Stoke on Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme - the ceramic city and surrounding area
Stoke on Trent – The ceramic city, a green city, the city of Arnold Bennett’s 5 Towns – but he used poetic licence as the city is actually made up of 6 towns – Longton, Fenton, Stoke-upon-Trent, Hanley (today’s city centre) Burslem and Tunstall
Sadly many people think of the area as industrial and probably picture it as it factories and make, dirt and grime – well at the height of the Pottery Industry it was – but today the city is ‘A Green City’ clean and green – there are over 100 green areas, parks, country park and nature reserves as well as the revitalised Trent and Mersey and Caldon Canals with modern canalside living and well used for leisure by locals and visitors alike. (Black Prince offer canal boat holidays from their base at the Festival Park Marina, Etruria).
There is also a network of Green Routes for walkers and cyclists (utilising old railway track beds and the canal towpaths). It is possible to cycle from one end of the city to the other without cycling on the roads. It is also looking to be a ‘Green Energy City’ with work being done on utilising ‘cutting edge’ Geothermal Energy for district heating and it has the excellent Centre of Regeneration and Enterprise (CoRE)
For simplification we have included the heighbouring Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme, which ajoins the city of Stoke on Trent, but has kept its identity as a market town and unviersity town with the Keele University Estate being about 3 miles from the town centre.
Accessibility Stoke Shopmobility hire equipment in the city centre / Hanley to help them do their shopping and maintain their independence - see www.stoke.gov.uk/...
Newcastle Shopmobility provides mobility equipment for use within Newcastle City Centre and based at Eldon Garden Shopping Centre see - www.newcastle.gov.uk/...
Other accessibility information for the area may be found on the Accessible Countryside for Everyone website - www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk/staffordshire
These are a sample of the attractions around the area – please see the Attractions page for more
Alton Towers is probably the most popular attraction, with it’s Theme Park, Water Park, Enchanted Forest Tree Top Quest, Spa and exceptional Gardens
Acceeibility - Accessible toilets, wheelchair access to most of the park - note from access statement "Please note, due to the very hilly nature of our site which can make powered buggies very unstable, we do not allow them into the Theme Park and in CBeebies Land", a Changing Places facility is Located in the X Sector and a Space to Change facility is located in Fountain Square
Biddulph Grange Garden – (NT) – Victorian garden, “created by James Bateman for his collection of plants from around the world…A visit takes you on a global journey from Italy to the pyramids of Egypt, a Victorian vision of China and a re-creation of a Himalayan glen”
Accessibility - "Narrow gravel paths, over 400 steps and tunnels throughout the garden...Access toilet adjacent to the visitor reception", Baby-changing facilities
Etruria Industrial Museum and Heritage Centre – Etruria, Stoke on Trent – “home of Jesse Shirley’s 1857 Bone and Flint Mill, the only remaining operational Steam Driven Potters’ Mill in the world”, Victorian factory mill, cafe, canalside walks
Accessibility - disabled toilets "Unfortunately there is limited access for those with mobility difficulties to enter the mill"
Ford Green Hall is a timber-framed yeoman’s farmhouse of 1624 with 18th century brick additions, complete with period garden, visit for an insight into 17th century life, rooms are furnished with an outstanding collection of textiles, ceramics and furniture, shop and tea room
WaterWorld – Festival Park, Etruria, Stoke on Trent – the UK’s No.1 indoor tropical aqua park – baby & toddler area, indoor and outdoor pools, range of slides, aqua disco, cafés, bar
Trentham Gardens an award winning garden the Italian Gardens, landscaped parkland and a mile long Capability Brown designed lake, offer the visitor enjoyable gardens to wander through, picnic and play in. There is an adventure playground, hide and speak maze and miniature train ride along the lakeside. The estate also has a Retail Village, Garden Centre, Monkey Forest and Aerial Extreme
Accessibility - All on one level with low ramped access to most facilities, accessible toilets and baby changing facilities. There is a Changing Places facility in the Shopping Village
The World of Wedgwood (inc Wedgwood Museum) – Barlaston, Stoke on Trent – iconic pottery factory and museum, “the story of Josiah Wedgwood, his family, and the company he founded two-and-a-half centuries ago” – world class collections, factory tour, creative craft experiences, nature trail, cafés, shop
Accessibility - The Museum is fully accessible for wheelchair users, wheelchairs available to hire, accessible toilets, baby changing facilities, a loop system for the hard of hearing
Brampton Museum and Art Gallery a hiden gem sitting in its own grounds above Newcaste Town, view Victorian shop windows of the chemists shop, scary tools in the doctors surgery and objects in the pawnbrokers shop, local history, art collection, exhibitions, eight galleries - situated in Brampton Park
Accessibility - disabled toilets, wheelchair access available to all areas and a lift to the first floor, portable induction loop at reception and also an induction loop in the main gallery, baby changing facilities< br /> www.newcastle-staffs.gov.uk/bramptonmuseum
