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Manchester to Stoke-on-Trent Day Trip

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Manchester, United...
posts: 108
Manchester to Stoke-on-Trent Day Trip

I live in Manchester and was considering various close cities for a day trip (e.g. 11h00 to 20h00) in December and January, and perhaps later as well. Is Stoke-on-Trent a good place for leisurely sightseeing close to Manchester by train?

Manchester, UK
posts: 486
reviews: 65
1. Re: Manchester to Stoke-on-Trent Day Trip

What sort of day out are you looking for? Historic city, market town, seaside resort, industrial heritage sites? There are plenty of options using Manchester as a base, but I'm afraid I'd put Stoke-on-Trent pretty near the bottom of the list. Fine if you're looking for knock-down prices on porcelain and tableware at the many factory shops in the area, but otherwise, well...

In their various ways, I'd recommend Chester, Liverpool, Lancaster, Leeds, York as interesting cities to visit; smaller towns such as Buxton, Bakewell, Knutsford, Holmfirth are all well worth a wander around; you could get to seaside places such as Llandudno, Conwy or even Scarborough by train for the day; and there's the likes of Ironbridge or Saltaire for industrial archaeology. Let us know your particular interest(s) and we'll be able to offer some more specific suggestions.

Manchester, United...
posts: 108
2. Re: Manchester to Stoke-on-Trent Day Trip

I am looking for an historic type of city with a fairly compact city centre around which to walk and has enough for tourists in one day by walking around. An example would be York, which I have visited almost five times. I have visited Leeds, Liverpool, Durham, Alnwick, Edinburgh, Chester-le-Street, Hexham, etc. and I am not sure if Stoke is comparable in historical or leisure tourism to somewhere like York,, Durham, or Alnwick, which I enjoyed.

Manchester, UK
posts: 486
reviews: 65
3. Re: Manchester to Stoke-on-Trent Day Trip

The short answer to your question is no, though I'm prepared to be shot down in flames by locals from the Potteries who may know about attractions in and around Stoke-on-Trent that have so far eluded me.

Shrewsbury might be an option for you - direct trains from Manchester to a lovely historic town (not a city, but there's enough there to fill a day); stuffed full of 'black and white' buildings, churches, good shopping, walks along the banks of the River Severn, etc.

I also particularly like Lincoln, which has a magnificent cathedral and a lively city centre, but it's not the easiest to reach by train from Manchester.

Manchester, United...
posts: 2,288
reviews: 70
4. Re: Manchester to Stoke-on-Trent Day Trip

I'm agreeing with Fawlty Towers Watch- Stoke isn't somewhere I'd suggest for a day trip, particularly if you're using public transport. There's the Potteries Museum (the name is for the area not the type of material it houses) in the centre which has some of the Staffordshire Hoard on show, a Spitfire as well as products from the local china & pottery factories. The remaining working potteries, their shops & museums, and the further away attractions such as Trentham Gardens would be more practical if you were driving.

Otherwise, as you haven't been I'd also recommend Chester - easily a day in itself as with Roman & medieval architecture, the walls, cathedral etc - in summer a boat trip on the Dee might also appeal. It's also a good base for North Wales.

I'm echoing FTW with the other ideas too - for a full day, Shrewsbury, Buxton, Knutsford (with Tatton Park) & some of the others. For shorter trips and on a smaller scale there towns & large villages which are interesting with pleasant walks nearby - eg Alderley Edge - now upmarket with a busy main street & the Edge within a mile or so.

Tamworth, United...
Destination Expert
for Staffordshire
posts: 9,098
reviews: 8
5. Re: Manchester to Stoke-on-Trent Day Trip

I only visited Stoke once and that was enough for me. So another vote for giving it a miss. As an alternative perhaps you could look at Stratford upon Avon. Fabulous place for history. Tour buses and the town is compact enough to wander around. Lots of shops too and places go eat. Wander along the river, take a ride along it in one of the boats, butterfly farm and at the weekend open air theatre in the park.

Destination Expert
for Stoke-on-Trent
posts: 308
reviews: 346
6. Re: Manchester to Stoke-on-Trent Day Trip

Some of the posts on this forum link are accurate in as much as Stoke-on-Trent is a city made up of 6 towns, all 2 - 3 miles apart from each other and so due to their 'spread' it is not so easy to use public transport and see the very best parts. Manchester to Stoke is only 45 minutes by train and so I'd go for it if I was you but do one of the following :

A) bus or taxi to Hanley (city centre) and visit Emma Bridgwater pottery just outside Hanley, 500 m, 5 mins on foot followed by return to Hanley + do the Potteries museum , or vice versa

B) bus or taxi to Moorcroft pottery, shop, hands-on activities in Cobridge followed by taxi to Burleigh pottery, shop, hands-on activities in Burslem

C) bus or taxi to Wedgwood visitor experience at Barlaston, about 5 miles South of Stoke rail station

Here's an article I wrote about the Potteries for trip advisor with most things you'll need :


Hope that's useful !!

Stoke-on-Trent UK
posts: 43
reviews: 48
7. Re: Manchester to Stoke-on-Trent Day Trip

I think if you are into pottery then Stoke-on-Trent is the best place in the world to come and see the history and modern forms. Besides that, there is not a great deal else to see or do in Stoke itsself. Some of the towns near by have weekly markets, Leek springs to mind as a good market town with lots of antiques, this is a 30 min bus trip from Stoke.

Stafford, United...
Destination Expert
for Staffordshire
posts: 3,495
reviews: 113
8. Re: Manchester to Stoke-on-Trent Day Trip

I only live 16 miles away ,and was brought up in Hanley,Stoke-on-Trent ,but don't bother going to visit for a day out.

Stafford is advertised in the tourist brochures as having lot's to do & see and we do get quite a few visitors. But not the sort of place like Chester and York where you can be walking around all day with different interesting things to do & see.In the town centre itself is The Ancient High House and the Old Crown Courts to walk around,both free of charge to get in. .A couple of nice quaint tea rooms/restaurants in the original old buildings in the town. Stafford Castle is a couple of miles out from town, on a bus route, but apart from a visitor centre and the ruins of the castle there that's it.

Edited: 4:54 am, October 19, 2012
Destination Expert
for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
posts: 14,331
reviews: 90
9. Re: Manchester to Stoke-on-Trent Day Trip

I found Stoke really interesting and as it is only for a few hours it would be something different from the usual. Tours of the factories and the history of production like Minton (seem to remember another famous one nearby) where I watched a banquiting service for the richest men in the world being made. Each pottery usually has a museum & shop attached.

It took only a short time to get out to the countryside.

For another place to think of for the day is Worcester which is easy to walk round, there is the famous Worcester Porcelain factory that has some of the worlds best and excellent tour, the cathedral where King John is burried is beautiful. Lots of shops old & new & cafes. A nice relaxing day or Bath which has so much you can't see it all in a day.

Destination Expert
for Chester
posts: 2,786
reviews: 16
10. Re: Manchester to Stoke-on-Trent Day Trip

Chester, which does not feature in the list of places you say you have visited, must be your number one choice. It ticks all the boxes for you and is easily reached by train or car from Manchester