Festival Park is a retail and leisure complex situated within a mile or so of Stoke on Trents city centre of Hanley. It has been developed for just over 20 years having used to be a hub of heavy industry within the Potteries, once housing Wedgwood, Shelton Steel works and various coal mines were also on the site. It was developed by St Modwens following a massive garden festival which encouraged regeneration to North Staffordshire and bought massive amounts of visitors to the area.
Nowadays it is an excellent port of call and is a rather large site encompassing shops, leisure faciliies and eating places. It has over a million visitors a year.
I can think of the following,
Large Morrisons supermarket
Large Toys R Us
B and Q
Large and very nice New Look
Pets at home
Couple of electrical shops
Amongst a couple of others. Good mix of shops to be found often saving you having to go elsewhere. Bonus!
10 pin bowling, which is great fun, and hold glow in the dark nights which are ace!!
Dry ski slope, used about 7 years ago for snowboarding, was very expensive. Shabby and old, surprised it is still going...
Waterworld, excellent, the whole family will love it, half a million visitors a year one of the best waterparks going.
Odeon cinema, quite old now, it's ok but much prefer Vue, cleaner and better seats. It's not bad though.
Hotshots snooker and pool. good to while away a few hours, enjoyable.
Fitness centre, not ised.
Pizza Hut, large friendly and clean, recommended.
Frankie and Benny's
Drive thru McDonalds
China Gardens, big chain pub carvery, lovely food.
The moat house Best Western is in the heart of the complex.
It is also expanding as a trade park and houses a number of businesses, including banks like HSBC and Nat West, The Hanley building society, Beth Johnson Housing Association, architects Hulme Upright, IT recruitment firm Omnium and bookmakers Bet 365.
All your needs pretty much in one place. Anyone in Stoke knows the advantages of this instead of having to go up to Hanley! Free parking. Convenient location in the middle of Stoke on Trent. All the leisure facilites are good so there really is something for the whole family.
Can get very busy and can be a problem for parking spaces. Boy racers like to use the site in the evenings but this is usually limited to parking up by the closed gateway to shops in Corsas, not exactly threatening. That is it. Nothing bad to really say about the place!
Interesting fact! The Toys R Us was the first ever shop on the site in 1988!
Festival Way, ST1 5PU for the sat nav :)
Festival Park is located just off the A500 in Stoke - the approach road from the A500 does has 40mph speed cameras on it. There were two reasons I started to visit here about 7 years ago. Number one was there is a Mothercare World here an absolutely massive Mothercare which aswell as having a Clarks it stocks loads of the Mothercare range. Number two is that not far from here not quite on the Festival park site is a large Mamas and Papas, so it easily killed two birds with one stone.
Reverting back to Mothercare World this was a monolithic store that also had an upstairs which was accessible via stairs or a lift housed in a giant tree. I was disappointed to see today that the store has been completely revamped and now has no upstairs, no giant tree and a much poorer layout. The age range of the clothes also seemed to stop at age 7 whereas previously it went up to age 11/12. There is now a small Early Learning Centre housed in the store too but what can I say - even my Daughter kept saying "i'm lost I don't know where I am".
Since the time I started to visit here the site has not expanded - but the units now house different shops, notably there is now a Boots, New Look, Brantano, Next and Argos. Undoubtedly Festival Park is hugely popular with locals because it eliminates the need to venture into the centre of Hanley and the convoluted road system of the area. However the Festival Park car park is woefully inadequate to cope with the amount of traffic that wants visit, also to exit the car park requires that you join the traffic at the point where you enter the park and then veer off and loop round through the centre of another car park to exit (confused?) - this car park is in serious need to a re-design.
There is a Frankie and Bennys on site, and whilst this might not be the most appealing looking of buildings from the outside - inside it is great and gets busy enough to create a good atmosphere (just watch those balloons - read F&B review for more on that). Directly opposite this is a Pizza Hit and MacDonalds - so something for everyone.
On the site where Mamas and Papas is - I noticed today there is a large British Home Stores too - it certainly looked very "Next esq" and worth a visit.
