Living in Peterborough

Peterborough is a thriving city with a diverse culture. You will soon find your favourite place to hang out and explore during a break from studying.

Four people walking by the river in Peterborough. There are swans in the river and buildings in the background.

Peterborough boasts a variety of ways to spend your free time and amazing travel links. It’s also a much cheaper place to live than many other major cities in the UK.

Compared to London, Peterborough is on average over 20% cheaper to live in*, with rent for a one-bedroom flat in the city centre being more than £1,500 cheaper per month.

Peterborough highlights

Historic Peterborough is often described as the "Gateway to the Fens". Its highlights include:

  • Peterborough Cathedral, with its impressive architecture and history to explore. This is also where our students graduate.
  • Flag Fen, a Bronze Age archaeological park, offers visitors an insight into how people lived over 3000 years ago.
  • Nene Valley Railway is the home of Thomas the Tank Engine. Visitors can enjoy a ride on a steam engine through the city’s picturesque surroundings.
  • Magnificent parkland and nature reserves.

Check out six reasons to love Peterborough for more suggestions.

Visit We Love Peterborough and Visit Peterborough to keep up to date and discover what’s going on in the city including things to do, events, and discounts.

Art, culture and history

Our city theatres host live plays, comedy shows, well-known music acts and pantomimes. The Embankment and Peterborough Arena provide open-air events throughout the year. These include music performances, trade shows, and annual events like the CAMRA Beer Festival and the Sausage and Cider Fest.

In 2018, Peterborough Cathedral celebrated its 900th anniversary. The Norman building is linked with many historical characters, one which being Katharine of Aragon. Every year there is a commemorative service and a series of events to celebrate her life.

A short drive or train journey away is the market town of Stamford. This is where the stunning Elizabethan manor Burghley House is located. The historic site hosts many open-air events throughout the year.


For those eager to explore Peterborough’s nightlife, there is something to suit everyone.

Live music venues such as The Met Lounge, and clubs like Flares and Red Room, are popular spots for those wanting a song and dance. There's also Glo-Golf, a space-themed indoor crazy golf course hosting live DJ events and offering a range of special cocktails.

However, if you’re looking for somewhere to chill and have a drink in, check out bars like Argo Lounge, Charters, The Stoneworks Bar and Blind Tiger.

Food and drink

For foodies, there’s a diverse selection of restaurants serving cuisine from around the world. These include well-known chain restaurants as well as independent eateries. You won't need to go far to find Italian, Turkish, sushi, Indian or even just some dessert...

There are also regular food and drink markets held in Cathedral Square. These stands will offer delicacies from all around the world for you to try and buy.

In surrounding villages you’ll find many quality country restaurants, and pubs with beer gardens and local ales.


A short distance away from ARU Peterborough, you’ll find Queensgate Shopping Centre. This is a great place to shop, with over 100 stores for you to visit. However, if you prefer independent stores, then check out Westgate Arcade and Rivergate Shopping Centre.

If you’re planning a visit to the city centre, you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping local. You can find many independent shops, cafes, bars, restaurants and more all within a short walking distance of Cathedral Square.

You can continue to support your local community at Peterborough City Market, where local traders sell clothing, haberdashery, flowers, fresh and local fruit and vegetables, confectionery, home decorating materials and much more.

Travel 5-10 minutes out of the city centre and you’ll come across other shopping centres such as Serpentine Green and Brotherhood Retail Park. These host a range of well-known shops and brands.

Sport and fitness

Sports and fitness enthusiasts will enjoy what Peterborough has to offer. A short walk from the ARU Peterborough campus, you’ll find Peterborough United Football Club - locally known as The Posh.

Travel ten minutes from the city centre and you will find Peterborough Ice Rink. This is open to the public and the hosts local ice hockey team, Peterborough Phantoms, who are in the National Ice Hockey League.

For those looking to improve their fitness, there are many gyms around Peterborough, most of which offer an array of fitness clubs and classes.

If you prefer the outdoors, Peterborough and Nene Valley Athletics Club and track is next to our campus. This is a great place to train for the annual Great Eastern Run half marathon.

There are also a variety of swimming pools including The Lido, an open-air pool for the summer months. This is also located next to ARU Peterborough.

Within 10-15 minutes of the city centre, you can find Peterborough Rowing Club and Lake. New members are welcome to join, whether you are experienced or a beginner.

Natural Peterborough

There are plenty of parks and green spaces to escape to and explore in Peterborough. Ferry Meadows is one of the most popular, and is perfect for long walks and bike rides. We also have Crown Lakes, Itter Park, and Central Park, which is just a 15-20 minute walk from ARU Peterborough.

For the green-fingered, there's a community project called The Green Backyard. Their aim is to help transform derelict urban spaces into vibrant and sustainable green spaces. Volunteers are always welcome.

Peterborough is part of Cambridgeshire, which has 12 designated as nature reserves – including much of its famous fenland. Peterborough's Green Wheel is a network of routes in and around the city created as part of a millennium project.

Accommodation in Peterborough

Accommodation at ARU Peterborough is based on private sector rental, and we have a website where local letting agents advertise properties. We also have access to a number of purpose-built student rooms close to the University. Find accommodation in Peterborough.

To help you find your home away from home, we have a dedicated Tenancy Support Team who can give you advice. For more information on moving to Peterborough, and how we can support you with this, contact our team on [email protected] or +44 (0)1223 698900.

Visit us

Interested in discovering Peterborough for yourself? We’d love to welcome you to our campus.

Book your place at an Open Day to find out more about the course you're interested in.

*Cost of Living in Peterborough. Jul 2023. Prices in Peterborough (