Currency: Pound Sterling
Time Zone: GMT
Tipping: 10 to 12% is usual for hotels with 10 to 15% being usual for restaurants. In each case, it is not necessarily added to the bill. If a service charge has already been added, no further tip is required.
Affectionately known as 'The Potteries', coach holidays to Stoke on Trent will have you coming back year after year as there is so much to do, you’ll be needing another visit to fit it all in! No visit to the 'Capital of the Ceramics' would be complete without taking a factory tour of one of its many potteries. You can have a chat with skilled workers and find out about their craft before having a go at the art of pottery by making your own ceramic masterpiece.
Step back in time with a visit to the Staffordshire Hoard (open until 1st September 2013) where you can see over 200 specially chosen pieces dating back to the Dark Age of Discovery. This exhibition is the first of its kind in Britain and visitors will see examples of Saxon metalwork in addition to nearly 2,000 Anglo-Saxon artefacts made from silver and gold. Apparently, the whole hoard has a price tag of £3.3m! If you are fascinated by Stoke on Trent’s historic heritage, you can find out more by visiting one of the many award-winning museums and informative visitor centres dotted about the city.
Entertain the whole family with a coach tour to Trentham Monkey Forest where you can walk among 140 Barbary Macaques in 60 acres of forest and watch what they get up to without the interference of cages and wired fencing obstructing your view. Alton Towers is within easy reach of Stoke on Trent and is suitable for all ages where you can try out all the latest rides and attractions. There really is something for everyone on coach breaks to Stoke on Trent so take a ride on the Churnet Valley Railway through Staffordshire’s countryside which is affectionately known as 'Little Switzerland', shop till you drop in the city centre, broaden your brewing knowledge with a visit to The National Brewery Centre or explore the beautiful Italianate gardens of the Trentham Park Estate.
All tours to Stoke on Trent tend to include; return coach travel (unless self-drive), hotel accommodation in a good standard hotel, meals and a variety of included or optional excursions so you can really see the best of the resort you’re visiting.
To help you have an enjoyable holiday in Stoke on Trent, take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
Local Laws and Customs
Health and Travel Insurance
British Citizens are advised by some of our tour operators to have travel insurance before going on a tour or holiday, even if it happens to be in your country of residence. As a British citizen, you will be entitled to free emergency health care on the NHS.
If you are visiting England from outside the United Kingdom and fall ill or are involved in an accident and are from any member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you can obtain free or reduced cost treatment with The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Comprehensive travel insurance is advised for all other nationals planning on visiting England.
If you need to contact the emergency services whilst in England simply dial 999 or 112 to ask for an ambulance.
Most destinations are generally trouble-free, however as with all places that you are not familiar with, keep an eye on your belongings and if necessary lock them away somewhere safe back at your hotel if possible. Keep an eye on everyone in your party and do not go off with people you do not know. Buy your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times. Be aware of your surroundings and don't venture off on your own.
Local Laws and Customs
Queuing is a British Institution - jump a queue at your own risk!
Drug offences will carry penalties in the UK, so avoid getting involved with anything whilst in England. Please note the narcotic plant Khat/Qat is legal in the UK, but is not in a majority of other countries so never try to export this when leaving the UK.
If you are visiting from outside of the United Kingdom, it is wise to check customs requirements before you travel. If you are planning to bring alcohol, tobacco or souvenirs into the country, you need to be familiar with the UK's custom laws. For those people coming to the UK from the EU, you are allowed to bring an unlimited amount of most goods for your own use without paying tax or duty.
However, if you are travelling to the UK from outside of the EU, you are given an allowance of how much alcohol, tobacco, perfume, souvenirs and other goods. If you go above this allowance you may have to pay tax or duty. It is worth checking the HM Revenues and Customs website before you travel.
When travelling between the UK, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man in most cases an official form of identification such as a Driver's License will be ok. However, some airlines will insist you show a passport so check before you travel.
If you are travelling to England from Australia, Canada or the USA, you must have a valid passport for at least three months beyond the length of your stay. EU nationals need to have either a valid passport or identity card.
Visas for the UK are not required by those travelling from Australia, Canada, USA or EU for stays of up to six months.
Any other nationality looking to visit the UK must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
Most people tend to visit Stoke on Trent because of its wonderful 'Potteries' and of course, Alton Towers but aside from ceramics and adrenalin-pumping rides, there is so much more to discover in Staffordshire:
This attraction is a great place to visit for people of all ages, with lots of things to see and do, you are bound to find something to suit everyone in your party. The Gardens provide a great location to explore, with a vast array of colourful flowers, woodland paths and even a maze, you are sure to find something amazing. See if you can spot the monkeys in the Monkey Forest or visit the Trentham Estate Shopping Village, consisting of 60 timber lodges which house cafes, shops and restaurants - perfect for a spot of retail therapy.
Gladstone Pottery Museum
This is the last remaining Victorian style pottery factory which uses coal-burning ovens to make bone china. At the museum, you will get a chance to see the world's best collection of Staffordshire ceramics, the Secret Garden and have a chance to explore the cobbled yard. You will also get a chance to view the bottle ovens, that once dominated Stoke-on-Trent's skyline, throughout its industrial past.
Alton Towers and Cariba Creek
Located just outside Stoke-on-Trent, Alton Towers has a reputation for being one of the best theme parks in the UK. With a number of white knuckle thrill rides for adults and children the rollercoasters are bound to get your adrenaline pumping. Why not visit the Waterpark which promises a day of fun in the Caribbean style lagoon?
Moorcroft Heritage Visitor Centre
Living up to Stoke-on-Trent's reputation of being the 'Ceramic Capital of the World', what visit to Stoke-on-Trent would be complete without a visit to the Moorcroft Heritage Centre. With a shop and a museum, this centre is a must see for all enthusiasts who want to learn about the history of pottery.