Discover Peterborough 2012

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Welcome to the 2012 Peterborough Visitor Guide. It’s full of information about how you can discover more about one of the UK’s fastest-growing, greenest and most historical cities.

Text of Discover Peterborough 2012

  • History Shopping Great events Days out Visitor attractions

    Visitor Guide 2012


  • ContentsHistoric Peterborough 4

    Great events for 2012 8

    Shopping and city markets 12

    Cafes, restaurants and nightlife 13

    Peterborough for all the family 14

    Peterboroughs events calendar 17

    A green city 22

    Accommodation 26

    Sustainable Peterborough 33

    How to get here 34

    City centre map 35




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  • Welcome to Peterborough

    Peterborough is a fantastic place to visit combining a huge range of visitor attractions, a modern city centre and a picturesque network of walking and cycle routes.

    The city is awash with history. Explore Flag Fen, Britains most significant Bronze Age site, while one of the worlds finest Norman cathedrals watches over the city. Every year all aspects of Peterboroughs past come alive during our Heritage festival!

    Welcome to the 2012 Peterborough Visitor Guide. Its full of information about how you can discover more about one of the UKs fastest-growing, greenest and most historical cities.

    Take time to relax and enjoy yourself in Peterborough city centre which offers shopping at designer stores, high street brands and unique independents all set off perfectly by a rejuvenated central square which combines modern elegance with stunning heritage. Queensgate Shopping Centre will satisfy all shopaholics and nights out in the city offer superb restaurants and bars.

    Peterborough is one of the UKs Environment Cities and has some of the finest green spaces in the region. A beautiful country park offers walks, views and water sports, while the Green Wheel cycle route encompasses the whole city.

    2012 is set to be one of Peterboroughs most exciting years with the Olympic Torch coming to the city in July. Peterborough is just 45 minutes by train from London Kings Cross and may be the perfect place to stay during the 2012 Games for easy access and affordable accommodation.

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    Alive withhistory

    Peterborough Cathedral has been voted as one of the top ten landmarks in the country. Katharine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII, is buried within this grand building. The original wooden ceiling survives in the nave, making it one of the rarest examples of its kind in Europe.

    The citys history stretches back over 10,000 years. Peterborough has over a thousand listed buildings, sixty scheduled ancient monuments and is linked to every era of British history.

    It holds daily services and tours are readily available. Choral concerts and art installations are just some of the events held at the Cathedral, follow @pborocathedral on twitter or visit to find out more.

    ToursPeterborough Museum runs regular

    guided walks around the city often in period costume!

    Find out about the life of a Peterborough monk or the ghosts

    that are still said to haunt the streets.

  • Historic Peterborough 5

    Flag Fen is one of the most important archaeological sites in Britain. See how people lived over 3,000 years ago by exploring its recreated hamlet of Bronze and Iron Age dwellings, set within 37 acres of wild fenland.

    Burghley House offers a unique glimpse into the world of the first Elizabethan age. There are 18 state rooms with splendid interiors and its gardens and parklands were designed by Capability Brown.

    The Garden of Surprises, built in 2007, has mirrors, water and sculptures for the whole family to enjoy.

    Peterboroughs seventeenth century Guildhall sits beside the modern central square and used to be home to the citys butter and poultry markets.

    Powered by steam the Nene Valley Railway runs for over seven miles and although it has bigger engines, to most visitors, the railways biggest attraction is Thomas the Engine. Services run throughout the year including Santa Specials.





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    Bronze Age settlers and Viking invaders are just the tip of what you can discover in Peterborough and at certain times of the year they come back for real! During the 23 and 24 June the Peterborough Heritage Festival, organised by Vivacity Culture and Leisure, takes place in the stunning Cathedral Precincts. Expect a living history extravaganza culminating in spectacular battle displays and re-enactments.

    Longthorpe Tower is a truly rare example of a medieval tower house. Visit the Tower to see one of the most important sets of fourteenth century wall paintings in northern Europe.

