It’s one of the biggest and best events in the city and is one of our favourites – Peterborough Heritage Festival is back on Saturday June 15 and Sunday June 16 so get ready to step back in time.
Every year this fabulous free weekend organised by Vivacity attracts over 30,000 visitors and sees over 300 re-enactors recreate living history in the city centre with encampments, displays and exciting battle sequences!
This year there is a Victorian theme complete with funfair ride and a helter skelter.
It’s the UK’s largest multi-period city centre living history festival and will take over the Cathedral precincts and Cathedral Square in the city centre for another year of traditional family fun.
There’s a different theme each year and this month there’ll be a distinctly Victorian flavour to proceedings as the Heritage Festival not only looks back over 3,000 years of history, but commemorates 200 years since the birth of Queen Victoria.
If you’ve loved the TV series, you’ll love this theme so head down and explore the Victorian re-enactor encampment which will see a group of Victorian Volunteer Rifle Corps preparing to defend us from the potential threat of war with France. These were common in the time and were essentially the Home Guard of their era – a kind of Victorian Dad’s Army! They were actually a precursor to the Territorial Army.
The Victorians were particularly interested in Folklore and popular legend so get ready to listen to our very own Victorian Folklorist who’ll show you different folk traditions from Peterborough, the Fens and beyond.
There will also be a Victorian magician performing close-up magic and spellbinding tricks as part of the children’s area.
New this year is a Steampunk display in the main arena, expanding on The Clockwork Infirmary that’s been held at the Museum in previous years. They’ll be demonstrating facets of Victoriana-inspired science fiction and art with stalls available to purchase memorabilia at the Museum.
Take a walk along Heritage Street which builds on the Cultural Treasures tent from 2018, we will have a town square of local history stalls and representatives from local community groups displaying their heritage and offering things to see, do and buy.
We love this festival because everywhere you turn you’re transported into a different era and the re-enactors are always so keen to tell you more about the time periods they’re so passionate about. It’s amazing to see history brought to life and there’s so much to learn and enjoy. It’s a great one for families too with loads for the kids to get excited about – and did we mention it’s free?!
They’ll love Fiery Jack, the medieval jester with his shows, circus skills and storytelling and there’s plenty to try out to including Have-A-Go Archery.
Wander through the cathedral gates and you’ll find everything from Roman centurions to WWII soldiers and historic vehicles with a Medieval knight riding past on the way – it’s like being on a film set, you’ll love it!
It’s on from 10am – 5pm each day, for the full programme of what’s happening visit www.vivacity.org/heritagefest for all the details.
As part of the Heritage Festival fun Peterborough Cathedral is also hosting some special events.
On Saturday June 15 there’ll be Tower Top Climbs between 10am and 4pm giving you a unique opportunity to view the Festival and the city from this amazing view point.
Take a 30-40 minute tour every hour, on the hour. The climbs will involve a straight climb up the steps of the north-west tower onto the central tower outside, for stunning views across the city.
Tickets are £5 or £16 for a group of four. Ages 8+ only. Restrictions apply.
Book in advance on www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk
There will also be some special film screenings inside the Cathedral with the animation Brave showing at 2pm followed by a screening of A Knight’s Tale starring Heath Ledger at 6.30pm.
Tickets are £5 per person. Book on www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk or call 01733 355315 / 452336.