15 Best Day Trips from Peterborough

For anyone planning to travel somewhere for a change of scenery or to explore some fun activities in the area nearby to this city in the Midlands, there are many great day trips from Peterborough.

Because of its location within the heart of the country, Peterborough is perfectly situated to easily access a range of other parts of the country within a day. So, if you’ve already had fun with some of the many best things to do in Peterborough, it’s certainly worth exploring what else there is to see nearby.

You can drive out to the coast, other cities, or even to National Parks within a couple of hours. Peterborough also offers one of the best UK city breaks by train due to its many rail links, so you can hop onboard a train to quickly travel to many other locations up and down the UK.

However you’re looking to spend your time, whether it’s hiking, visiting museums, or even just shopping, check out these recommendations of the best day trips from Peterborough.

City day trips from Peterborough

1. Cambridge

Just a stone’s throw away from Peterborough, taking less than an hour by train or car, the city of Cambridge is the perfect city to visit due to its picturesque charm and prestigious university.

Along with witnessing the architectural splendour of the historic colleges, you can have a go at punting along the tranquil River Cam and pay a visit to the famous Fitzwilliam Museum.

2. London

While it may be a surprise for some, the UK’s capital is easy to get to from Peterborough. By car, it’s a simple drive down the A1, but the quickest route is by train as you can get to King’s Cross station in around 50 minutes if you book an LNER service.

London, of course, has boundless activities and places to visit, so you’ll never be short of things to do as part of a day trip from Peterborough.

You can catch a show at the West End, look around some of the best museums in the country, try food from incredible restaurants, or discover the many other fun things to do in London.

The colourful adverts at Piccadilly Circus in London
Piccadilly Circus in London

3. Lincoln

Venture northward and it’s quick to get to Lincoln, one of the best UK city breaks for couples or anyone who enjoy walking cobbled, cutesy streets.

Take the challenge of climbing up Steep Hill, a lane that lives up to its name, and make sure to see the incredible medieval cathedral.

4. Nottingham

Nottingham is one of the closest cities to Peterborough and is perfect for a day trip out, whether you’re looking to go shopping or interested in delving into its rich history.

There’s plenty to discover about its connections to the legendary Robin Hood, such as the castle, but there’s a lot else to discover around the bustling city centre. You can even hop on a tram to get around!

See our blog about the best things to do in Nottingham for couples if you’re interested in a romantic day out or weekend break to the city.

5. Leicester

Another great day trip from Peterborough is to head to Leicester, which is also reasonably quick to get to, taking about an hour’s drive or less by train.

Discover the story of King Richard III at the King Richard III Visitor Centre, wander through the vibrant Golden Mile, lined with shops and restaurants reflecting the city’s multicultural fabric, and visit the National Space Centre to see its remarkable exhibits.

6. Ely

While it’s more a town than a city, Ely is home to one of the best cathedrals in England, which alone is reason enough to make a trip out here.

This Cambridgeshire town is a picturesque place to spend a day, with an old high street lined with tea rooms and other shops, as well as a country park by the river.

The view from the top of the West Tower at Ely Cathedral
The view from on top of Ely Cathedral

Day trips from Peterborough to the coast

7. Hunstanton

For a refreshing coastal retreat, head east to Hunstanton for a great trip away from Peterborough.

Nestled on the Norfolk coast, Hunstanton has everything you need for a fun day out by the coast, with New Hunstanton offering fun at the arcades and Old Hunstanton providing a serene seaside experience.

Old Hunstanton is also home to one of the best beaches in Norfolk, not least because you can watch the sunset over the water, despite being in the east of England!

8. Skegness

Located along the Lincolnshire coast, Skegness embodies quintessential British seaside charm if you’re after a traditional day by the sea.

Feel the thrill of amusement park rides, build sandcastles on the golden beach, and take a walk along the lively promenade lined with souvenir shops and cafes.

Historical and cultural day trips from Peterborough

9. Burghley House

Indulge your love for history and grandeur with a trip to Burghley House, a splendid Elizabethan mansion near the picturesque town of Stamford. 

It’s one of the best day trips from Peterborough as it’s so quick to get to, plus there’s a couple of different things you can do when you’re there.

For the full experience, make sure to look around Burghley House and admire the many dazzling rooms and halls. However, you can also take a wander around the vast grounds of the estate, and this is completely free.

As you’ll be right by Stamford, it’s also worth taking an hour or two to explore this picturesque Lincolnshire town.

Outside Burghley House near Stamford, UK
Burghley House

10. Sandringham Estate

A visit to Sandringham Estate isn’t just one of the best day trips from Peterborough for those interested in the royal family, but for anyone in need of a memorable excursion.

Within the house, you can learn much about the royal family’s connection to this fantastic country retreat, but the vast estate also has many gardens you can take a leisurely walk through.

Outside Sandringham House in Norfolk
Sandringham Estate

Peterborough day trips in the countryside

11. Peak District

It takes between two and three hours to drive to the Peak District, depending which part of it you’re heading to, but it’s worth the time as it’s one of the best day trips from Peterborough.

There are few places in England with more stunning natural beauty, and the many peaks, hills, and rivers of this National Park are always fantastic places to visit, even just for a day.

Bring and packed lunch and take a hike along some of it many scenic trails, or, for a more leisurely time out, consider visiting one of the picturesque towns, such as Bakewell, or standout attractions like Chatsworth House.

12. Lincolnshire Wolds

If you’re aiming to immerse yourself in nature, the Lincolnshire Wolds is even closer than the Peak District and it’s a great destination for a fun day out from Peterborough.

This hidden gem is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the many rolling hills and panoramic vistas offer a peaceful retreat for nature lovers and hikers.

It’s also a popular area for cyclists, so you could also hop on your bike and hire one and you’ll be able to explore much of the Wolds.

Other fun day trips from Peterborough

13. Rutland Water

Not far from Peterborough is Rutland Water, the largest man-made lake in England where you can try out a range of watersports and other activities.

With cycling, walking trails, fishing, and birdwatching just some of the options, along with more adventurous options like sailing, there’s enough here to easily spend a day.

14. Springfields Shopping Outlet

If you’re looking to splash some cash and like a good deal, Springfields Shopping Outlet can be a fun option for a Peterborough day trip.

Located near Spalding, this shopping outlet has a wide range of high-street and designer brands, all at discounted prices, so you can treat yourself to everything from clothes to homewear.

There are also several places where you can grab a bite to eat too, so it’s possible to spend a few hours here.

15. Nene Valley Railway

For one of the most unique day trips from Peterborough, you can transport yourself back in time with a nostalgic ride on the Nene Valley Railway. 

This steam train departs near Peterborough station and heads into the surrounding countryside, stopping at several villages along the way.

Jump on and off to see some of these lesser-known locations near Peterborough, or just ride the train out and back, enjoying refreshments onboard as you watch the view out the window.

Day trips from Peterborough FAQs

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