From city ghost hunts to sampling the freshest of pastas (courtesy of its huge Italian population), there’s a lot more to Peterborough than meets the eye. Hop off an East Coast train into this historic gem and discover soaring Norman spires, acres of lush parkland and a fascinating Midlands story.

Our top attraction

Once the home of a couple of well-to-do Georgian newly weds, the grand mansion that is now Peterborough Museum has undergone a major revamp and tells the tale of the city in glorious technicolour. It’s supposed to be the area’s most haunted building so join a ghost tour to learn about the city’s spookier goings-on through history (and meet a 1500-year-old local woman). Oh, and look out for a grisly collection of marine monsters while you’re there.

Best for nightlife

Explore the narrow lanes at the foot of the looming Norman cathedral and you’ll encounter a raft of packed bars and clubs. Sample the eclectic mix of old-style alehouses, trendy bars and revamped pubs focusing on local beers and ciders.

Best for dining

The Italian population in Peterborough is so big it has its own festival each September but don’t wait until then to enjoy the local food. Pizza-making is an art form here and family-run restaurants serving food from the old country are dotted across the city centre.

Best for shopping

East Midlanders flock from miles around to splash the cash in Peterborough’s city centre where there are three shopping malls plus smaller indie shops and a weekly farmers markets selling the freshest local produce.