A Family Day out at World of Wedgwood, Barlaston Stoke-on-Trent
Last weekend we were lucky enough to be invited for a family day out at The World of Wedgwood in Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent. The World of Wedgwood is an opportunity to experience Wedgwood for the day through art and crafts and workshops, shopping, dining and visitor tours. We visited The World of Wedgwood early last year and had a wonderful day, so I was excited to return with three very eager artists!
World of Wedgwood Parking
Parking at the World of Wedgwood is free, and near to the venue, so you don’t have to walk far. The World of Wedgwood is accessible to wheelchair users and the paths and lifts are ideal for strollers.
Artisan Market at the World of Wedgwood
It was raining heavily on the day of our visit, but it didn’t stop us meandering around the Artisan Market. The market is held on the second Sunday of every month. With over 50 stalls, inside and out, the market is well worth a visit if you love locally produced fine foods, and handcrafted products.
I love finding thoughtful and handmade gifts and I do try to support small businesses where possible, so I loved visiting the market here.
Master Craft Studio
Our first stop was the Master Craft Studio. Activities run on a first come first served basis so it is advisable to head there early to avoid disappointment. The girls had the opportunity to put on an apron, roll up their sleeves and try their hand at the potter’s wheel, under the guidance of the skilled workers. They were super proud of their clay creations. These are then fired and can be collected or posted out for a delivery charge.
I think this may be where we spent most of our time, The Decorating Studio is where visitors can get creative and have their designs transferred onto a piece of Wedgwood, usually a plate, mug or cup and saucer. There is so much inspiration dotted around the studio and your really can get creative with your design. The kids LOVED it here. For our younger children they were able to throw on an apron, grab a paintbrush and a sprinkle of glitter and paint some pottery. There is a great choice of pottery including tea light holders, Christmas decorations and pots, and we were able to grab a cup of coffee and tea from the Wedgwood tea conservatory while the children worked on their masterpieces!
World of Wedgwood Museum
I wondered if our children would be a little young to truly appreciate and understand the museum, but I need not have worried – although our little boy was too young, our two girls were fascinated to learn about Josiah Wedgwood and his lasting influence on industry. Visiting the World of Wedgwood with kids makes for a lovely family day out. Younger visitors can become little explorers and discover treasures in the galleries and experience various stories about the history of Wedgwood. What is lovely is the Pottery Spotters Museum Trail is free for children, with a prize for every completed activity sheet. I won’t spoil the prize for you, but the kids cherished their gift and we have added it to their fairy gardens at home.
Our eldest took a moment to enter the The Big Draw, PLAY! – Children’s Colouring Activity and Competition where younger visitors are invited to create their own potteries themed costume design with a chance to win their design on a decorative plate and World of Wedgwood goodies.
The Dining Hall at World of Wedgwood
After a morning of serious crafting we headed over the Dining hall for lunch. I was delighted to learn that a Sunday visit to the World of Wedgwood means that a traditional Sunday roast is on offer. A Sunday Roast is my most favourite meal and always goes down a treat with the kids too.
I loved the style of the dining hall, with its contemporary take on the original Barlaston worker’s canteen. It is stylish and modern with pendant lights and benches and I have to say the staff were all very friendly and attentive.
Top tip – Booking is not essential but advised particularly on Artisan Market days – as it does get busy.
Is the World of Wedgwood family friendly?
With three young and lively children I did question if the World of Wedgwood would be family friendly and appropriate for the two younger members of our tribe. However, with lots of children’s activities on offer, stroller friendly paths, a kids menu available in the dining hall, and the Pottery Spotters Museum Trail, we really did have a wonderful family day out.
The courtyard area offers giant interactive pottery themed willow installations, designed by artist Tom Hare. The youngest member of the Otis and Us tribe loved running through the giant coffee pot, and the middle one spent some time swinging on the rope swing (with a bit of help from daddy!).
Adjacent to World of Wedgwood there is Hem Heath Woods and nature trail, managed by the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, and providing an opportunity to explore the woodlands area and let the kids enjoy the fresh air during a visit to World of Wedgwood.
World of Wedgwood Review – our thoughts
We had such a lovely day here at the World of Wedgwood, so much so that we headed back the following weekend with family who were visiting from London. The kids love it and there is so much to do to keep them entertained whatever their age. I also love that our eldest chose to write about Josiah Wedgwood for her half term school project following our visit.
We did managed to pop into the Wedgwood Tea Emporium for a coffee and tea, and I got to try out the large selection of Wedgwood teas. I noticed that there were lots of multi generation groups enjoying a day out together – it is an ideal place to visit as there is something for everyone. I would actually love to return with my parents and experience the Wedgwood afternoon tea. Oh, and I also have my eye on a gorgeous pastel coloured dinner set in the factory outlet that I am still pining after, so I may just have to return (again!).
It is always worth heading over to the website as there are often themed Create and Explore activities running over the school holidays and special events running throughout the year.
For more information head over to World of Wedgwood online
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**Disclosure – We were invited as guests to the World of Wedgwood for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own **