10 things you may not know about Peterborough!
- The spectacular Peterborough Cathedral dates back to 1118 and stands on the site of a monastic church originally built in 655 AD.
- Peterborough Cathedral was the original resting place of Mary, Queen of Scots after she was beheaded at nearby Fotheringhay.
- The population grew by nearly 50% between 1971 and 1991 under the new town expansion programme.
- Peterborough's working steam Nene Valley Railway has been featured in the James Bond films Octopussy and Goldeneye, and TV productions such as 'Dalziel and Pascoe', 'Jekyll' and 'Poirot'.
- Famous people born in Peterborough include Erasure's Andy Bell, Sir Henry Royce, TV presenter Sarah Cawood and the poet John Clare.
- Radio 1 DJ (and Ali G inspiration) Tim Westwood is the son of the Rt Rev Bill Westwood, former Bishop of Peterborough.
- The Queensgate Shopping Centre, a landmark development for the city, was built in 1982 at a cost of £60 million.
- The city's only football league club, Peterborough United, was formed in 1932 and turned professional two years later.
- The Pizza Express restaurant chain was founded by Peterborough entrepreneur Peter Boizot in 1965.
- The city shares its name with towns and cities in South Australia, Canada and the USA
Peterborough is home to the BGL Group's head office and one of three UK call centres.
From its bustling city centre to its outlying rural villages, Peterborough is fast becoming the jewel of the East of England. At the heart of the city, you'll find a busy modern shopping centre set alongside the medieval surroundings of one of the most spectacular Cathedrals in the country. Look just a little further afield and you'll find the gentle, rolling hills of neighbouring Rutland and Northamptonshire to the west with the expansive, flat Fenlands a few miles to the east.
Peterborough is host to a large, friendly, multi-cultural community that works mostly within the local area, although superb road and rail links mean that other major cities are well within easy reach. London itself is just under an hour away by train.
One of Peterborough's most notable achievements is its designation as one of four Environment Cities in the UK. Peterborough City Council, in partnership with local businesses and other organisations, is building on this reputation to establish the city as an international 'Environment Capital', making sure that while the city grows, it's a greener and healthier growth that brings a better quality of life for its people.
Peterborough has experienced a real boom in recent years with a population growing to over 160,000 and a number of household names including IKEA, Tesco and Debenhams have chosen Peterborough for major distribution centres, making a valuable contribution to the local economy. Further growth is planned as part of the city's Masterplan with targets to create 20,000 new jobs and build 25,000 new homes over the next 15 years.
What to do and what to see
The city has a vibrant nightlife with bars, pubs and clubs to suit all tastes. Peterborough's multi-cultural identity is reflected in its wide range of restaurants, offering Chinese, Cantonese, Indian and Thai food as well as Nepalese, Japanese, Mexican and Polish dining experiences.
If it's something more relaxing you're looking for, the historic Cathedral - the burial place of Katharine of Aragon - stands as one of the most important 12th century buildings in the country, for worship as well as concerts and other special events throughout the year.
The area's archaeological importance is highlighted at Flag Fen, just a couple miles outside the city, where you can spend a whole day exploring excavations that have uncovered over 3,000 years of history.
Peterborough's Key Theatre and the multi-functional Cresset Centre at Bretton, host a year-round calendar of music, comedy and shows. Peterborough is also the centre for a wide range of events across the city, including the Peterborough Festival, Dragon Boat racing and the annual CAMRA Beer Festival, as well as a packed programme at the city's East of England Showground.
Living in Peterborough
There's a wide mix of housing available, whether you're looking for smart, modern town houses close to the centre at Yaxley, Fletton and Hampton, or something more traditional in the rural wards and villages that surround Peterborough. Click here for an idea of house prices in the area.
A good range of schools, colleges and further education establishments caters for children of all ages and young people. Major refurbishment projects at schools such as Jack Hunt and Ken Stimpson Community Schools are complemented by new build projects such as the £26 million Voyager School and the £46 million Norman Foster designed Thomas Deacon Academy, providing state-of-the-art education for students across the region. There are also several respected independent schools within easy reach, including Oundle School, Stamford School and Uppingham School. Further education is provided by Peterborough Regional College.
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