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Stoke on Trent: Exploration Starts at Home!

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Travel = Discovery + Adventure. There is no better place to start your travel adventures than your home town or city. I grew up in the middle of England, on the outskirts of a city called Stoke-on-Trent. It is also referred to as Stoke. What’s on your doorstep waiting for you to discover?

Stoke is not well known internationally, but many famous musicians, actors and entrepreneurs were born there or were residents. For example, the highly successful singer/songwriter Robbie Williams was born in Stoke. As was Josiah Wedgwood, the master potter that founded the Wedgwood company. Other notable past residents include rock legends, Slash of Guns n Roses, Lemmy of Motorhead. Finally, Edward John Smith, Captain of the infamous ship Titanic was also from the area.

Living in this part of the World offers many exciting attractions and activities. Here are a few activities you can get up to in my hometown of Stoke-on-Trent, England.

The Heart of the Pottery Industry

First of all, if you are looking for a new hobby, then visit this city known as ‘The Potteries.’ Although it is actually 5 towns, Hanley, Burslem, Fenton, Tunstall and Stoke. In the mid-18th century Stoke become the epicentre of the ceramic industry, because of one local man Josiah Wedgwood, who founded the hugely successful, Wedgewood China Company. His success lead to other pottery companies, setting up in the area, for example, Royal Doulton, Portmeirion and Aynsley.

Today, a love of pottery is celebrated daily at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery and World of Wedgwood, where visitors can learn about pottery techniques and admire hundreds of intricate and delicate ceramic creations. At the Emma Bridgewater Factory you can take a factory tour to understand the pottery process from beginning to end. To get your love of pottery ignited, check out the TV show ‘The Great Pottery Throw Down.’ It is actually recorded at the Emma Bridgewater Factory in Hanley and broadcast on BBC.

Stoke Pottery

Countryside

Stoke has easy access to some of the most beautifully and natural countryside England has to offer. Dove Dale, Rudyard Lake and Trentham Estate, are 3 beautiful places well worth visiting. Here you can explore and hike many meadows, hills and lakes. Trentham Estate has a grand manor house, an estate with a monkey park and a high ropes adventure course. All result in, a great place to spend the afternoon. This unique experience involves walking through 60 acres of tranquil English forest, with 140 Barbary macaques roaming free. You can also face  your fear of heights on a rope course amongst the trees.

Stoke on Trent

Adrenaline Adventure

Stoke has two major fun destinations. The first is the countries number one indoor waterpark, Water World and the second is the theme park Alton Towers. Both have multiple rollercoasters and rides, each worthy of a full day trip.

WaterWorld, Hanley

Landmarks

Arrivals to Stoke on Trent, normally enter via the Victorian grade II listed train station, it first opened in 1848. Admire the exterior architecture, constructed with dark red bricks, with black diapering and stone dressings.

A great attraction is the Apedale Heritage Centre, that explores the lost industries of the Apedale Valley. Along with visiting the museum, at weekends you can take a guided tour around an authentic drift mine. It’s a unique experience. Finish your trip to the café to taste the traditional North Staffordshire oatcakes, which are delicious!!!

Before you leave Stoke-on-Trent, take a trip to the 17th century historical site of Ford Green Hall. This timber-framed farmhouse is situated next to the Whitfield Valley Nature Reserve. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon. Exploring the estate with a guided tour so as not to miss any of the historical stories.

Staffordshire Moorlands, Stoke

Nightlife in Stoke on Trent

Many moons ago Stoke was the IT place to be in the Midlands. However, nowadays the party people have moved to the larger surrounding cities, like Birmingham and Manchester. A fun night can still be had in the Potteries. All major London musicals tour the country and they always come to the Regent Theatre in Hanley. The concert venue, The Victoria Hall, also in Hanley, often has a great programme of events. Best-selling artists and comedians regularly visit.

What attractions, historical sites and fun activities are waiting for you on your doorstep? Share your favourite things to do in your hometown below.

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Helen_Critchley

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I live abroad living my dream of being a Freelance Writer.  With 10 years travel experience I specialise in blogging and creating unique travel itineraries. My favourite countries are the USA and New Zealand because they have so many beautiful and diverse landscapes to explore and exciting attractions to visit.  My travel dream is to complete a road trip across the USA, from the east coast to the west. 

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