Festival Park is also home to a dry ski slope, I have only visited here on the pre-text of checking it out for a party for my daughter. Old and shabby are the words that spring to mind and an entrance that speaks of I've had no TLC. I felt this was a great pity as if it was spruced up it would be a real crowd puller. They obviously felt this too as you can opt to ski only for the party and go elsewhere for your food. I have to say I didn't book up.
There is an old B&Q at Festival Park - really I wouldn't bother with this store - there is a B&Q warehouse at Meir which for a DIY store is fab (did I say that). Also there is a Toys R Us - like all of their stores the range stocked is fairly uniform - I have no further comment on this - this store does what you require it to - I love it for the wide range of board games.
There are without doubt other facilities at Festival Park - I have only commented on the ones I have direct experience of.
Festival Park is one of the more recently developed retail / entertainment parks within Stoke on Trent. It has been around for around 20 years now, maybe a little longer and due to regeneration over the years, we have seen it expand and is very popular with the locals of Stoke on Trent.
Festival Park is a focal point for entertainment and various activities in Stoke on Trent. If you want to do something a little bit different then Festival Park will be where you can find it.
The Odeon used to be the most popular cinema in Stoke on Trent under Vue opened in Newcastle under Lyme more recently which now seems to be more popular because the seating is a lot more comfortable. The Odeon has around 8 screens if not more showing movies throughout the day including late deal specials. To go and watch a movie its not that expensive, however when you go in the shop, the prices of the snacks and sweets is extortionate.
Ten Pin Bowling is a favourite of mine, I haven't been for a while however when I do go, it seems that I perform better when I have had a couple of beers down me. Super Bowl has 30 lanes available, each allowing 6 people to play at any one time. Within the Superbowl there is an arcade with plenty of games for all ages and genders that can be played whilst you are waiting for you lane. There is a small café which is slightly like a Wimpy and serves fast food if you get a little bit peckish. There is also a bar, which is where I spend most of my time when waiting for a lane. It is quite expensive, however if you are playing, they will bring your drinks up to your lane for you.
Water World is our Aqua Park in Stoke on Trent. I'm not sure whether all towns have this sort of attraction, however people do come from far and wide to come here especially during the summer bank holidays its an ideal place to take the kids and keep them entertained for a couple of hours. With plenty of water slides, rapids and lazy rivers, it is great place to go, although I have now outgrown it and not been for years.
We have a dry ski slope in Stoke on Trent where you can try your hand at ski-ing on various sized slopes and also I believe that they do tobogganing there now. The slopes have qualified instructors that will give you individual lessons. Ski's are available to hire for the lessons. To be honest I have only ever been once but enjoyed it a lot more than ice skating as I found that I was a lot better at it.
Hotels and Restaurants
The Moat House
Best Western Moat House and probably one of the nicest hotels to stay in within Stoke on Trent. It is a really nice hotel. With conference rooms for business meetings, ample rooms and a gym which can be used by residents, if you are ever staying in Stoke on Trent, then make sure you pay this one a visit as it is in the heart of the town.
The China Garden
Toby Carvery and great for Sunday Lunch if you arte shopping down Festival Park and looking for a tasty but reasonably cheap lunch.
Frankie & Benny's
If you are looking for something tasty but less traditional then Frankie & Benny's has got to be more for you offering pizza, pasta and burger's and the likes and is actually very tasty. I have never eat in here but they do offer a take away service to people that work on the estate.
Over the past couple of years, the shopping side of Festival Park has developed, and you can more or less get whatever you want from here. For food shopping, there is a Morrison's which I tend to use occasionally. If you want DIY, there is a B&Q, there are plenty of electrical stores including Curry's and Comet, Carpet Stores and they have just recently added a NEXT and a large Boots store. As with most retail parks like the you also have an Argos which comes in really useful if you don't want to spend as much as you would in the likes of Comet.
The business aspect of Festival Park is still developing and more and more units are being created and more and more businesses are moving down to this area, as it is in a prime location and is becoming one of the better trade parks within the Stoke on Trent area. You will find many banks have opened offices on the estate now to be available to those that work on the estate.
Festival Park is still continuing to expand, and is an ideal place to visit if you are in the area to keep the whole family happy.