It's back

Peterborough Heritage Festival is the UK's largest multi-period city centre living history festival. In 2019 it returns to Cathedral Square in the city centre for another year of traditional family fun. This year takes on the theme of ‘Victorians’ marking 200 years since the birth of Queen Victoria.

New for 2019:

  • Victorian amusements
  • Victorian re-enactors
  • Steampunk: gears, gadgets and gizmos arena show

Flick through the tabs to plan your day in advance.

Every year the festival promises:

  • Over 300 re-enactors
  • Over 3,000 years of history
  • Over 30,000 people
  • A FREE day out for all ages.

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City Centre car park map

Cathedral Square sits at the centre of the city. There are a number of car parks around Peterborough as well as regular bus and train links.

For full details on all car parks, visit the council car park locations website - this includes all disabled access

From the bus station or train station, the Cathedral is signposted and is less than 10 minutes walk


Getting around

As the festival takes place in Cathedral Square and around the Cathedral, most of the terrain is smooth and fully accessible. Around the Cathedral, the ground is flat but onto grass. Adverse weather may affect the firmness of the ground on the grass areas but won't affect the hard-standings or paths.

Performances and reenactments will take place in the main arena on Cathedral Square in front of the Guildhall. There are also performances on the far side of St John's Church and into the Cathedral Precincts. Pathways reach across the whole of the city centre making access throughout the day easier.

The city centre is a 10 minute walk (800m) from Peterborough train station or 7 minute walk (650m) from Queensgate bus station. It is well signposted from both stations.

The longest distance throughout the day is 480m - from Peterborough Museum to the back of the Cathedral. The centre is just 300m from end to end.

We have placed seating areas half way around the graveyard and in the Bishops Palace gardens should you need to take a rest.

Getting the best view

There will be a designated viewing area next to the main arena for any visitors with mobility/accessibility requirements which includes a hearing loop. To access this area, please contact any member of festival staff on the day. They will be recognised by purple Vivacity t-shirts.  

Getting to the Festival

The closest accessible parking spaces to the Festival is the Car Haven on Bishops Road

We do not have baggage drop off facilities. 

Parking: There are many public car parks throughout the city centre.  For those who require blue badge spaces, we recommend the Car Haven Car Park, which is 6 minutes walk (480m)

Public transport: The city centre is a 10 minute walk (800m) from Peterborough train station or 7 minute walk (650m) from Queensgate bus station


Where are the toilets?

Toilets are located at the Wheelyard entrance to the Cathedral Precincts, on the way to the Cloisters and half way up the Cathedral graveyard.  At all three points there are accessible toilets.  If you require better facilities than portable toilets, the Cathedral Visitors Centre has an accessible toilet too.

There are no toilet facilities at the viewing area. Performances do not last any longer than 25 minutes.

What to do on arrival

Peterborough Heritage Festival is a free, open festival for all ages. There is no need to register or check in with anyone, just head to Cathedral Square and enjoy yourself.

Events run during the main festival weekend from 10am - 5pm on Saturday and 11am - 5pm on Sunday.

Some tips on getting the most out of your day:

  1. On arrival, head to the Vivacity Information point and pick up a Heritage Festival schedule
    1. Let the information tent staff know if you have any concerns about accessibility during the day and if you have sensitivity to anything (such as loud bangs or tight spaces). They will be able to advise of which events throughout the day will best suit you and how best to enjoy them.
  2. Make sure to book for any extra events or workshops.
    1. Let the staff at each sideshow know when booking if you have any additional accessibility requirements. They will be able to advise you as to what provisions they can make for you.
  3. Explore
    1. Inside the Heritage Festival schedule is a map – take some time to plan your route around the site using information on this page as well as by asking advice from staff and volunteers on the shortest routes between activities. You will be able to recognise staff and volunteers by their purple t-shirts.

Accessing Performances


Our BSL interpreters will be on hand throughout the day to provide assistance should you require it. Please go to the Vivacity Info Tent for this service. Many of the shows in our main arena will be BSL interpreted. 

Medical services 

There will be a fully equipped ambulance and first aiders based in the Cathedral precincts next to the Wheelyard entrance.

Is there strobe lighting?

One of the biggest attractions at Peterborough Heritage Festival is our programme of battle re-enactment displays in the main arena throughout the weekend. These are performed in broad daylight and with as much historical attention to detail as possible. As such there is no theatrical lighting employed during any of these performances. However, there may be some loud bangs - if you are concerned at any point as to when these may occur, please visit the Vivacity Information point by the main arena on Cathedral Square on the day or call Peterborough Museum before the day on 01733 864663.

Occasionally, some sideshows may include audiovisual elements such as video screenings. If you would like to know more about the content of these sideshows please ask the individual attendant when booking.

Can I bring an assistance dog?


