Peterborough is a large cathedral city about 30 miles from Cambridge in the county of Cambridgeshire. Originally, prior to becoming a city, the settlement evolved around the River Nene, which is the the 9th longest river in the UK. Peterborough's roots stretch back to prehistoric times - there were settlers in the area prior to the Bronze Age.
During the Roman era, the city is believed to have been occupied by the Romans and centuries afterwards in the Anglo-Saxon period a monastery was founded and named Medeshamstede. The present Peterborough Cathedral (the Cathedral Church of St Peter, St Paul and St Andrew) grew out of this monastery, and was built in the 12th century.
Peterborough remained a very small city (2000-3500 inhabitants) until the 19th Century when railways connected the city to the rest of the rail network and industry took off precipitating a population explosion. By the end of the 19th Century the population had increased approximately tenfold to 30,000.
Throughout the 20th Century, Peterborough continued to grow steadily until in 1967 with a population of around 80,000 it was designated a New Town as part of the plan to to disperse population following the second world war. Since then the population has doubled to its present level of around 160,000.
Today Peterborough is a vibrant cosmopolitan city with an excellent choice of bars, restaurants, cafes and excellent shopping facilities, centred around the the Queensgate Shopping Centre. Queensgate has over 90 stores, including John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, and Waitrose. Other major retail areas of the city include the Westgate Arcade which adjoins the Queensgate Centre, and the Rivergate Centre towards the south of the city. Between the Queensgate Centre and the Rivergate Centre there is a large pedestrianised area where large high street stores reside next to smaller local shops.