With restrictions easing, destinations and attractions are gearing up to welcome back visitors safely, in line with the Government’s roadmap. Travel will be back on the agenda for 2021… so, for when the time is right, here are a few new treats to welcome visitors back to Stoke-on-Trent & The Potteries.
Get set for take-off…
Stoke-on-Trent isn’t just famous for its world class pottery manufacturers. The designer of the Spitfire Reginald Mitchell also hails from the city; and the city’s very own Spitfire is set to be officially unveiled in a stunning new, £6m home, at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery this autumn. Featuring glass walls at the front and back, the new gallery is set to become one of the area’s top attractions and further add to the city’s cultural heritage. https://bit.ly/2HJLxrA
Experience one of the world’s biggest ceramics celebrations
The British Ceramics Biennial (BCB) is set to return to its spiritual home of Stoke-on-Trent from September 11 to October 17. This year marks the seventh Biennial, and not only does it offer the opportunity to show the BCB is back as one of the UK’s flagship cultural events; but also just how ready-and-willing Stoke-on-Trent is to once again host such a high-profile event. https://bit.ly/3b6NGsw
Be right on trend with ‘GamesJam 2021’
A digital games event unlike anything previously staged in the UK, is set for Stoke-on-Trent’s city centre this summer. Stoke-on-Trend GamesJam 2021 will see aspiring programmers and Games Developers – otherwise known as Jammers – create playable games, each based around a key City Centre theme. Once developed, games will be made available to play on smartphones via QR codes in the City Centre from June. https://bit.ly/2OsjYa5
Visit England’s 2020 Best Small Visitor Attraction
Soon after the pandemic closed the nation’s attractions, Gladstone Museum was named as the Best Small Visitor Attraction in VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence in 2020. The only complete Victorian pottery factory from the days when coal burning ovens made the world’s finest bone china, Gladstone Pottery Museum offers a fascinating insight into the history of Stoke-on-Trent, and The Potteries. https://bit.ly/3a4GcWp
Enjoy a spot of set-jetting…
Stoke is proving an attractive location for TV and movie producers. Previously Middleport Pottery, and its surrounding streets have been used as locations for the BBC’s Peaky Blinders. Now scenes shot at Gladstone Pottery Museum have appeared in the hit new 2021 Netflix series, The Irregulars. The museum was dressed in elaborate sets to recreate Victorian London (https://bit.ly/3fS4Pu2). Stoke is set for more movie stardom with the city providing locations for The Colour Room, a Sky Original based on legendary Stoke-on-Trent ceramic artist Clarice Cliff, played by PhoebeDynevor, of Bridgerton fame, due out later in 2021 (https://bit.ly/3mqm3Qm).
Cruise through The Potteries
For those inspired by Sheila Hancock and Gyles Brandreth’s TV travels on Great Canal Journeys, Stoke-on-Trent offers plenty of ways to enjoy a calming canal cruise through the heart of the world-famous Potteries. More4’s hit TV show about sailing Britain’s canals saw the two presenters taking the helm for the 12th series in March, which featured Staffordshire’s ceramics capital. Anyone tempted to follow in the wake of the celebrity cruise to Stoke-on-Trent can take to the water by hiring their own narrow boat… or for the more energetic, pick up a paddle to tackle a 20-mile heritage canoe trail. https://bit.ly/3mAcBtF
The changing face of accommodation in Stoke-on-Trent & The Potteries
From the major refurbishment of a hotel on the site of the 1986 National Garden Festival, to the opening of a new £20m ‘Hilton Garden Inn’, the range and quality of Stoke-on-Trent’s accommodation is changing dramatically. The ‘Hilton Garden Inn Stoke-on-Trent’, close to the Cultural Quarter’s museums and theatres, offers 140 bedrooms (https://bit.ly/3sysDqj). The former Best Western Moat House Hotel, on Festival Park, has been refurbished, and rebranded DoubleTree by Hilton, offering facilities, including a full leisure club with an extensive spa (https://bit.ly/3sCkDEs). Also new for 2021, ‘Courtyard by Marriott Keele Staffordshire’ is just 10 minutes from Junction 15 of the M6 on Keele University’s ultra-modern and world-renowned Science & Innovation Park and surrounded by stunning countryside (https://bit.ly/327iy8x).
Backstamps and backstreets
A plan to restore 11 Victorian pottery workers’ houses alongside one of The Potteries’ most popular attractions has been given the green light. Properties in Harper Street, opposite the main entrance to former Middleport Pottery, will be transformed into a new heritage attraction, studio and workshop space. When fully restored, visitors will be able to step back in time to the 1930s when they enter the lodge keeper’s house, which will provide a range of immersive activities based on the daily experience of the lodge keeper’s family. https://bit.ly/3cItKwS
Sizzling summer nights at Trentham Gardens
Summer is set to be hotter than ever at Trentham Gardens, thanks to the return of its popular lakeside concerts… and this year, the party has been extended. Usually Trentham – on the edge of Stoke-on-Trent – stages concerts on Saturdays only, from June to September, but for 2021, the returning summer line-up will be bigger than ever and extended to other days too. Previous years have seen partygoers dance the night away to everything from tributes to Abba and Queen, to ‘80s Mania’ and ‘Absolute Noughties’. While this year’s performers are yet to be revealed, Trentham is promising an exciting line-up of tribute acts. http://bit.ly/9dDJq3
As well as home to world renowned pottery brands including Wedgwood, Portmeirion, Moorcroft and Emma Bridgewater, there are visitor centres, museums, factory tours and gardens including The Trentham Estate. Stoke-on-Trent is also the closest city to Alton Towers. For more details, visit www.visitstoke.co.uk.
New spitfire gallery, The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery
The British Ceramics Biennial (BCB) 2021
Canal crusing, Middleport Pottery
Hilton Garden Inn Stoke-on-Trent
Sizzling summer nights at Trentham Gardens