Emma Bridgewater Factory visitor guide: all you need to know

Inside the Emma Bridgewater Factory Inside the Emma Bridgewater Factory
A potter at work inside the Emma Bridgewater Factory

In the heart of Stoke-on-Trent’s historic Potteries region, you’ll find a modern addition to Stoke’s rich industrial history: the Emma Bridgewater Factory. Having only been opened in 1995, this now major tourist attraction has brought the city’s knack for pottery innovation into the 21st century. 

The factory specialises in making kitchenware, tableware, and cookware using traditional methods but with modern designs. The company’s modern pottery has become a favourite of collectors, and the factory has received notable visits from the likes of King Charles III and the Princess of Wales. 

Visitors can partake in tours of the factory, paint and decorate their own ceramics, and shop in the onsite outlet store. In this guide, you’ll find all you need to know to plan your perfect trip to the factory. 

History and overview 

The Emma Bridgewater brand was founded in 1985 by Emma Rice (née Bridgewater). The story goes that Rice was unable to find a gift for her mother, so decided to design her own cup and saucer. Over the next decade, Rice perfected her ceramic designs and built up her reputation. Then, in 1995, she purchased a disused Victorian factory in Hanley. 

The building Rice purchased has played a key role in Stoke’s pottery past, having formally been owned by the Meakin Brothers of Alfred Meakin Ltd Pottery. Production began at this historic site in 1996 and, in the years preceding, became the place where Rice would design some of her most iconic pieces. 

Emma Bridgewater’s designs grew in popularity throughout the 2000s and the factory reportedly made a turnover of £8 million in 2009. The Royal Family became big fans and paid regular visits to the factory. The brand regularly released commemorative plates for the family, including one for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. 

As of 2023, the company has a net worth of £5,878,232. According to their website, they make 1.9 million pieces of pottery each year with 230 people working at the factory. To cope with ever-growing demand, the company opened a second factory just down the street from the main factory in 2021. 

What can you do at Emma Bridgewater Factory? 

Besides being a fully functioning factory, Emma Bridgewater is also a popular tourist destination, with plenty of fun and exciting things on offer. When you visit, you can partake in the following: 

Emma Bridgewater Factory Tour 

A visit to Emma Bridgewater is incomplete without a Factory Tour. On the tour, guests are shown around the factory floor by an expert guide. Around 30 hands work on each piece of pottery the factory creates, and guests are invited to spectate each part of the process. 

Each tour lasts for an hour and is suitable for children aged 5 and over. Adult tickets are £10.00 and children under 16 get in for free. Booking in advance is essential as the tours normally fill up. 

The basic tour takes place at 10.00am, Monday to Friday. 

Afternoon Tea 

Afternoon Tea experiences are available and give guests a chance to taste a delicious range of homemade scones, cakes, and sandwiches. Traditional, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available. 

Best of all, the food is served on Emma Bridgewater pottery, allowing you to try out different pieces before you buy! 

Afternoon Tea takes place at 2.00pm every day and costs £22. Again, booking in advance is essential. 

Alternatively, if you’d like to experience the factory tour and enjoy some Afternoon Tea, you can book a combined Factory Tour, Decorating Studio, and Afternoon Tea package. This costs £54 and starts at 11.00am, Monday to Friday. 

Decorating Studio – Pottery Session 

If you’d like to try your hand at designing your own kitchenware, book a Decorating Studio session. You’ll be provided with a blank piece of pottery, as well as paints, sponges, and brushes. Let your imagination run wild as you put your own spin on classic Emma Bridgewater designs. 

The Pottery Session itself costs £5.00, with provided pottery pieces starting from £7.00. This family-friendly activity takes place Monday-Sunday at 11.00am, 1.00pm, and 3.00pm. As aforementioned, it’s possible to book in for combined experiences alongside Afternoon Tea and the Factory Tour. 

Saturday Breakfast 

A special offer combines the Decorating Studio experience with a proper Saturday Breakfast. This package, which takes place at 10.00am every Saturday, costs £36. Each guest is treated to a full English breakfast before being taken to the Studio. Both Vegetarian and vegan options are available.

Morning Baby Prints Decorating Session 

New parents can create a quality memento by booking in for a Morning Baby Prints Decorating Session. Each family is given a 10 ½” plate to print their baby’s hands and/or feet. Families can then get creative and personalise the plate by adding their child’s birthday or name. 