Potteries Museum & Art Gallery – Hanley, Stoke on Trent – Art gallery includes works of art by Picasso, Durer and Degas – museum has a Spitfire, world class pottery collections, local natural history, collection of costume and textiles dating from the 15th century to the present day, and “The Staffordshire Hoard”
Accessibility - Secret Garden – a sensory oasis with plants and fungi to smell and touch, all public areas, including the café and museum are accessible by lift, ramps and stairs, baby changing facilities, accessible toilets, visitor desk and Forum Theatre are fitted with induction loops
www.stokemuseums.org.uk/visit/pmag and www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk/event/see-it-in-stoke
The Regent Theatre - Hanley Cultural Quarter, restored Art Deco building, has a variety of performing arts programmes from Panto to Opera
Accessibility - Disabled toilets, disabled access, baby changing facilities
New Vic Theatre Etruria Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, modern purpose-built theatre-in-the-round, has a programme of international-class work, café and bar and a theatre shop
Accessibility - wheelchair access throughout the building (with the exception of the balcony) and an accessible lift from the ground floor to the first floor, a magnetic induction loop in the auditorium (not available for amplified performances), Box Office and Front of House desks and Infra-red assisted hearing system in the auditorium, also offer Familiarisation tours, which give visually impaired customers a chance to acquaint themselves with the building and its facilities
The Victoria Hall - Hanley Cultural Quarter, modernised but retaining its Victorian splendour the concert hall is a popular venue for classical concerts but offers a wide variety of music performances and other events, modern cafe bars
Accessibility - Disabled toilets, disabled access, baby changing facilities
Stoke on Trent Repertory Theatre - a purpose built venue operated and staffed by volunteers. It offeers a programme by the Rep Players, one night performers, and visiting companies.
Accessibility - level ground-floor access to the foyer and auditorium where wheelchair access is available on Row B, there is an induction loop provided for the use of hearing aid users
Stoke Film Theatre an independent cinema situated on Staffordshire University's College Road campus, a purpose-built 213-seat auditorium. The emphasis is on films which have either not been shown or have received a very limited release at the local multiplex cinemas.
Accessibility - wheelchair access, audio loop system (may be heard by switching an appropriately fitted hearing aid to the 'T' position), selected films are made available with Audio Description. Returnable infra-red headsets are available for use with these films
Ceramics & Pottery Attractions
To anyone with an interest in ceramics these will be familiar as the homes to famous pottery names such as Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Spode, Masons, Tams, Ainsley and many more – today the pottery tradition continues with production by Wade, Portmerrion, Moorcroft and Emma Bridgewater. A good starting point is the Ceramics Trail
World of Wedgwood an interactive visitor centre experience celebrating the very best of British craftsmanship. Experience Wedgwood for the day through shopping, food, visitor tours and art and craft workshops. The site in on the old Wedgwood Estate at Barlaston, a countryside setting on the edge of the city, the factory was of such importance it had its own railway station on the main line. – Accessibility The Museum is fully accessible for wheelchair users, wheelchairs available to hire, accessible toilets, baby changing facilities, a loop system for the hard of hearing
Moorcroft Heritage Visitor Centre has been described as the jewel in Stoke-on-Trent’s crown. Moorcroft’s unique handcrafted, quality, collectable art pottery. Factory tour, museum, shop and historic bottle oven
Middleport Pottery home of world famous Burleigh pottery which has been made here since 1889 and the pottery used in TV’s Great Pottery Throw Down. Visitor centre, cafe, factory tours, and events – Accessibility hard surface paths from car park to visitor reception and shop (some parts are cobbled) visitor reception – a level entrance, with a step that can be raised for wheelchair users, please note, the factory tour includes four sizeable staircases and several smaller steps; there is no seating on the way around, access to limited areas of the factory tour for those with mobility needs and wheelchair users
Royal Stafford is based in the Royal Overhouse Manufactory, one of the oldest pottery factories in Burslem as well as a factory shop it has a Ceramic Cafe a place to wind down and enjoy decorating your very own, individual piece of pottery
Longton and Fenton
Gladstone Pottery Museum the only complete Victorian pottery factory from the days when coal burning ovens made the world’s finest bone china
when visiting Gladstone – Accessibility There is permanent ramp access to entrance with handrail on one side, hearing loop system installed at the counter, wheelchair loan, manual or powered is available, external areas of the museum are cobbled, the surface is ramped for level access step free thresholds, accessible toilets
pop up the road to the . . .