    Following a multi-million pound facelift Peterborough Museum re-opens on 31 March 2012 with new galleries and breathtaking exhibitions. Stay and play in the family friendly museum all day, with lunch in the brand new caf and hands-on fun throughout.

    Peterborough Museum, Longthorpe Tower and Flag Fen can be easily enjoyed by an overall Vivacity Heritage pass for the three attractions. More information can be found at or follow on twitter @VivacityPboro.

    Also visitJohn Clare Cottage. Tucked away between Stamford and Peterborough lies the village of Helpston, the home of John Clare (1793-1864) who is regarded as one of the greatest of the English poets.

    Norman Cross Art Gallery is situated in the unique setting of the former prisoner of war depot of Norman Cross. During the Napoleonic wars, seven thousand French prisoners were held on this site.

    St John the Baptist Church (picture on page 3) is located in the heart of the city and is the official parish church of Peterborough. The 600 year-old church is also a great place to have a cup of coffee and a bite to eat.

    HIDDEN GEMS Just over the county boundary

    lies the beautiful Prebendal Manor House. Dating from

    1200, it is Grade I listed and the oldest dwelling house in


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    Close to theaction

    The citys Olympic hero from 2008 and a major medal hope at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Louis won a Bronze medal in Beijing on the Pommel Horse and became the first British gymnast to win an individual medal for a century.

    Olympic Torch Relay in Peterborough 3 and 4 JulyPeterborough will be the gateway to the East of England for the Olympic Torch as it makes its journey around the UK. The city has been selected to host an Evening Celebration event which will take place on Peterboroughs Embankment. Find out more at

    Hotels See our hotel listings on pages 26 to 32 to find out where you could be

    staying this summer.

    This guide shows you what a great place Peterborough is to take a short break at any time of the year, but why not base yourself in the city during the 2012 Games.

    Louis Smith

    Regular train services can get you to London Kings Cross in just 45 to 50 minutes - with a direct link from nearby St Pancras to Stratford via the Javelin Train. The city also has an extensive range of hotels in the city centre which could make your journey no longer than if you were staying in some parts of the capital.

  • Great events for 2012 9

    The Halfords Tour Series cycling race (29 May) returns to the streets of central Peterborough. Its a unique gladiatorial and exciting team race featuring 50 professional cyclists. Events take place all day, including the Womens Grand Prix, during this cycling extravaganza.

    Peterborough is set to have one of its best years ever, combining the mood of national celebration with a fantastic calendar of local events. More events can be found in the calendar section starting on page 17 of this guide.

    The Peterborough Arts Festival (30 June to 8 July), organised by Vivacity Culture and Leisure, will provide an experience thats not to be missed! From the opening city centre weekend, building up to the grand Festival finale in Central Park, theatre, music, dance and more will be cropping up in a whole range of unexpected places, from street corners to shop fronts. This year, the Festival forms the backdrop to the Olympic Torch Relay when it arrives in the city on 3 July.

    The Willow Festival took place in Peterborough almost a decade ago and its back for 2012. This free live music festival runs from 25 to 27 May on the citys Embankment. It aims to promote the best unsigned bands and performers in the UK. All tastes will be catered for with over 120 bands on the bill.

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    The Perkins Great Eastern Run (14 October) is one of the UKs top ten half-marathons and takes place through the streets of Peterborough. Its likely to be the most competitive in its history as the PGER will be one of only five runbritain UK Grand Prix and Championship races in 2012. The race series enables British elite runners to score points which will culminate in a 60,000 prize fund. Thousands of others will be running for charity or taking part in the four kilometre fun run. To sign up or for more information visit

    Mama Mia, the Peterborough Italian Festival (15 and 16 September) will be bigger than ever in 2012. The citys large Italian population, in conjunction with Peterborough City Council, organise the festival which attracted over 8,000 people last year. Antonio Carluccio, the