New to Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire? Here’s a guide to the area


Ema Talam, Lecturer, Staffordshire University


Some of you might be moving to a new city when starting university. I moved to Stoke-on-Trent several years ago, and since then, I have discovered that Stoke-on-Trent and its surrounding areas are home to some of the friendliest people I have met and have a lot to offer, whether you are up for a nice meal, shopping trip, an amazing hiking trip or day trip elsewhere:

  1. Our campus is a vibrant place and has several coffee shops, bars and restaurants. Head to SqueezeBox, Ember Lounge, Pavillion, or new Catalyst Bistro for some great coffee, tea or food. If you want to venture outside of campus:

a.Trentham Gardens and Shopping Village are home to beautiful gardens, the monkey forest (home to 140 monkeys), which is truly a unique experience, number of shops and restaurants and tree top adventure park.

b. Piccadilly in Hanley is a home to some fantastic restaurants and also theatres (Regent Theatre and Victoria Hall), Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, live music venues, escape rooms, etc. Hanley, as the city centre, is where number of events take place – for example, annual arts festival The Big Feast or Wizarding World Wand Installation was displayed early in 2022. – see what Events are coming for Autumn 2022 to the area.

Wizarding World Wand Installation in Hanley

c. The neighbouring town of Newcastle-under-Lyme (if you are not fan of walking, bus number 25 will take you directly from the campus to Newcastle), there are a number of nice coffee shops and restaurants, cinema, mini golf course, bowling alley and escape rooms. Newcastle-under-Lyme is also a home to New Vic theatre.

d. Festival Park is another great place to venture to – it has range of shops, restaurants, cinema, bowling alley, mini golf course, ski centre, and a waterpark.

e. Famous Alton Towers theme park is short journey away from Stoke-on-Trent. There are number of theme events on during the different times of the year at Alton Towers (such as Octoberfest or Scarefest, which takes place during Halloween). Besides the rides, Alton Towers have water park, mini golf course and a spa. Additionally, did you know that Staffordshire University runs a degree in partnership with Alton Towers Resort? If you decide to visit the Alton Towers, you are likely to meet a fellow Staffordshire University student!

Alton Towers attraction
Alton Towers attraction
  1. Stoke-on-Trent has a rich potteries heritage. Gladstone Potteries Museum or World of Wedgewood are the places to visit if you are interested in pottery. Even if you are not interested in pottery, I would highly recommend visiting Middleport Pottery, not least so because of its stunning location or fantastic view over the canal, or Emma Bridgewater factory in Hanley for an afternoon tea or giving a go at decorating pottery. Additionally, British Ceramics Biennial is fantastic event to visit (and to support your fellow Staffordshire University colleagues whose work is exhibited during the Biennial)!
  1. Stoke-on-Trent is a great place for those interested in running or hiking. Stoke-on-Trent hosts weekly parkruns at two locations: Trentham Gardens (and admissions to Gardens is free at the time of parkrun), and Hanley Park. In addition, there is also the Wammy park run in neighbouring Newcastle-under-Lyme. Additionally, University has its own running group (and range of other organised sport activities) – keep an eye on Sport at Staffs on Twitter for any announcements.

    For the keen runners, Stoke-on-Trent hosts annual Potters ‘Arf half-marathon. The challenging route (Stoke-on-Trent is a hilly place!) is open for walking or running and it takes you through various neighbourhoods of Stoke. The race finishes with the infamous Heartbreak Hill, which leads you back to the city centre. The atmosphere at the race is absolutely fantastic – lot of residents stand on the streets or in front of their houses to support walkers/runners!

    If you are interested in walking or hiking, Stoke-on-Trent is in a close proximity to several stunning walking or hiking location. Staffordshire University has its own nature reserve in case you want to stay on campus. Trentham Gardens or even Hanley Park in Stoke-on-Trent, or Knypersley Reservoir, Tittesworth Reservoir, and Rudyard Lake, in the close proximity of Stoke-on-Trent are all great locations for walking. Additionally, Stoke-on-Trent is in the close proximity to the Peak District for all interested in hiking, canoeing and other outdoor activities. If you are unsure of how to find great hiking trails, check out Walk the Moorlands group or keep an eye on Staffordshire Moorlands Walking Festival. If you like hiking, Staffordshire has its own Staffordshire 3 Peaks Challenge you can do!

Hanley Park
Hanley Park is right next to the campus – a regular park Run and other events are held there
  1. Stoke-on-Trent is well-linked to other cities in the UK. You are short train journey(s) away from Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Chester, beaches of Wales, or even London. Don’t forget to get your RailCard to get some discounts on your train journeys.

Staffordshire University has a range of unique business courses, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Whether you are interested in business management, innovation, entrepreneurship, finance, visitor attraction and resort management, or digital marketing, you will be taught by a team of friendly academics and practitioners, who will go an extra mile to support you in your academic journey and beyond.

All of our courses will provide you with a strong theoretical foundations, focus on application of the theory to real-life problems and discussion of contemporary issues, in order to prepare you for your future career. More information about our business courses is available on our website or you can visit one of our open days to find out more about what we have to offer.

Clearing at Staffordshire University

Clearing events available or call the Clearing team on 0800 590 830



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