Of course you can! Please be aware that certain areas can get quite busy, but if you need any assistance throughout the day, just make yourself known to someone in a Festival t-shirt or go to the Information Point in Cathedral Square.

Anything not covered here? Let us know?

Call Peterborough Museum on 01733 864663 if you have any further questions about accessibility issues or ask at the Vivacity Information point on the day.

We hope you enjoyed the Peterborough Heritage Festival, it was great to see so many people come down and enjoy what the city had to offer. To help us improve we would love to hear your feedback if you could complete the survey on this page or click here for the web link.

If you would prefer to email the team please contact:


Create your own user feedback survey

Plan your route around Peterborough Heritage Festival 2019

Take some time to know where you're going for the Main Arena displays, where to have lunch, where the beer tent is (and after all that, you might also want to take note of where the loos are too).

Peterborough Heritage Festival takes place over the weekend of Saturday 15 - Sunday 16 June - however if you have any questions beforehand, please contact Peterborough Museum on 01733 864663 or

Plan Your Day

Take a look at our main arena schedule below, plus our tips for how to get the best out of your day.

Saturday 15 June


Medieval music (by the arena)


Tudor weapons display


Roman military display

12 noon



Victorian militia drill display


Steampunk: gears, gadgets and gizmos


Wars of the Roses


English Civil War


The Fiery Jack show


Napoleonic Wars display


World War Two




Grand closing parade

Sunday 16 June


Medieval music (by the arena)


War of the Roses

12 noon

 Victorian militia drill display




Steampunk: gears, gadgets and gizmos


Tudor weapons display


Napoleonic Wars display


The Fiery Jack show


English Civil War


World War Two


Roman military display


Grand closing parade

Heritage Festival Top Tips

What to bring with you


Peterborough Heritage Festival takes place in the middle of summer in the wide open spaces of Peterborough City Centre so it’s important to keep yourself protected from the inevitable UV rays, especially if you’ve got kids with you. Last year, temperatures hit highs of over 30 degrees.

The NHS website recommends a UVB sun protection factor of 15 or above and a UVA protection rating of 4 stars or above

A waterproof

As mentioned above, the festival takes place in summer. However, being a British summer, the actual weather on the day can sometimes be anyone's guess. All events will be going ahead whatever the weather and, as such, it’s best to be prepared for all eventualities.

A mac-in-a-sac or roll up poncho is a useful thing to keep on hand as they can fit into bags quite easily (unlike an umbrella, is unlikely to poke someone in the eye)

Stay Hydrated

A day in the sun can be particularly dehydrating, but even if the weather is not as clement, it’s good to drink plenty as you’ll likely be active for most of the day.

The NHS Eatwell guide recommends 6-8 glasses a day so it’s wise to bring a litre or so to keep you topped up during the day.


Food is available from a number of concession stands throughout the festival, as well as some traditional comestibles to take home from our historic trade fayre. It’s always a good idea to keep something on hand however, just in case you feel those hunger pangs kicking in during an arena display you don’t want to miss. A banana or a small packet of nuts are a couple of good options to give you an energy boost when you find yourself flagging.

Your Smartphone

Our official photographer will be onsite capturing all the best angles of the events of the day. However there will be lots of opportunities throughout the day to join in with social media and chances to get photos with characters from history. Having your smartphone on you will help you be the first to know what's going on and when.

Making sure the people you've come with have your number will also help you avoid getting separated and keep you safe.

Stay safe

With over 30,000 people expected to attend the Heritage Festival this year, it’s a good idea to have a plan in case you and your group become separated.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Make sure you have the mobile phone number of anyone you're attending the festival with
  2. On arrival, agree an easily identifiable area to return to if you get lost (The Vivacity Information point is in a good central location)
  3. Make sure you have any medication or mobility equipment you may need
  4.  Make sure any children know not to go off with strangers

Any Questions? Let us know

You can use the details below to contact our Heritage Team directly about any queries or you may have before the day.

Simply e-mail or call 01733 864663.

Please be aware that responses to emails may take up to five working days.

Don't miss these extra activities



Sat 15 Jun

Sun 16 Jun

Peterborough Cathedral

Explore the historic Cathedral

10am - 5pm 12pm - 2pm
Peterborough Museum Steampunk: Clockwork Snail Racing  11am 11am

Peterborough Cathedral- under the Tower

Medieval music 1pm 1pm
Peterborough Cathedral Heritage movie: Brave (PG)* 2pm -
Peterborough Museum

Steampunk: Tea duelling

3pm 3pm
Bishop's Palace Garden Kid's zone Throughout the day Throughout the day
Peterborough Cathedral Tower Top Tours* Throughout the day Throughout the day
St. John's Church Peterborough at Peace talks 11am, 1pm & 3pm 2pm
St John's Church Explore the medieval church 10am - 4pm 12pm - 4pm

* Some activities may incur a charge


Vivacity is a non-profit organisation with charitable status, created in 2010 with the purpose of enriching the lives of Peterborough residents and visitors.  Managing over 20 venues covering libraries, heritage, theatre, art, and healthy living sites, Vivacity is committed to working with their partners and local organisations to bring inspirational services to the Peterborough community.


