Vaulting ambition

Inside Priestgate Vaults web

The underground vaults at Peterborough Museum.

Historic characters from Peterborough Museum’s 500-year past feature in new tours of the building’s underground vaults, which have opened to the public for the first time.

Film-style special effects are projected onto the ancient brick walls of Priestgate Vaults during tours and characters talk to visitors as they move through the vaults in groups of up to 15 during each 45-minute tour, outlining their part in the building’s history – from its early days as a Tudor mansion, to a Georgian magistrate’s home and a Victorian hospital, before becoming a museum in the 1930s.

English Civil War cavalier Sir Humphrey Orme, who lived in the building in the 17th century, welcomes visitors before they move into the wine cellar to hear from butler John Webb about life in the house in the mid-1800s and on to the coal cellar where nurse Ethel Reynolds talks about Victorian hospital life.

The tours, which are also escorted by volunteer guides, culminate in the Ghost Room, scene of the museum’s most active apparitions. In this dimly-lit cellar as the sounds of footsteps echo eerily in the corridor outside, groups will hear of some of the most spine-chilling encounters ever experienced.

For further information telephone 01733 864663.

Tintagel transformed

The new exhibition at Tintagel Castle web

The new exhibition at Tintagel Castle.

Perched on Cornwall’s dramatic Atlantic coastline, and said to be the birthplace of legendary King Arthur, English Heritage attraction Tintagel Castle will launch new outdoor interpretation panels and art installations next year, including specially-commissioned sculptures of the Sword in the Stone and King Arthur himself.

The site has already completed a number of improvements this year including a permanent exhibition featuring an innovative 3D model of Tintagel Island. It offers reduced rates for groups of 11 people or more.

For further information telephone 01840 770328.

Canterbury sails

Canterbury River Tours web

Enjoying views of Canterbury on the River Stour.

Launching from Canterbury’s Kings Bridge next to the Old Weaver’s restaurant, Canterbury Historic River Tours have ended a successful season with a finalist placing in the 2015/16 Beautiful South Awards, for ‘Tourism Experience of the Year’.

This year, the attraction has already received Visit England’s top national accolade of Best Told Story, as well as a finalist position in the Best Canal or Riverboat Operator for Groups category at the GTO-hosted Group Travel Awards.

The 40-minute round cruises provide an ideal introduction to Canterbury for groups visiting the city, offering views of many historic buildings from the unique vantage point of the River Stour.

Canterbury Historic River Tours’ 2016 season will begin on 31st March. Their final placing in the Beautiful South Awards will be announced in December.

Groups of 12 people or more should book in advance. For further information telephone 07790 534744