Welcome to the historic city of Ely, full of charm and beauty and home to one of the most magnificent cathedrals in England.
Nestled in the Fen countryside, this small city in East Cambridgeshire is your ideal day visit or short break location. Whether it is a tranquil, peaceful retreat you are looking for or an inspiring, invigorating visit then the bustling city of Ely surrounded by dramatic countryside has it all. Ely has the major tourist locations of Cambridge and Newmarket on its doorstep at the same time as being only an hour away from London by rail and only two hours away from the Norfolk Coast by car. Not forgetting of course the numerous small villages and towns in between that each have their own individual characteristics to offer. Therefore, Ely makes for an ideal base for exploring the area.
To help you plan your visit, we have a suggested itinerary for you to make the most of your stay.
Arrival and coffee - choose from either traditional tearooms with beautiful architecture and stunning gardens, or perhaps a contemporary setting is more to your liking.
Ely Cathedral - Ely's top tourist attraction and it is easy to see why. Look in awe and wonder at this 12th century building in your own time, or take advantage of having a more informative experience by having a guided tour. Tours also include optional visits to the Octagon and/or Lantern Towers, where the spectacular view makes it well worth the climb!
Stained Glass Museum - housed in the South Triforium of Ely Cathedral, with its stunning collection of stained glass. It is the only museum dedicated to stained glass in the country. A guided tour is highly recommended as it unveils the story of stained glass.
Lunch - whatever your taste and budget, Ely has a host of different eateries on offer whether you choose to eat as a group or as individuals. The midday break also gives you an opportunity to visit the many gift shops, craft shops, antique shops, art galleries or markets (depending on the day of your visit).
Oliver Cromwell's House - home to the Lord Protector, Cromwell lived in this house with his family for ten years, his only remaining home apart from Hampton Court Palace, London. For an atmospheric experience, tours using costumed guides are recommended.
Ely Museum - discover the story of Ely from prehistoric times to the 20th century set in a former Gaol. Tours will bring the rooms and artifacts to life.
Time for a stroll - following the eel trail is an excellent way of seeing historic Ely at its best. This circular walk self-guided by brass waymarkers set in the ground, takes you past the oldest parts of Ely with its beautiful monastic buildings with stunning architecture and spectacular views.
Time for a Meal before you leave - many of the attractions host evening tours and/or drinks receptions. So, before you leave, take advantage of the truly atmospheric experience that is created in some of Ely's oldest buildings before partaking some of Ely's finest cuisine delights.
Ely's Tourist Information
To help plan your visit and make the most of your time in the area call into Ely's Tourist Information Centre which is housed within the Visitor Attraction of Oliver Cromwell's House, former home to the Lord Protector.
Visit Ely Guide and Ely Mini Guide
They are packed with useful information about Ely and the District, which will help you make the most of your visit. Find out about attractions in the area, where to stay, events happening through the year, where to eat, plus much more.