Manchester and Day Trips Out


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by John Moss
unless otherwise credited

The Staffordshire Potteries

Day Trips Out from

The Six Towns

The famous six towns
of Stoke-on-Trent, immortalised by the writer Arnold Bennett (though
he created a fictitious five towns), have a tradition of fine pottery-making
going back over 300 years. These six towns – Tunstall, Burslem,
Hanley, Stoke, Fenton and Longton – span an area running north to
south for about 10 miles following the River Trent and the Trent
& Mersey Canal, and all now fall within the City of Stoke-on-Trent
– these are the Staffordshire Potteries.
The Potteries are an easy day trip out from Manchester. By car or
by train from Piccadilly
, they are about an hour’s travelling time. Easily accessible
from the M6 motorway, or by the main A34 trunk road which runs directly
into the centre of Stoke.
Fine decorated pottery wares have been made here by companies whose
names are now synonymous with history and quality – Wedgwood, Minton,
Spode, Royal Doulton and Copeland among them.

Burslem in the Potteries Middleport PotteryTrent & Mersey Canal in Stoke
Bottle Kilns and Potteries seen from the
Trent & Mersey Canal in Stoke

Wedgwood & The

It is not coincidental
that the Potteries came to be in north Staffordshire, for the surrounding
towns had ample supplies of coal, clay and water on their doorstep.
By the 1680s the area had emerged as the main pottery centre in
Britain. By 1760, Josiah Wedgwood had already become a master potter
to Queen Charlotte, (wife of King George III), and later set up
his first pottery factory at Middleport and later at Etruria. The
Etruria “Bone & Flint” factory has recently undergone
extensive restoration, financed by the Heritage fund, and was reopened
to the public in 2002.
Regrettably, in the wake of the 2008-2009 credit crisis and resultant
recession, the modern Wedgwood factory, just a few miles north on
the Trent & Mersey Canal, has closed and workers laid off due
to falling sales, the virtual cessation of banking loans and working
capital and a more-or-less catastrophic collapse in consumer confidence.


James Brindley & the Trent
& Mersey Canal

Canals arrived in the
late 1770s creating a lifeline to the Mersey in the Northwest and
the River Trent and the Humber estuary in the east, so that raw
materials and finished goods could be transported quickly and cheaply
to all parts of Britain, and thence on to the world. James
Trent & Mersey Canal runs directly through the
potteries, and on its course lie most of the main factories; built
in 1777, it is one of the oldest in Britain.
The bottle-shaped brick kiln ovens sprang up all over the region,
and many still survive, giving the Potteries their distinctive character.
A walk along the towpath of the Trent
& Mersey Canal
from Longport Marina ( just off the B5051 road
and immediately accessible from Junction 16 on the M6 Motorway ) to
the top of Stoke Locks at Etruria Junction (a short walk from the
A53 Etruria Road or accessed by car from Lower Bedford Street) is
a virtual walk through the history of industrial Staffordshire.

Gladstone Museum, Stoke on Trent
The Gladstone Museum, Staffordshire Potteries. Aerial photograoh courtesy
of Webb Aviation © 2008.

Tourist Information in Stoke

All in all, there is plenty to see
during a day trip. Visit the Stoke Tourist Information Centre to pick
up town maps and tourist guides, or get them from any of the following
museums and galleries. NOTE: The towns have about 30
Factory Shops all selling their own distinctive brands of pottery and
ceramics. These include Argyle China, Aynsley China, Bridgewater Factory
Shop, Churchill China, Cobridge Stoneware, Compton & Woodhouse,
Hartley Greens & Co, Moorcroft, Moorland Pottery, Portmeirion Potteries,
Royal Doulton, Royal Stratford, Royal Winton, Staffordshire Tableware,
Tams and Wedgwood-Waterford Factory Shops.
Also enquire about Factory Shops at the Tourist Information Centre.
Stoke-on-Trent Information

Quadrant Road, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 1RZ. Tel: 01782-236000.
Fax: 01782-236005
Email: Website:

Group Travel Guide
To organise party trips to the Potteries, get the free Group Travel
Guide on Tel: 01782-232701 .

>Buses Around the Potteries
The local bus company, First Bus PMT, organises special buses and
bus routes at certain times to help visitors around the potteries.
For information, please contact: Tel: 01782-207999.

