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China Trail

Route Details

  • From/To: Stoke city centre, starting and finishing at Hanley Park (circular route)
  • Distance: approx 9 miles
  • Terrain: Largely traffic free
  • National Cycle Network: National Routes 5, 55 and 555

Route Description

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.


Download a free map of the China Trail.  

Alternatively you can buy a map of the region from Sustrans' online shop- we would recommend the Shropshire, Staffordshire & the Black Country Cycle Map. The map covers the Midlands region of England, including Birmingham, Stafford, Shrewsbury, Telford and the important pottery centre of Stoke-on-Trent.

Things to see and do

  • Middleport Pottery
  • Barewall Gallery
  • Moorcroft Heritage Visitor Centre
  • Dudson Museum
  • Potteries Museum and Art Gallery
  • Spode Works Visitor Centre
  • Eturia Industrial Museum
Zoom level: 
Buy the map

Map shows the National Cycle Network and local routes in this area.

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 which offer poignant reminders of this area’s rich ceramic heritage.