Peterborough Heritage Festival is the UK's largest multi-period city centre living history festival. This year it returns to Cathedral Square in the city centre for another year of traditional family fun.
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.
Flick through the tabs to plan your day in advance or sign up to our mailing list below to be the first to hear news when it is announced.
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
As the festival takes place in Cathedral Square and around the Cathedral, most of the terrain is smooth and fully accessible. Into the gardens around the Cathedral, the ground is flat but onto grass. Adverse weather may affect the firmness of the ground in the gardens but won't affect the hard-standings or paths around the gardens.
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, in the Deanery Gardens 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 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:
- On arrival, head to the Vivacity Information point and pick up a Heritage Festival schedule
- 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.
- Make sure to book for any extra events or workshops.
- 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.
- 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.
Our interpreter will be on hand throughout the day to provide assistance should you require it. Please go to the Vivacity Information Point for this service.
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.