This experience costs £35 and is available Tuesday – Thursday, 10.00am or 3.00pm. 

Emma Bridgewater Factory shop

You can buy the factory’s latest kitchen and dinnerware designs at the onsite shop. Here, you’ll also find the Emma Bridgewater Factory outlet, which stocks an extensive range of the company’s classic cookware, tableware, and textile designs. You’ll also find seconds, i.e., imperfect products that are still usable, as well as discontinued lines. 

Where is Emma Bridgewater Factory? 

Emma Bridgewater Factory is located in Stoke’s Potteries Region. 

Its address is Lichfield St, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 3EJ. 

How to get there 

If travelling by car, exit junction 15 or 16 from the M6. When you reach Stoke, switch from the A500 to the A52 Leek Road. You’ll find Lichfield Street on the A50. 

If you’re using a satnav, it’s recommended that you search for Pelham Street. This will take you directly to the factory’s free carpark. 

If travelling from Stoke city centre, take the 6 or 6A bus towards Blythe Bridge. The factory is only a two-minute walk away from the Berkeley Street stop. The 6/6A bus runs every 20 minutes. 

There’s no train station near the factory. The nearest station is Stoke-on-Trent Station, which is two miles away. 

If you arrive in the city at this station, head to the nearby Royal Mail Sorting Office. At the bus stop here, you can get on the 9 Yellow bus towards Biddulph, Wharf Rd. Get off the bus at the Bernard Street stop. 

Know before you go 

Before making your way to the factory, here are some important pieces of information you should keep in mind: 

Opening times 

The factory is open: 

Monday to Friday: 9.30am to 5.00pm 

Sunday: 10.00am to 4.00pm

Best time to visit 

Any time of the year is a good time to visit the Emma Bridgewater Factory as long as you book your tour/experience well in advance. 

The tours normally sell out, sometimes by as much as a month in advance. You’ll generally find the factory to be busy most of the time. Visiting the shop or pottery outlet can be done at any time during the factory’s open hours – you don’t have to take part in a tour to visit it. 


All experiences offered by the factory have disabled access. There is also a sole-use disabled toilet on site. 

Guide dogs are allowed to access the factory. 

Food and drink 

The onsite cafe is open to all visitors, whether or not they are part of a tour. Here, you can enjoy a coffee or a bite to eat. The menu consists of homemade food and changes daily. Soup, sandwiches, and homemade cakes are always a guarantee. 


The factory features public toilets as well as a disabled toilet. 

Nearby attractions 

If you’re looking for things to do close by, the factory isn’t far from several exciting attractions in and around Hanley. 

To learn more about Stoke’s pottery history, you should head to the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, which is only an 11-minute walk away. 

Stoke-on-Trent has several former pottery museums which have since become museums and galleries, including Middleport Pottery, which is a 12-minute drive away from Emma Bridgewater. 

Hanley town centre has several bars, restaurants, and cafes, as well as the Potteries Centre shopping mall. 

You also have plenty of Stoke’s best-loved entertainment venues located nearby, should you wish to catch a show or live band later in the day. This includes the Regent Theatre and Victoria Hall


How long is the Emma Bridgewater factory tour? 

The Emma Bridgewater Tour lasts approximately one hour. However, tours can run slightly under or over this time. Questions are encouraged, which can sometimes cause tour times to run over an hour. Prior to the tour, guests are asked to show up at least 15 minutes before their tour is scheduled to begin. 

Where are Emma Bridgewater products made? 

All Emma Bridgewater products are made in Stoke-on-Trent. The company owns two factories on Lichfield Street, in the city’s famous Potteries district. The main factory was formally owned by famed potters the Meakin Brothers, who originally opened the factory in 1883. 

Why are Emma Bridgewater products so expensive? 

Emma Bridgewater regularly put the prices up of their ceramics due to increasing overhead costs. The company also makes all their products by hand using raw materials. Their products are priced highly so that the company can cover energy, raw materials, packaging, and transport. 

How do you become an Emma Bridgewater collector? 

The best way to become an Emma Bridgewater collector would be to join the Collector’s Club. Club members are granted access to exclusive products and early releases. If you spend over £100 in a single transaction you’re granted membership to the club automatically. Alternatively, you can pay £10 for a lifetime membership.

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