A taxi stand is available from outside the Railway Station

Qualified Official Guides
Qualified Visitor Guides are available for pre-booked and escorted
tour. Contact Stoke-on-Trent Tourist Information Centre (above)
for details.

Map of Stoke-on-Trent Region

To see a large scale road map of the Potteries click
This is a very large format and may take a while to load fully – please
be patient.

Places of interest and things to do in the Potteries

Royal Doulton

Nile Street, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent ST6 2AJ. Tel: 01782-292434
Email: Website:
Visitor Centre open Mon-Sat from 9.30am-5.00pm, and Sundays from 10.30am-4.30pm.

(Please check before setting out – times may have changed).
Factory Shop and Factory Tours available – prior booking essential.
Set in the original Victorian building, world’s largest collection of
pottery figures. Also theatre, museum, restaurant.

The World of Spode
Church Street, Stoke-on-Trent S T4 1BX. Tel: 01782-744011
Email: Website:
Visitor Centre & Shops open Mon-Sat from 9.00am-5.00pm, Sundays
from 10.00am-4.00pm. Please ring for Bank Holiday opening times. (Please
check before setting out – times may have changed).
Audio-visual presentations, museum, conference facilities, guided tours,
hands-on workshops, gift shop and licenced restaurant onsite.

The Wedgwood Story

Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent. Tel: 01782-204218. Fax: 01782-374083.
Large Factory/Museum/Tours about 4 miles south of Stoke centre at Barlaston.

Open Mon-Fri from 9.00am-5.00pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10.00am-5.00pm.

(Please check before setting out – times may have changed).
Visitor Centre includes factory tour, exhibitions, shop, licenced 200
seater restaurant and smaller bistro.

The Potteries Museum
& Art Gallery

Bethesda Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 3DE. Tel: 01782-232323.
Email: Website:
Open from around 10.00am-4.00pm in winter and until 5.00pm in summertime,
afternoons on Sundays. (Please check before setting out – times may
have changed).
Displays of Staffordshire ceramics (naturally). Interactive displays,
crafts shop, souvenirs, books, etc.

Gladstone Pottery Museum

Uttoxeter Road, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent ST3 1PQ. Tel: 01782-319232.
Fax: 01782-598640.
Open Wed-Sun from 10.00am-4.00pm, except Christmas and New Year.
(Please check before setting out – times may have changed).
Pottery throwing and decoration demonstrations. Exclusive Chintz Tearoom.

Etruria Industrial Museum

Lower Bedford Street, Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 7AF. Tel: 01782-233144.
Fax: 01782-233145.
Email: Website:
Open Wed-Sun from 10.00am-4.00pm. (Please check before setting out
– times may have changed).
Britain’s only surviving steam powered potter’s mill with 1820s beam
engine, located in the old Bone and Flint Mill below Stoke Lock No.2.

Visitor Centre with changing exhibitions. Blacksmith’s forge and canal-side
setting. Mill in steam from April to December. Designated an outstanding

The Dudson Museum
The Dudson Centre, Hope Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 5DD. Tel:
Open Mon-Fri from 10.00am-3.00pm. (Please check before setting out
– times may have changed).
Exhibition of 200 year old family tableware pottery. Visit the bottle
kiln, and see exhibits of Dudson pottery including figurines, jasperware,
stoneware and hotelware. Café and shop on site.

Potteries Antique Centre

271 Waterloo Road, Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent ST6 3HR. Tel: 01782-201455.
Fax: 01782-201518.
Email: Website:
Open Mon-Sat from 9.00am-5.30pm and on Sundays from 10.00am-4.30pm.

(Please check before setting out – times may have changed).
A good place to buy pottery antiques – large selection of local pottery
including Doulton, Wade and Wedgwood, etc. Also antique furniture, jewellery
and other collector’s items. Specialise in local manufacturers.

Ceramics Search

(Top of Hill Antiques) Bur sley Pottery, 12-14 Nile Street, Burslem,
Stoke-on-Trent ST6 2AF.
Tel: 01782-834506. Email: Website:
A search service for out-of-production collectibles (Wedgwood, Doulton,
Beswick, Moorcroft, Wade, Coalport, etc. Also collectibles on sale
including furniture and antiques in 12 Georgian showrooms. Feel free
to browse.

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© John Moss, Papillon Graphics AD 2013 Manchester, United Kingdom – all rights reserved.
This page last updated 16 Nov 12.