An Alternative Guide to Stoke-on-Trent: Single on Valentine’s Day

Ah, Valentine’s Day. The day when couples celebrate their love, and singletons stay in and cry into their tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.


Not this year, folks! I have always been single on Valentine’s Day, and 2018 was no exception. But was that going to stop me having a nice day and enjoying myself? No! Because Hanley and the intu Potteries shopping centre does not require you to be in a relationship to tread its hallow malls.

This year, I decided to take care of myself for a whole day. I budgeted in advance to have this day, but my only goal was to do what I wanted to do and treat myself. And here’s where that took me, in Hanley’s glorious selection of shops…


Stop 1: Primark

Primark is for everyone. That’s just how life is now. Sure, it’s busy and people mess up the clothes and swap the price labels over to try and get bargains, but you can always find a gem or two in there.

You may know I am obsessed with Disney, but specifically Lady & the Tramp, and there is never enough Lady & the Tramp merchandise in the world. So when I found a set of pyjamas for a tenner with this glorious pair of pooches on the front, I was sold.

I also purchased a fairly cheap mobile phone tripod, just to make vlogging a little easier.

Stop 2: Starbucks

Tactical decision, and not at all because I favour Starbucks over any other eatery. I was just hungry, and gravitated towards food.

I treated myself to a mozzarella and pesto panini and to wash it down, an iced tea lemonade.

And yes, this is still in Hanley, I had not travelled to Italy between these two stops.

Stop 3: Superdrug

Just picked up a couple of essentials – nothing interesting here unless you’re into mascara (I go for Bourjois if that’s the case)

Stop 4: New Look

I stopped here just to pick up a click & collect order, but I did peruse my favourite section (scarves, knitwear and bags), and the ultimate embarrassment – they still had my yellow scarf in stock, so I was clashing! I felt like a shoplifter even though I bought it in January.

Stop 5: Lush

Now this is the ultimate place to stop when you’re intending to treat yourself, which is why I left it until the end. Sure, the products for sale are expensive. But they are vegan, they fight animal-testing and they support various conservation projects around the world. Lush even hold their own summit event to spread awareness of these issues. It’s not just a fancy bath bomb shop.

Saying that, they do have excellent fancy bath bombs. One that made me laugh this time round was a bubble bar called ‘Baa Baa’, which is designed in the shape of a sheep. Hilarious, Lush. Hilarious.

And that was it! I spent 2 and a half hours taking my time around the Potteries and I thoroughly enjoyed just having some time to myself and not worrying about anyone else. Valentine’s Day is ultimately about celebrating love, so I celebrated myself for once…and then called my grandparents, my mum and texted my dad to make sure they all knew I loved them too.

Happy Single Valentine’s Day, and here’s to many more!

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About Hayley Towns 31 Articles
Hi! I’m Hayley and I study Photojournalism! I love all things animals and hope to one day start my own business as a pet photographer. I have a dog called Louis and a tortoise called Tortilla. My vlog title is “Diaries of a Sober Student”, so my content will all be based around days out rather than nights as that's just more me. Expect gallons of tea, tonnes of chocolate and animals. Lots and lots of animals.

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