…Enson Works Exhibition an animated history of the Enson works and the only place in Britain where you can publically view a bottle kiln from above – Accessibility Not all areas of this historic building are wheelchair accessible, but information in less accessible places is repeated on the kiosk by the door. Access is via short street which is cobbled
Valentine Clays Ceramics Centre at its modern facility in Fenton has a ceramic gallery, exhibition programme, workshop facility and courses
Dudson Museum “the oldest surviving family business in the ceramic tableware industry, explore the original Dudson factory courtyard and enjoy the unique experience of stepping inside the Grade II listed bottle oven to view the collection and to trace the fascinating history of the Dudson company’s production from 1800 to the present day”.
Emma Bridgewater producing pottery today in a Victorian pottery factory on the banks of the Caldon Canal, factory tours, cafe, and decorating studio – Accessibility Access on factory tours isn’t a problem but with it being a busy working environment we advise visitors to inform us of any access requirements (e.g. wheelchair or pushchair) at time of booking. There three main entrance doors (Cafe, Decorating Studio, and Gift Shop) are accessed via the courtyard.
Spode Museum Trust Heritage Centre set in Josiah Spode’s former pottery, the birthplace of Bone China, museum displays and activities, exhibitions, events, cafe, shop – Accessibility There is ramped access to the doors of the centre and between the two main display areas within the centre. The gallery is accessible if you use a wheelchair or are bringing a buggy. There are chairs in different places in the exhibition areas if you would like to sit down. There are some tactile items on display
Portmeirion do not have a visitor centre or offer factory tours but the stoke factory does have a Factory Shop
Country Parks & Nature
Apedale Valley Light Railway & Apedale Community Country Park are located on the outskirts of the Newcastle, 454 acres of parkland reclaimed from the coal mining industry, Visitor Centre, walks, outdoor activities etc Accessibility baby changing, disabled access, disabled toilets
Westport Lake, created alongside the Trent and Mersey Canal is a nature reserve consisting of two lakes and a conservation area. It includes a Visitor Centre and play area – Accessibility accessible toilet and baby changing facilities
Greenway Bank Country Park – Brindley Ford – Old estate parkland retaining many of the original and interesting historical features with 114 acres of beautiful woodland walks around the Serpentine Lake and Knypersley reservoir. Children’s adventure play area adjacent to the visitor centre – Accessibility baby changing, disabled access, disabled toilets
Biddulph Grange Country Park – Biddulph – Based on the Victorian theme of landscaped views combined with natural features, the 73 acre park offers woodlands, meadows, a large lake and ponds. Paths have been restored and new ones created to give easy access throughout the park. Adjacent to Biddulph Grange (see top of page)
Park Hall Country Park – Nr Longton – Over 300 acres of grassland, woodland heathland and wetland areas, with a Local and a National Nature Reserves, Sandstone canyon, ( contains nationally important red sandstone and pebble beds, which were deposited between 250 and 215 million years ago) Pine Forest, Lakes and ponds, (9 hole pitch and put now closed)
Many of the Stoke ‘towns’ have a Victorian Park, these typically have the traditional formal flower beds, ornamental trees, terrace gardens, ornamental fountains, Victorian buildings and bandstands with more modern play areas and sports areas. Fine examples are Hanley and Burslem parks
Hanley also has its Central Forest Park an open park with walks, cycling, sports and skateboarding. A reclaimed coal mine area now green and full of wildlife.
Tourist Information Centres
Stoke-on-Trent Tourist Information Centre can be found at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Bethesda Street, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire ST1 3DW
phone - 01782 236000
website - www.visitstoke.co.uk
Newcastle-under-Lyme tourist information is provided by the Visit Newcastle under Lyme website visitcastle.co.uk