Should you ever find yourself wondering what to do in Peterborough, there are plenty of days out for you to choose from. As you’ll see, the city boasts some of the finest architecture in the country, incredible natural scenery, escape rooms, bowling, state-of-the-art cinemas, and steam trains, all you have to do is decide where to go first.
Activities in Peterborough
When it comes to sightseeing, one of the city’s must-see attractions is Peterborough Cathedral. It’s one of the finest examples of architecture in the country. As a place of worship, Peterborough Cathedral dates back to the Anglo-Saxon period, when it was known as ‘Medeshamstede’. However, it was rebuilt in the 12th Century and retains much of these original Norman features, notably the famous West Front, which sets it apart from any other building in the world. Pay a visit, see the tomb where Catherine of Aragon is buried, and join a Cathedral tour to find out about its incredible history.
Another must-see stop on your sightseeing tour is Burghley House. The 16th-Century country house is among the finest in the country. It was built for the Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I, whose wealth and status can clearly be seen in this most decadent of residences. Considering the sheer size of the hundred-room-strong house, it’s been incredibly well preserved, particularly in terms of the Elizabethan exterior, which survives largely untouched.
Burghley House is open to the public, so you can take your time exploring the extent of its extravagances. Plus, if the weather’s kind be sure to walk the estate grounds and the manmade lake, which were designed by ‘England’s Greatest Gardener’, Capability Brown. It’ll take you just over twenty minutes to drive from any one of our Peterborough hotels, but it’s well worth making the journey.
Ferry Meadows Country Park
When it comes to the great outdoors, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Ferry Meadows Country Park. Ferry Meadows is a 250-acre stretch of the wider Nene Park and stretches for six miles along the banks of the River Nene. If you stay at our Peterborough (Ferry Meadows) hotel, it’s right on your doorstep with activities for all ages, including fishing, bird watching, and there’s even a watersports centre if you want to try your hand at aquatic activities like stand up paddle boarding or canoeing. Of course, you don’t have to do anything at Ferry Meadows. Just lose yourself in the area’s natural beauty, perhaps bring a picnic, relax, and unwind.
Nene Valley Railway
Ferry Meadows is also one of three stops on the Nene Valley Railway, a heritage line which runs between Yarwell Junction and Peterborough Nene Valley station in the city centre. The railway has various steam and diesel-powered locomotives for you to ride. However, for youngsters, the most popular is by far and away the full-scale replica of Thomas the Tank Engine. Pay a visit, climb aboard one of these beautifully restored trains, and take your seat in one of the wood-panelled compartments; it’s like stepping back in time to the golden age of steam.
Speaking of stepping back in time, if you want to delve into the history of the city then pay a visit to the Peterborough Museum on Priestgate, just south of the Queensgate shopping centre. It’s impressive collection spans more than 220,000 pieces and ranks as one of the most important in the country. You’ll find original manuscripts of John Clare, one of the leading poets of the Romantic era, among all kinds of other fascinating exhibits. Best of all, the museum is absolutely free, although donations are warmly received.
If you’re looking for somewhere to kill some time, perhaps when the weather’s being less than kind, you can always take your pick from Peterborough’s array of indoor activities. When it comes to cinemas, your best bet is the city’s Showcase Cinema de Lux in Fengate. It boasts luxury recliner-seating as standard in every one of its 13 screens. Plus, it’s barely more than a ten-minute drive from our Peterborough (Norman Cross) hotel.
There are a handful of escape rooms for you to choose from in the city, but our recommendation is Escape Peterborough. In total, it has seven different scenarios, which you’re to use your cunning and guile to conquer within the 60-minute time limit. Alternatively, if you want something less taxing on the brain – but more exhausting on the body – you can always visit Bounce Peterborough, the top trampoline park in the area. Last but not least, if you fancy taking to the lanes to topple some pins, Hollywood Bowl is just five minutes away from our Peterborough North hotel.