This delightful scenic route is mainly traffic-free and links an amazing cluster of attractions in and around Stoke on Trent. There are famous name potteries with factory tours, shops and fascinating museums that offer poignant reminders of this area’s rich ceramic heritage.

This great route offers history enthusiasts a superb tour of the Stoke on Trent, taking you past a wealth of different 'China' attractions, showcasing the area's rich industrial history and ceramic heritage. The route is circular and a good starting and finish point is by Hanley Park in the heart of the city's University Quarter. 

From here you pick up National Route 5 which takes you on a mixture of on and off route sections and past the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and the Dudson Museum. From here you head through the 49-acre Central Forest Park in Hanley, the perfect place for a pit stop or picnic. From here the route is traffic-free all the way back into Stoke, taking you past Burslem and Longport where you join National Route 555.

After Longport there is the option of a short detour to visit Middleport Pottery. From Longport the route follows the Trent and Mersey Canal towpath before arriving in Etruria, where the towpath moves from one side of the canal to the other. After a short distance you turn off onto the Caldon Canal which takes you past the Etruria Industrial Museum and onto Hanley Park.

Please note

We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness. However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes. Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces. Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.

To make sure everyone gets the most out of their time by the water, please ensure that you follow the Towpath Code.

Please help us protect this route

The China Trail is part of the National Cycle Network, cared for by Sustrans. Your donation today will help keep the Network safe and open for everyone to enjoy.

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