Peterborough Cathedral, west front, with people having picnics in foreground

Here at Group Travel World we organise fam trips for readers all over the UK – but one of the best attractions we’ve ever visited is just up the road from the magazine’s office. Peterborough Cathedral attracts visitors from across the world, and new and improved facilities mean it’s now even better groups.

We bravely opted for the Tower Tour – expect some steep stairs! – but the journey’s well worth it to take in the breathtaking views of the city. Only from a bird’s-eye view can you also appreciate the cathedral’s mosaic marbled flooring.

As the cathedral approaches its 900th year, plans are afoot to celebrate with a Katherine of Aragon festival in January 2018 (the cathedral is the burial place of Henry VIII’s first wife). And, in June, the city will host a Heritage Festival with a programme of re-enactments, displays and demonstrations in the cathedral grounds.

If you’re arriving by coach, drop off is close to the cathedral building, and there’s a nearby coach park. Or you can opt to use the city’s many rail links, as the station’s just a 15-minute walk away. There is no parking for the general public in the cathedral grounds, however there are several large car parks nearby.

You can enjoy home-cooked food, as well as drinks and cakes, in the Beckett’s Tea Rooms in the grounds of the cathedral. It’s wise to forward book if you’re in a group and we’d recommend sitting out on the terrace overlooking the cathedral.
• A big thanks to our hosts for the day, Liz Hurst and Natalie Freeman, and our tour guides Catriona Mathieson, Nick Gazeley, Kate Brown, Neil Barker and Mary Boyall. Plan your trip at www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk

Its history may not stretch quite as far back as the cathedral’s, but Peterborough’s smart Bull Hotel in Westgate – just a short walk from Peterborough Cathedral – dates back to the 17th century and is the only AA recognised four-star hotel in the city centre.
The hotel, which is part of the Peel Hotels group, welcomes groups, and its Sales and Revenue Manager, Vicky Bell, is happy to help make your stay a success.

“Group organisers are welcome to call me to talk through their plans and find out how we can help,” says Vicky. “We may be able to offer slight discounts on certain dates and can suggest the best rooms to suit you.” Plan your trip at www.peelhotels.co.uk

Find out more about all the city has to offer at www.visitpeterborough.com 

For a night out:
• The newly-reopened Broadway Theatre, thebroadway.today
• The Key Theatre, which sits on the River Nene, www.vivacity-peterborough.com
• The line-up of shows on offer at The Cresset, www.cresset.co.uk
• Peterborough Greyhounds, with racing every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, www.peterboroughgreyhounds.com • The East of England Arena and Events Centre, www.youreventspace.co.uk

For entertainment:
• Peterborough Museum & Art Gallery, www.vivacity-peterborough.com

• Ferry Meadows Country Park, www.neneparktrust.org.uk/ferry-meadows

 

• Railworld, www.railworld.net

• Peterborough United Football Club, www.theposh.com
• Nene Valley Railway (home to Thomas the Tank Engine), www.nvr.org.uk

To stay:
• The GTW award-winning Orton Hall Hotel, www.ortonhall.co.uk
• The Park Inn by Radisson Peterborough Hotel, www.parkinn.co.uk/hotel-peterborough
• The Dragonfly Hotel, www.dragonflypeterborough.co.uk
• The Peterborough Marriott Hotel, www.marriott.co.uk
• The Holiday Inn Express, www.expresspeterborough.co.uk
• Premier Inn Peterborough, www.premierinn.com

For shopping:
• Van Hage Garden Centre in the new Peterborough One retail park, www.pe1.co.uk
• The new, improved Serpentine Green Shopping Centre, www.serpentine-green.com
• The indoor (perfect for cold winter days) Queensgate Shopping Centre, www.queensgate-shopping.co.uk
• Brotherhood Shopping Park, www.brotherhoodshopping.co.uk
• Peterborough Market Place, www.peterborough-market.org