The Potteries in Staffordshire
They consists of 6 towns in the county borough of Stoke on Trent, in their day all were busy producing ceramic tableware many famous names like Paragon China and Aynsley but there are few small companies that have remained in business. There are many places of interest to view with various shops and Edwardian building well worth a trip into the regions; you can be as selective with the day out, what ever suits your mood.
Leave the site northeast towards Longton turn right onto A53 travel 3 miles turn left A520 for 9 miles turn right A5272 at round about 1st exit B5039 turn left A5007 into Longton.
A market town in the southern district of Stoke, go and seek out the Gladstone Pottery museum, parking available, it’s unique with the original workshops and giant bottle kilns, being the last complete Victorian pottery factory in the country. Discover how china tableware was made and the working conditions of the men, women and children who worked in the pottery industry. Visit the gift shop and stay and have a cuppa in the tearooms with a view of the cobbled courtyard. In the market area are a collection of buildings of sound and vigorous character dating from the 19 century, but sadly, there is also many unkempt and awaiting major repair due to diminishing businesses in the area. Take a look at the library in the Sutherland Institute and the Town Hall saved from demolition in 1986 because of local protest. Finally stop off at the Longton Park have a stroll around the lake and gardens look out for the wildlife.
Continue journey to Fenton just 2 miles away go southwest on the A5007 into the town.
Its architecture heritage includes grade I listed bottle ovens, but know as the forgotten town, as it was never included in the original 5 pottery towns. Probably only worth a drive sight seeing exercise with a stop over at the Fenton park take a stroll view the stunning rose and rock gardens refurbished in 2010, a nice place to relax awhile.
Continue journey to Hanley just 2 miles northwest on A50 at roundabout 1st exit A5008 turn right A5006 park in the town.
Having a well laid out shopping centre and market it makes a well worth visit to explore the various shops and eateries. Places of interest, The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery with large ceramic collection and a restored Spitfire. Plus Victoria Hall built in 1888 constructed with red brick and terracotta. Finally this one knocked me back, Hanley Park a fine example of a stunning picturesque place of peace. The Caldon Canal passes through with walk over bridges and barges travelling by. The gardens are well landscaped to form its full beauty of growth. With the Lake and water features and displays. Just take a stroll on the pathways and consume the magnificent, if you are lucky the musicians maybe playing in the grandstand.
Continue journey onto Burslem for 2 miles southwest turn right A5006 take the 1st roundabout 1st exit A50 into the town.
Know as the Mother town of the 6 towns, with ancient listed buildings steeped in history retained in a small shopping area. They still have a thriving business for producing high valued ceramics, Burleigh, Wade and Moorcroft but a big decline on the past productions. The Leopard Inn dated in the 1700s; the rear off the building being abandoned thought to be haunted. The Town Hall stands proud adorned with the golden angle and houses the Ceramica Exhibition. Also to been seen are the disused bottle ovens and the St Johns Church with its sandstone tower dated from 1536 and the Wedgewood Institute Building.
Continue journey to Tunstall, 1 mile north on the A50 turn right A5227 into town.
A small town dating back to the Middle Ages, just a short stroll to take in its history. Browse around view the town hall, Adams Tower, and Sacred Heart Church with it several green domed roofs. Plus anything else that takes your fancy.
The towns above make up Stoke on Trent and although it has its own city centre I have decided not to mention it further.