As the primary commercial district of Stoke-on-Trent, the town of Hanley has undergone considerable regeneration and redevelopment in recent years, which the Smithfield site is a huge part of. The main area – now termed the ‘Cultural Quarter’ – boasts a multitude of leisure offerings as well as the theatres, museums and galleries.
Below, we’ve outlined some of the best places in Hanley that you should visit – all within walking distance from Smithfield.
A great place to start your day is The Slamwich Club. Set up by two born and bred Stokies, this award-winning restaurant has a fantastic brunch menu, which features their famous ‘Full English Slamwich’ that will certainly fuel you up for the day ahead.
From here, you can head round the corner to the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery to get your taste of local history. Established in 1911, the museum’s collection of Staffordshire pottery is widely recognised as the finest in the world. Other collections stored at the museum include fine and decorative arts, natural science, social history and archaeology totalling more than 650,000 individual objects – all of which have local, regional and national significance.
On the flip side of the coin, the UK’s number one rated horror escape rooms are situated just down the road from the Potteries Museum. Paralysis Escape Rooms are undoubtedly a destination for thrill seekers and scare-fanatics, or anyone searching for something different to do. You can lock yourself into one of the most haunted buildings in Stoke, where you’ll be tried and tested in an immersive experience that is not for the faint hearted. Choose your room, choose your difficulty, and do you best to beat the clock – before it’s too late…
Another unique experience in Hanley is at XP-VR Virtual Reality. VR technology is an evolving industry and right in the heart of Hanley you can assemble your team, put on your headset and experience its breathtaking power. Immerse all of your senses and step into new worlds together, where you can play as a group, survive as a squad or compete against each other.
For those looking for a fun but physical challenge, the Ninja Warrior Adventure Park is less than 300m away from us here at Smithfield. Inspired by the ITV show Ninja Warrior UK, the centre is packed full of obstacles that will test your speed, strength and shrewdness. Run, jump, climb, balance, swing and fall – if you’re an aspiring ninja or just fancy a bit of fun, Ninja Warrior is a great place to go.
To finish your day off, Hanley is home to a wonderful selection of restaurants and bars that serve a range of cuisines.
The Orchard Bar & Bistro, found opposite Regent Theatre, serves top quality, hearty food made with the finest of British ingredients, and is certainly one of the favourites in Hanley. With a menu that changes regularly, The Orchard is a place that never fails to draw its customers back in. Just across from The Orchard, NORTH Kitchen + Bar is a restaurant serving inventive, health-minded burgers, tacos, hotdogs and more, as well as providing a range of delicious cocktails and craft beers. If you’re after a traditional Italian restaurant, Portofino serves all the classic Mediterranean dishes from pasta to pizza to fish, along with a special section on the menu named ‘Chef’s Creations’. Finally, there’s Zest Bistro, a restaurant serving seasonal favourites, cooked simply and to a high standard. With a great selection of wines available too, it makes the ideal place for a pre-theatre tipple.
So there you have it. Some of Hanley’s favourite and most popular destinations from restaurants to virtual reality – all located just a short walk from Smithfield. See you there!