cambridge -We might not quite understand it, but for some reason people love to hate on Peterborough.
For a third year running Peterborough has topped the list of UK c**p towns for a third year in a row – a feat currently only shared by Hull.
People had some brutal opinions of the city, which is in fact my home town, but here at CambridgeshireLive we have Cambs covered – and that means all of Cambs, Peterborough included.
So we thought we’d show the often overlooked or looked down upon city some love, and remind you of all the reasons Peterborough is actually a great city and a great place to live.
Given its location, Peterborough has seen a lot through the years.
Lying just to the side of the A1, the old Great North Road, and with rail links in pretty much every direction, there has been a lot of transit through the town.
Originally founded by the Romans, it boasts a 900-year-old cathedral, and not to mention a museum which was once a Victorian hospital which treated wounded soldiers and before that the home of the city’s MPs and magistrates who built on land given to them by King Henry VIII.
Then there’s the Kings and Queens – Katherine of Aragon is buried in the cathedral, so was Mary Queen of Scots for a time as she was executed just down the road.
The cathedral has faced Viking invasions, been raided by Cromwell’s troops and been the hiding place for royalty on the run.
The city is bursting with history, and ghost stories, even in some of the most unassuming places.
Peterborough is home to a diverse, multicultural melting pot of people, and an array of cultural centres and things to do.
Whether you’re after an evening at one of the three, yes THREE, theatres the city has to offer, or experiencing some of the cuisine available thanks to the people who have made Peterborough their home.
The city is home to some absolutely incredible restaurants, including House of Feasts.
This incredible restaurant, opened by chef Damian Wawrzyniak, has collected all kinds of awards since it opened in 2017 and focuses on using local suppliers and their own garden as much as possible.
A chef who owns a Peterborough-based restaurant has cooked for the Royal Family and with Mary Berry – how’s that for culture?!
The Polish influences in his mouth-watering food have even led the chef to open up the Pierogi Kiosk bringing Eastern European food to wider audiences in a more casual way.
Gorgeous green spaces
When many people think of Peterborough, they imagine it as some drab, grey, commuter town with no life, soul or greenery.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
The Ferry meadows park is a haven for wildlife, and even has a water sports centre so you can get out onto the water and try something new.
Things around the Embankment area may be about to change with the arrival of the new university, however the River Nene flows alongside the Key Theatre and the embankment fields behind are often home to all sorts from fairs to the annual beer festival.
There are countless nature reserves surrounding the city, helping to protect our wildlife and giving people a chance to embrace nature.
Up the road at Burghley House there’s even deer who make themselves at home in the huge grounds.
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One thing to remember about Peterborough is its potential.
The city is one of the fastest growing in the UK, with so much development either ongoing or upcoming which will provide new opportunities for the city.
Whether it’s the new university, set to open next year to provide courses for thousands of students, the new Government hub being built to help decrease the London-centric offices they currently have, or some of the incredible developments for housing such as Fletton Quays – Peterborough is growing and evolving, bringing new opportunities and breathing life into the city.
So many shopping opportunities
Sure we might not be able to go out clothes shopping while we’re in lockdown, but when we can again Peterborough has not one, but two shopping centres.
And that’s not even including all the retail parks in the city.
So no matter what you’re after, you’re probably bound to find it in Peterborough.
From huge supermarkets, to home-hardware stores, to clothing, to homeware, furniture, tech… you name it, Peterborough probably has a store that covers it.
One of the best things about having so many places to shop?
It eases the crowds and congestion.
For example, the city has three Next stores, well four if you count the Next Home store attached to one of them, all with plenty of space and stock available – so the mad scenes we’re used to seeing in the Next Boxing Day Sale?
They can be a lot calmer in Peterborough as people are spread between several stores.
So if you fancy going out to have a look round the shops you don’t need to prepare to brave a busy shopping centre.
What’s not to love about that?
Great travel links
As soon as you tell people you’re from Peterborough you most likely get one of two responses – either they’ve been to the passport office, or they’ve passed through on the train.
And while this used to bug some of us, we’ve learned to embrace it.
Whether you need to get up north, out east, down to London or across to Birmingham – Peterborough has a train service that will get you there.
With two train operators running regular services to London it’s no surprise that the city became popular with commuters.
But it also lies along the East Coast Main Line – meaning you can get up to York, Leeds, Durham, Newcastle, or Edinburgh with ease and just one train.
So if you’re moving to Peterborough from elsewhere, it’s pretty straightforward to get the train home to see your family and friends when you want to.
And that’s not even mentioning that we’re not far from the A1, A14, M11, M1 and A47 – all major routes linking Peterborough to the rest of the country.