Stoke may be the heart of England’s pottery industry, but there are other fun things to do in this North Staffordshire town. From gardens to museum, shopping and theatre, there is something for every age and taste in Stoke.
Located on Stone Road, Trentham Gardens is one of the most popular destinations in the area. Open year-round, the gardens offer a peaceful place to rest and relax or enjoy the fine weather.
The gardens are so popular, they’ve won numerous awards, including: 2013 Enjoy Staffordshire Tourism Gold Award and the 2015 Gold Accolade by Visit England.
Visitors can explore and enjoy several gardens, including the Italian Gardens, Rivers of Grass, Floral Labyrinth and the show gardens. Trentham Lake is at the center of the gardens, and the nearby trail takes you to River Trent.
Children can play and have fun in the adventure playground, or get lost in the hide and speak maze. The fairy trail brings magic and charm to the gardens.
Trentham Gardens is dog-friendly, and there is always something going on in the park.
Admission prices vary throughout the year, and the gardens are open every day except Christmas.
Trentham Monkey Forest
Animal lovers should put the Trentham Monkey Forest at the top of their must-see list. The 60-acre woodland park is home to 140 free-roaming Barbary macaques. These brilliant creatures live in two separate groups in the forest – just as they would out in the wild.
Each group has its own network of families with monkeys of all ages. Visitors get a rare opportunity to see these endangered creatures up-close.
Visitors walk with the monkeys along the 3/4-mile path, but must remain at least one meter distance from these wild animals.
While you’re there, stick around for the hourly feeding talks to learn more about the monkeys. Stop in to the Banana Cafe to get a bite to eat, or enjoy your meal out in the picnic areas. The Jungle Shop sells a variety of monkey memorabilia, so you can be reminded of your visit to this unique park.
The park is open daily in the spring and summer, and admission prices vary throughout the year. Call or visit online to find out current admission fees and opening times.
Gladstone Pottery Museum
The Gladstone Pottery Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, and educates visitors on the history of pottery. Given Stoke-on-Trent’s deep connection to the pottery industry, no visit to town would be complete without a stop at the Gladstone Pottery Museum.
Visitors can see the bone china tableware created in the original workshops, and the bottle kilns used in the former Gladstone China Works. The workshop has been preserved, and is now the last complete pottery factory in England from the Victorian era.
See first-hand what it was like for men, women and children to work in the factory. Guests can also try their hand at making their own pottery.
The museum has a free car park for convenience. Expect to spend two to three hours at the museum.
Biddulph Grange Garden
The Biddulph Grange Garden is a lovely Victorian garden with a history that dates back to the 19th century. Situated on the grounds of the Biddulph Grange estate, there are several gardens to explore with themes of countries from all over the world.
From Egypt to China and Italy, each garden and its theme takes you to a whole new world. Other garden themes include: western terrace, the glen, lime avenue, Cheshire cottage, dahlia walk, the stumpery, cherry orchard, and more.
The gardens are worth an afternoon of exploring.
After a day of walking, visitors can stop in to the tea room for a drink and a light meal. There’s also a gift shop on site with a plant centre. Tours are available, and parking is free.
The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery
The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery is open daily and free to enter. Visitors take a trip back in time to view one of the greatest collections of Staffordshire ceramics in the world. Along with ceramics, guests can view decorative arts and a Spitfire from World War II.
The Secret Garden offers respite, with a collection of plants and fungi. The museum’s collection also includes works from iconic artists, like Durer, Picasso and Degas.
Located on Bethesda Street, the museum is a must-see for fans of ceramics and art.
Churnet Valley Railway
Churnet Valley Railway takes guests on a journey back to the early days of railway travel. The railway travels through a rural rail line through Staffordshire’s beautiful countryside in a place called “Little Switzerland.”
The railway runs solely on the help of volunteers, and visitors can choose to ride the Moorlander Dining Train to enjoy a cup of tea and a meal.