A world-leading supplier of offhighway diesel engines, Perkins has more than 85 years’ experience of designing, building and servicing industrial power solutions. By working in collaboration with over 800 equipment manufacturers, we tailor our engines to meet their needs and exacting standards. We’re proud of our reputation as a socially responsible company, enhancing the lives of our employees and the communities in which we work.

Peterborough Cathedral

Peterborough Cathedral is an Anglican Cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of Peterborough and the mother church of his diocese. It is one of the great Norman
churches of England and has been in continuous use as a centre of Christian mission and ministry for over 900 years. Alongside its role as a church, it is also the venue for a lively programme of events.

Peterborough City Council

Peterborough City Council’s vision is to create a bigger, better and sustainable Peterborough that improves the quality of life of all its people and is a healthy,  safe and exciting place to live, work and visit whilst being famous as the environment capital of the UK.

Plus, we are also very grateful to the following sponsors for their contribution to Peterborough Heritage Festival 2019.

Sycamore Peterborough (Ltd), a family run business, established in 1926.

We pride ourselves on delivering a 5 star, personable customer experience. If you’re searching for a New or Approved used vehicle, choose Sycamore Peterborough. Our friendly sales team are always on hand to advise and excite you with the latest product and assist you in finding the right BMW/MINI for you. We have over 200 BMWs & over 100 MINIs on site, with test drives available across the range. Our state of the art aftersales centre is located opposite the showroom, we offer a wide range of services from free vehicle health checks, minor & major services, MOTs and much more. All services are carried out by our experienced BMW/MINI Certified technicians, we only use genuine parts and all fitted parts come with a 2 year warranty. At Sycamore we are able to assist our customers throughout the lifecycle of owning your BMW/MINI, with our BMW approved accident repair centre, all of our Bodyshop technicians are BMW certified, utilising the latest tools and repair technology. We only use genuine BMW parts and approved Paint, meaning you have the re-assurance that your manufacturer's warranty is fully protected. Sycamore Bodyshop offer a lifetime guarantee on our repairs.

Baker Perkins

In the bakery, biscuit, confectionery, snack and breakfast cereal sectors, many of the world's leading brands rely on technology supplied by Baker Perkins. This independent company operates from two sites in the UK and the USA.//The company's strength lies in its process expertise, engineering excellence and the ability to fully support customers worldwide. The service is complete - from design through installation and commissioning to lifetime support.//Unit machines and production systems are based on over 100 years experience in the special techniques and requirements of our chosen industries. Baker Perkins' market leading position throughout the world is maintained by constant development of equipment and processes to provide customers with profitable new opportunities. A range of services has also been developed to exploit the latest technology to maximize efficiency, and minimize cost of ownership of new and existing plant and processes.

Bill's Restaurant & Bar

Whether looking for a cosy table for two, or celebrating with friends and family, Bill’s has something for everyone, whatever the time of day.

Founded by Sussex greengrocer Bill Collison, Bill’s has always stayed true to its roots. Open all day and into the night, we’re well-known for our legendary breakfasts, veg-centric lunches, and a la carte dinners. Our restaurants are packed full of vibrant colour and vintage decors - all handpicked by Bill himself. Always warm and welcoming, we treat our guests as we might do a family member.

Everyone’s favourite home-from-home, Bill’s is all about grabbing a seat at the bar and browsing the menu while we whip up new and favourite cocktails. From daily dinner specials to indulgent British classics and fresh plant-based alternatives, we’ve very much got our guests covered.

Hegarty Solicitors

Established in 1974, Hegarty Solicitors offer expertise across a wide range of legal services and give you the legal support you need to put you, your family or your business in a strong position for the future. Our expert team of solicitors and legal experts offer a comprehensive service, tailor-made to your requirements.

And most of all - you

Your generous donations help us bring history to life each year. Look out for the purple buckets around the festival to show your continued support.


Vodafone Gigafast Broadband, with download and upload speeds 20 times and 150 times faster than the average fixed broadband connection in the UK, has launched in Peterborough. Following a successful pilot scheme in Milton Keynes, Vodafone Gigafast Broadband is now available in Peterborough to more than 13000 eligible homes. Almost every home in the city is expected to have access by 2021. We are now live in five Cities, Milton Keynes, Peterborough, Aberdeen, Coventry & Sterling with Edinburgh, Huddersfield and Cambridge, South End and Leeds following soon.

To pre-order Vodafone Gigafast Broadband go to