Situated on the River Nene, it is about 40 miles from Cambridge, and 40 miles from Leicester.
Before being absorbed into its present county, it was part of an area known as the Soke of Peterborough which was a sort of sub-county of Northamptonshire.
The town was originally known as Medehampstead, and aquired its first abbey, founded by the Mercian King Peada, in 654. This abbey was destroyed, and all the monks slaughtered, by the Danish army in 870.
In the 10th century, King Edgar built a new abbey, but this burned down in 1116.
The new Norman abbey, now the great Peterborough Cathedral, was constructed between 1118 and 1258, and in the intervening period Medehampstead became Peterborough.
Outside the great Cathedral Gate, in the old Market Place, is the attractive Guildhall of 1671.
Peterborough has had two periods of expansion, firstly in the 19th century when its position on the East Coast railway line from London brought much new industry, and secondly in the 1960s when it was designated a New Town.
Peterborough also has the Key Theatre, and the terminus of the Nene Valley Railway.
Nearby is Flag Fen, where excavations have revealed a settlement dated to 3700 BC.
The writers John Clare and L. P. Hartley were born within a few miles of Peterborough.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Peterborough for groups.