mix of pottery, canals and plenty of creative energy.
Culture and heritage
Step off the train in Stoke-on-Trent and you'll be immediately struck by the city's artistic culture. This self-proclaimed World Capital of Ceramics has been shaping clay for centuries, and its six towns - Stoke-on-Trent, Hanley, Longton, Fenton, Burslem and Tunstall - are bursting with character, together known as The Potteries.
Each has its own flavour, from the boutiques and cultural venues of Hanley's lively Cultural Quarter to the historic pottery factories and canalside trails of Burslem. But creativity unites them all.
No matter where you go in Stoke-on-Trent, you'll be surrounded by art and design. From the intricate patterns on a Wedgwood plate to the graffiti on a city wall, creativity is everywhere you look.
Just steps from the station, see pottery pioneer Josiah Wedgwood immortalised in statue form.
Beyond the cultural draw, Stoke makes for easy and affordable exploration. Compact in size, the city is perfect for walking. And you'll find plenty of free attractions like museums, parks and markets to enjoy.
So hop off the train ready to dive into Stoke's many charms - The Potteries will work their magic on you.
Unleash your inner artist, explore world-class ceramics or monkey around with Barbary macaques in Stoke-on-Trent. This quirky city is a pottery paradise where creativity meets history playfully.
Begin your adventure with a brief walk from the station to Hanley's Potteries Museum , home to the world's most extensive collection of Staffordshire ceramics, including renowned brands like Wedgwood , Spode , Minton, Gladstone and Royal Doulton . The museum also proudly showcases the Staffordshire Hoard , a remarkable assembly of Anglo-Saxon treasures.
For a hands-on experience, journey a short distance from the station to factory museums like the Emma Bridgewater Factory in Hanley. Here, you can paint your own plate or take afternoon tea in china cups amidst Emma Bridgewater's vibrant designs.
Don't miss the opportunity to explore Dudson , a lesser-known china brand, and their unique free museum, housed within an original redbrick bottle-shaped kiln.
Witness skilled potters at their craft at the canalside Middleport Pottery ., and wander the historic redbrick factory with a bottle oven, Victorian offices and a fully restored steam engine. Stop at the canalside café and visit the Burleigh factory shop, both free of charge, to complete the experience.
Spend quality time with the resident Barbary macaque monkeys at Monkey Forest , just south of the city, the Trentham estate, or explore the estate's captivating trails and gardens, providing hours of family-friendly entertainment.
Food and drink
In Stoke-on-Trent, explore the city's culinary roots alongside creative contemporary fare. Taste history with a Staffordshire oatcake, a beloved regional snack of oat flatbread stacked with fillings, once fuel for pottery workers. Warm, fresh oatcakes fly off the griddle at Staffordshire Oatcakes or try gluten-free versions too.
At Middleport Pottery , sample hearty lobby stew, another local staple of meat, veggies and pearl barley that sustained potters.
For charming meals, step into Rabbit Hole 's Alice in Wonderland whimsy for afternoon tea and light lunches on vintage porcelain.
At The Quarter , dine on brunch, Sunday roasts and Staffordshire oatcakes amid the sleek-meets-industrial vibe of a former Spode pottery factory. Live music spills from their outdoor Factory Floor stage on summer nights.
Sports and outdoors
Get ready to play in Stoke-on-Trent's sports and outdoors wonderland! From thrilling water parks and serene canal walks to cheering on local football teams, Stoke's active spirit is contagious.
Step into a sprawling green oasis in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent when you visit Hanley Park . Just a 10-minute walk from the train station, you'll find manicured lawns, a boating lake and a Victorian bandstand that hosts free summer concerts. On a warm summer day, there's nothing better than relaxing on the lawn with a picnic.
For more peaceful scenery, stroll along the Trent and Mersey Canal towpath admiring colourful narrowboats. The easy walk takes you past Middleport Pottery , which briefly featured in the BBC drama Peaky Blinders.
Explore The Potteries Tile Trail , a self-guided tour of Stoke's pottery landmarks in six sections. Download one of the walks from the Visit Stoke website and look for interesting examples of ceramics in buildings and public spaces as you walk by.
Cheer on the local football teams, Stoke City aka the Potters at the bet365 stadium with 27,000 roaring fans draped in red and white, or Port Vale FC at Vale Park. Stoke-on-Trent Rugby Union club plays at Hartwell Lane.
Music and nightlife
When the sun goes down in Stoke-on-Trent, creativity sparks to life across pubs, bars, theatres and music venues.
In the Cultural Quarter of Hanley, pre-show buzz fills the art deco auditorium of the Regent Theatre as theatre-goers take their seats for spectacular West End musicals, drama, comedy and opera. Down the road, the sound of classical music and tribute acts, engaging talks and comedy hit all the right notes in Victoria Hall ’s outstanding concert space.
Quench your thirst at laid-back pubs like The Glebe serving local ales in cosy nooks or gather the gang for cocktails and a friendly buzz at high-energy bars like Bloom . Sip inventive tipples at Alchemist as molecular mixology works its magic. At Bottlecraft , talk terroir over biodynamic wine flights and chatty tasters of small-batch beers and ciders.
In Stoke-on-Trent, shopping tempts around every corner, from high street favourites to quirky boutiques that channel the city's creative spirit.
Just a 10-minute walk from the station, Hanley's streets burst with retail therapy options. Browse four floors of big brands at the modern Potteries Centre mall or get lost in the twists and turns of the vintage shops, record stores and hidden gem boutiques along Piccadilly. Stop for a bite at the international food stalls in Market Square market , entertained by street performers and buskers.