Peterborough may not be the first place you think of when deciding on a break in the UK, but this cathedral city is steeped in history dating back to the Bronze Age. There are many exciting places to explore and see, here are some of our favourites.
Peterborough Cathedral is the property of the Cathedral Church of St Peter, St Paul and St Andrew – also known as Saint Peter’s Cathedral
The cathedral has a wealth of history having been founded as a monastic community in 654 AD. It became one of the most significant medieval abbeys in the country, the burial place of two queens, including Mary Queen of Scots, and has been the scene of Civil War upheavals.
We would recommend taking the tower tour to the upper levels to experience some of the finest views across the city.
The cathedral’s usual opening times are Monday to Friday – 10.00am to 4.00pm Saturday – 10.00am to 5.00pm and Sunday – 12.00 noon to 3.00pm, but these can be subject to change so it’s best to check before your visit.
Nene Valley Railway
Nene Valley Railway is the UK’s leading international steam attraction, based at Wansford Station. It’s an exciting day out for the grown-ups as well as the kids, with plenty of nostalgia; a children’s play area, and a picnic spot beside the river. You can even experience driving a steam train or using the signal box.
Make sure you plan your visit in advance as costs can vary depending on what’s on.
Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery is one of the city’s most historic buildings and is just a 2-minute walk from Queensgate Shopping Centre. The building itself started as a private home before becoming a hospital and now the museum. It now houses 200,000 objects of national and international importance, including a collection of Jurassic sea-monster fossils and the original Victorian operating theatre.
Entry to the museum is free and it’s open Tuesday – Saturday 10am to 4pm and Sundays 12 noon – 4pm.
Step back 3,500 years to the Bronze ages and see how the prehistoric people of the fen lived. Get a chance to view some exceptionally rare objects, including one of the earliest examples of a man-made wheel, as well as swords, jewellery, and personal items which were buried here as part of ritual offerings to the watery ‘fen’.
There is a play area and café, as well as a flock of free-roaming Soay sheep. Flag Fen is open daily from 10am – 4pm, Adults are £6, Children and concessions £4, Family Ticket £16 (2 adults and up to 3 children). Special admission charges apply on event days.
Peterborough Lido is a heated pool meaning it can be used all year round (if you are brave enough). There is a splash pool, lane swimming, sun deck, and shaded terraces, making it the perfect day out for adults, children, and families.
The pool is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9.30am – 6pm and Wednesdays and Sundays from 7.30am – 6pm. Pricing varies depending on the length of the session and bookings need to be made in advance.
Elton Hall and Gardens
Elton Hall is a baronial hall in Elton. It has been home to the Proby family since 1660. The hall lies in a 3,800-acre estate through which the River Nene runs. You can visit the house as well as the gardens. Some of the highlights include a collection of Renaissance art, the chapel, and the orangery in the garden.
A tour of the hall will take approximately 1 hour and the gardens 45 minutes, but you can explore at your own leisure and stop off at Bosworth Garden Centre for food and drink.
Opening times vairy throughout the year, tickets are £9 for the garden only and £12.50 for the hall and garden.
You can find Central Park on Park Crescent. There is plenty to do in the park including a sunken and sensory garden. For the smaller children there is a sand-pit and paddling pool. Other facilities at the park include an aviary, bowling greens, hard and grass tennis courts, a putting green and a croquet lawn.
If you need a pitstop you can visit Buttercross tea rooms for tea, coffee, soft drinks and homemade snacks.
The park is open from dawn till dusk all year round, entry is free.
Ferry Meadows Country Park
Ferry Meadows is the ideal place for a family day out and one of the largest country parks in the region. Situated less than three miles from Peterborough city centre, at the heart of Nene Park.
At the park you can walk, cycle, play, horse ride, ride a train, go fishing, exercise the dog, jog, push the buggy and explore endless meadows, lakes and woodland.
There are plenty of facilities on-site, including a farm shop, cafes; bike, pedalo, kayak, and paddleboard hire.
Ferry Meadows is accessible to pedestrians and cyclists at all times. Opening and last entry times for vehicle access at Ferry Meadows are, winter – 29 October to 25 March: 6.30am – 6.30pm and summer – 26 March to 29 October: 6.30am – 9pm.
There is plenty to do and see in and around Peterborough, making it one of our favourite places to visit. If you are looking for accommodation for your visit, be sure to try Landal Rockingham Forest, only a 20-minute car journey from the centre of Peterborough.