Leisure & Culture

You're never short of things to do in Peterborough

You're never short of things to do in Peterborough

A busy high street and heritage going back to the Bronze Age sets Peterborough apart. We’re a vital hub for a catchment population of over 1 million nearby residents who can enjoy our developing cafe culture, strong retail offering, and quality family fun. In fact, Peterborough enjoyed a faster recovery in high street footfall and spend than average following the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Over £1/2 billion is going towards regenerating our city centre with high end residential and commercial spaces, and room to expand our retail and leisure offer. Queensgate Shopping Centre features Westgate Arcade, which is filled with independent retailers, and is even undergoing a £60 million extension to house a new multiplex cinema, set to open in 2023.


13 million

city centre visitors annually

£60 million

cinema complex coming to Queensgate Shopping Centre


longer visit time in the city centre (101 minutes) than national average

Retail Investment

As a vital regional hub, retailers actively invest in Peterborough

  • Queensgate Shopping Centre has 118 units, and includes brands like Fat Face, Office, Primark, and Superdry. A new £60 million extension will provide a multiplex cinema.
  • Westgate Arcade, within Queensgate, is filled with independent retailers ranging from vegan eateries to jewellers and high-end clothing.
  • Brotherhood Retail Park had a £25 million revamp to almost double the number of
    retail units including HobbyCraft, Oak Furniture Land, HobbyCraft and Next Home.
  • Serpentine Green Shopping Centre totals 208,000 sq ft and underwent a £7 million extension in 2018. It’s home to one of the biggest Tesco Extra stores in the country.
  • Peterborough One Retail Park (PE1) – includes a 50,000 sq ft Van Hage Garden Centre with a Kids Zone which regularly hosts seasonal family events, plus access to 17 other retailers including InflataNation, The Works, aquatics stores, and furniture and pet stores. Aldi has also opened a store on the site which opened in 2021.
Posh v Wycombe Wanderers - 21/01/2020

Aside from our bustling city centre, you’ll find large scale entertainment at Peterborough Arena – a 5,000 seat indoor venue that hosts shows, concerts, events, conferences and exhibitions throughout the year. Peterborough also has three independent theatres with full schedules, an ice rink, a multiplex cinema complex (with another planned), bowling alleys, and a range of health clubs and gyms. We also have a Hilton Garden Inn hotel opening in 2023 with a rooftop bar with Cathedral views.

Football fans can also catch a game of Peterborough United Football Club – better known as The Posh – right in our city centre. And we also have a renowned ice-hockey team, the Peterborough Phantoms.

OP 165

Eating Out? It’s not just the usual big names you’ll find in our city centre. Just some of our independent eateries includes Indian cuisine at The Banyan Tree, vegan delights at Ralphy’s Fakeaway, Caribbean soul food at Embe, and Italian dishes at The Pizza Parlour.

You can quench your thirst at a whole host of independent pubs and bars like the Queen’s Head, Stoneworks, Charters Bar or the Wonky Donkey micro-pub. Ale lovers can also get to the largest beer festival outside of London on the August bank holiday!

Finger post sign Ferry Meadows 1280

We’re rightly proud of our open green spaces. Unique to Peterborough is Nene Park, a sprawling 1,753-acre country park green space just a 10 minute drive from the city centre. Offering nature trails, cycling paths, water sports and even horse riding, it’s one of the city’s most popular attractions with outdoor sports enthusiasts and families alike.

Sitting alongside the park is the Nene Valley Railway, famous for its steam trains which carry visitors to the city centre. Two golf courses hug the banks of the River Nene with one of the country’s top purpose-built rowing clubs making the most of 10km of rowable water. Cycling enthusiasts can also take advantage of our green wheel – an 80km network of cycleways around the city.

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Top culture picks

  • 900-year-old Norman Cathedral – and burial place of Katharine of Aragon
  • 26 scheduled monuments including “Places to Be” sculptures by Antony Gormley permanently erected on rooftops in the city centre!
  • Three theatres –  Key Theatre, New Theatre, and The Cresset, showing everything from pantomimes and comedy performances to ballet shows
  • Museum and art gallery housing over 200,000 items of national and international importance
  • Metal Culture – providing space for artists and creatives. It curates an exciting programme of international and UK artists in residence, educational activities, meetings and events
  • Flag Fen Archaeological Park – a 28 acre site of significant historical value built on a Bronze Age settlement. Home to the world’s first crowdfunded archaeological dig that helped create a worldwide community of enthusiasts.
  • Clare Cottage – the former home of poet John Clare is located in nearby Helpston – regarded as one of the greatest English poets of all time
  • Burghley House – one of Britain’s finest Elizabethan houses is just 15 minutes’ drive from Peterborough. A venue for music and art events, and the famous Horse Trials.

Next Steps...

To find out more about what Peterborough has to offer, talk to Opportunity Peterborough