The Top Things to Do and See in Peterborough, England

Elton Hall and Gardens is a must-visit when in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
Elton Hall and Gardens is a must-visit when in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire | © John Robertson / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Kelly Bradshaw
27 August 2020

Peterborough is an underrated UK destination if there ever was one: this bustling cathedral city in Cambridgeshire is home to an impressive array of shops, parks, and historical and cultural attractions. From the striking Peterborough Cathedral to the ancient site of Flag Fen, here are the best things to do and see in this charming city.

Peterborough Cathedral

Building, Cathedral
Map View
Medeival cloisters near the south face of Peterborough cathedral Peterborough Cambridgeshire England uk gb Europe
© eye35.pix / Alamy Stock Photo
Built as an abbey during the 1100s, this ancient building offers spectacular views and sits in the heart of the city, directly next to the shopping centre. The cathedral boasts beautiful décor and has been described as one of the finest cathedrals in England. Plus, as the burial place of two queens and as a witness to civil war upheavals, Peterborough Cathedral is rich with history, making it an essential place to visit for a cultured day out.

Queensgate Shopping Centre

Shopping Mall
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Home to an impressive variety of clothing shops, cafés and restaurants, Queensgate Shopping Centre has much to offer. With over 90 shops and 15 places to dine in, this shopping establishment is sure to cater to all tastes. From the well-known high street shops, such as Primark, New Look and River Island, to a range of shops offering luxury designer brands, Queensgate Shopping Centre provides a perfect day out for visitors hoping to find hidden gems and tasty bites.

Key Theatre

Theatre, Music Venue
Map View
Key Theatre, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
© Annie Eagle / Alamy Stock Photo
A cultural and entertainment venue offering a range of performing arts, Key Theatre overlooks the River Nene. Promising to bring an abundance of entertainment and culture to the heart of the city, Key Theatre provides visitors with live music, dance and comedy performances and much more. Catering to audiences of all ages and preferences, Key Theatre is sure to provide an entertaining afternoon for everyone.

Sacrewell Farm

Map View
Described as a lovely place for children to see the animals and run around in the beautiful countryside, Sacrewell Farm provides the perfect family day out. With an 18th-century watermill and the opportunity to have a tractor ride, this farm is sure to entertain its visitors. The farm also has a wildlife trail and scavenger hunt, as well as a café, allowing visitors to feel at home in this inviting and welcoming atmosphere that offers stunning views of the more rural parts of Peterborough.

Greyhound Stadium

Sports Center, Stadium
Map View
Close to the centre of Peterborough, the Greyhound Stadium has been a popular tourist attraction since its opening. Having been awarded the Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor, this greyhound racing centre is often viewed as an exhilarating experience for visitors. With a fully air-conditioned stadium comprising 1,000 seats and an impressive choice of eight bars, a café and a fast-food stand to choose from, the stadium offers guests an array of possibilities while they sit back and enjoy the racing.

Ferry Meadows

Map View
River Nene, Ferry Meadows Country Park in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK.
© Annie Eagle / Stockimo / Alamy Stock Photo
Popular with families due to its play parks, walking and cycling paths, horse rides, fishing opportunities and stunning scenery, Ferry Meadows is the perfect place to visit for an enjoyable, relaxing day out. With endless meadows, lakes and woodlands offering beautiful lake views, this country park is located a mere 3mi (5km) from the city centre, placing it in a perfect location. Also featuring cafés and a busy event and activity programme, Ferry Meadows is an excellent spot for families to spend the day.

Peterborough Museum

Building, Museum, Shop
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Housing a variety of Peterborough’s historical and art collections, Peterborough Museum is located in one of the city’s most historic buildings. With over 2,000 items holding both national and international importance, the museum promises to educate visitors on a variety of subjects. Also offering a beautiful garden and a coffee shop, the museum is perfect for those hoping to brush up on their history.

Exotic Pet Refuge

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Founded in 1984, the Exotic Pet Refuge cares for more than 300 unwanted, abandoned or abused exotic animals, as well as rescued British wildlife. Providing shelter for monkeys, owls, a lynx and a range of other wild animals, Exotic Pet Refuge is only open to the public for six days a year, making it essential to not miss out. Ideal for a family day out, this place offers an exciting alternative to the bustling city life.

Flag Fen

Park, Archaeological site, Historical Landmark
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Iron Age hut at Flag Fen archaeology park, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK
© Susie Kearley / Alamy Stock Photo
A Bronze Age site developed around 3,500 years ago, this ancient tourist attraction comprises over 6,000 timbers and offers picturesque views of Peterborough’s countryside. Many metal, stone and bone artefacts have been discovered at Flag Fen, making it an essential place to visit for tourists hoping to get a taste of a prehistoric environment and learn more about life in the Bronze Age.

Elton Hall and Gardens

Building, Park, Architectural Landmark
Map View
Having been the ancestral home of the Proby family since 1660, this building is a spectacular tourist attraction. Offering beautiful views of the city and incredible décor, Elton Hall and Gardens has been described as a romantic, part-gothic house. With rooms boasting magnificent interiors, this house will give tourists an authentic taste of luxury living. Also offering a selection of beautiful gardens, Elton Hall and Gardens is a must-visit in Peterborough.

Peterborough Lido

Swimming Pool
Map View

Originally built in 1936 by Arthur Mellows, the former mayor of Peterborough, the Lido is a great way to spend an afternoon soaking up the sun or going for a relaxing swim. The Lido itself has a number of art deco influences in its design and houses three heated pools. The main pool is 50m (164ft) long and features lane swimming during the day, with the two smaller pools that are perfect for families.

Nene Park

Map View
Ferry Meadows country park, also known as Nene Park in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK
© Annie Eagle / Alamy Stock Photo
If you’re looking for a slice of the outdoors, then Nene Park has plenty to offer. With a variety of activities on offer, from cycle trails to kayaking and windsurfing to nature trails, there’ll be something for everyone to enjoy. The park itself is awash with natural beauty and has an abundance of flora and fauna to enjoy. Don’t miss the model railway that runs through the park – a great way to entertain the kids.

Additional reporting by Nicholas Grantham

These recommendations were updated on August 27, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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