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If a central English location is what you’re looking for, look no farther than Stoke-on-Trent. Equidistantly positioned between the major cities of Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham and Liverpool and only a few hours away from London, Stoke-on-Trent really is the ideal place to set up shack. From here, travellers have the opportunity to embark on endless daytrips, weekends away and Sunday afternoon drives. Stoke-on-Trent is certainly a gem of a city in its own right, but tourists simply cannot leave without having taken full advantage of its location. Many car rental companies are located in the city and are happy to supply visitors with cars for their journeys.
Who to Book With
Travellers will find most of the popular car rental names represented here, including Avis, Budget, Hertz and Europcar. The offices of all of these well-known agencies can be found at the railway and bus stations and at a few other locations in the city. To minimise hassle upon arrival, consider making an online booking at home.
Best Time to go
Stoke-on-Trent’s climate can be described as oceanic, boasting similar weather conditions throughout the year. Summer, when temperatures break away from their mild norms and hit highs of about 33°C, is a popular period in the city. As the temperatures rise, so do the prices, however, so advanced bookings are recommended.
Need to Know Essentials
It is imperative that you have the following information with you when collecting your vehicle:
- A form of photographic identification, like a passport
- The credit card that was used to make the deposit
- A valid driving license or an International Driving Permit
Hiring a car in Stoke-on-Trent shouldn’t cause any problems; in fact, it is essential if you are interested in exploring farther afield than the city centre. The roads in the area are in good condition and easy to navigate. There is no free parking in the city, but instead drivers can find parking at one of the 34 municipal car parks dotted around the area. Drivers will need to pay an hourly rate, but for those who intend on staying for longer periods, seasonal passes are also available.
Stoke-on-Trent’s city centre is relatively small and most of the attractions can be easily reached on foot. That said, there are alternative modes of transport on offer in the city as well. There is a well-maintained public transport system comprising of trains, buses and taxis, although car hire is the best option for daytrips out of town.
There are three main stations in the city that operate both local and regional lines: Longport, Longton and Stoke-on-Trent. Local trains run all over the city, and single, weekly and monthly tickets can be purchased on the platform.
There is a reliable bus network operating throughout all six major towns in the Stoke-on-Trent area. The buses run from 05:00 to 18:00, after which a night service takes over. Single journey tickets can be bought on the buses, but seasonal passes for longer periods need to be purchased at the bus station.
While there are several taxi companies in the city, they cannot readily be flagged down from the side of the road. Travellers will find them waiting at local taxis ranks or outside major transport hubs. Alternatively, taxis can be booked in advance with one of the many private companies located in the city. Such companies include Sids Taxis and Stoke-on-Trent Taxis.
Stoke-on-Trent’s central position in the country makes it the perfect place from which to explore the East Midlands. And what a fine area this is, filled with stunning countryside scenery, postcard-worthy villages and a few historical attractions as well.
Trentham Monkey Forest - A hit with the kids, located less than two hours from Stoke-on-Trent, provides families with a great deal of fun. This animal park is unique in the fact that there are no enclosures. Visitors actually get to walk amongst the primates and interact with them.
Trentham Gardens - The exquisitely-landscaped Trentham Gardens have won many awards for their skillful and stunning design. There is also a great children’s adventure park here where the kids can go wild as the adults admire the precision and creativity of the adjacent garden features.
Ford Green Hall - This is a hit with architecture and history buffs. Built more than 200 years ago, this farm house and period garden have been remarkably preserved. Anyone interested in getting a first-hand look into English life during the 17th century should not miss this attraction.