Visit Ely
Visit England
Ely Tourist Information Centre
Official Partner of Visit England

What's On - Key Events

Anglesey Abbey Snowdrop Festival

Mon 23rd Jan 2017 - Sun 26th Feb 2017

Anglesey Abbey has one of the finest snowdrops collection in the country with over 300 varieties of the delicate white flowers, including 20 varieties that have been discovered at Anglesey Abbey. The snowdrop, or galanthus to use its correct botanical name, is often seen growing in religious or monastic sites because of the coincidence to the period of the Feast of Candlemas & Purification each February.

Their true origin can be traced across the world to Southern Russia, Turkey and Southern Europe. It is widely believed that the first great plant hunters, the Elizabethans, introduced them to this country. During our Snowdrops season we open half an hour earlier at 9.30am  until Sunday 28 February. Maps detailing the best places to see Snowdrops in the gardens are available from Reception when you arrive. 

Website - Anglesey Abbey

Peter Marlow Exhibition - The English Cathedral

Sat 11th Feb 2017 - Wed 5th Apr 2017

42 photographs representing all 42 cathedrals of the Church of England are to be exhibited in The Lady Chapel at Ely Cathedral. This is only the second time this work has been displayed in one of the spaces featured in the series and the first time the project has been exhibited within the region. In 2008, the British photographer, Peter Marlow, was commissioned by the Royal Mail on the occasion of the 300th Anniversary of the completion of St Paul's Cathedral, to photograph 6 cathedrals and it was this that inspired him to continue the project. In the following 4 years he shot all 42 cathedrals. Open Daily. Standard Cathedral Admission charges apply.


Poets House Wedding Open Day

Sun 26th Feb 2017

Come and join us for a glass of bubbly and canapés and see the hotel dressed to impress for a wedding ceremony and breakfast. For ideas from table decorations, to flowers and cake, it’s the ideal opportunity to discussing your ideas with our wedding team. 

For further information or a complimentary ticket to the Open day, please contact us on 01353 887777 or e-mail

Website - Poets House

Choristers' Pancake Race And Big Pancake Party

Tue 28th Feb 2017

Join us for our traditional Choristers\' Pancake Race. The event is always great fun and will be followed by pancakes for everyone. This year we are teaming up with the Church Urban Fund as part of their \'Big Pancake Party\' to raise funds and awareness for those in this country who experience the very real problem of food poverty. There are many families who struggle to put food on the table; children are going to school hungry and parents are skipping meals so that their children can eat an evening meal. The Church Urban Fund, supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury, is calling on churches, schools, families and individuals throughout England to stand up to food poverty - and have some fun in the process! Come along to the Choristers\' Pancake Race and Big Pancake Party and raise money so that no one has to go hungry this spring.

Entry is free and for catering purposes tickets can be obtained from Ely Cathedral Box Office - 01353 660349. Cathedral Clergy and musicians are happy to accept sponsorship to race! There will be a collection for the Church Urban Fund and we hope people will give generously. Just 3 can provide lunch for a child over summer as free school meals disappear 9 will provide an emergency food parcel for a family for one day. For further information visit -


The Cathedrals Express to Bath

Tue 7th Mar 2017

The Cathedrals Express comes to East Anglia for a fabulous day trip to the Roman city of Bath.  On Tuesday 7 March, the train will start out from Ely at approximately 7:00 and will be diesel-hauled as far as London.  Here, the magnificent Royal Scot steam locomotive will join the train. It will then head out across the Thames Valley and through the picturesque, rolling hills of Wiltshire, before arriving in Bath at 14:10 and Bristol at 14:30. 

Tickets for The Cathedrals Express trip to Bath and Bristol on Tuesday 7 March with Royal Scot are available in four classes, ranging from £119 per person in Premium Standard through to the top class of Pullman Style Dining of £265 per person.  

Website - Steam Dreams

Man Made Rivers

Fri 24th Mar 2017

Evening Talk Ouse Washes illustrated talk by local historian Mike Petty. Man Made Rivers - the story of the New & Old Bedfords. Free event - tea and coffee available

Website -

World Wetlands Day Walk

Sun 2nd Apr 2017

Join Wicken's rangers for a guided walk to discover the history of the fen, Wicken's amazing wildlife, and the National Trust's ambitious plans to expand the nature reserve.

Tickets £5.50 (includes a hot drink) from the Visitor Centre on 01353 720274

Jack and the Beanstalk

Thu 6th Apr 2017

Easter Holidays Join us for fun children's crafts and activities based on the 'Jack and the Beanstalk' story. Suitable for children aged 5 - 11 years - Tickets are £3 per participating child and booking in advance is recommended to avoid disappointment. Tickets may not be available on the day. 


Website - 

Egg-citing Easter Crafts

Thu 13th Apr 2017

Easter Holidays Come and join in with Fun Easter children\'s crafts and activities. Suitable for ages 5-11 years.

Tickets are £3.00 per participating child and booking in advance is recommended to avoid disappointment.

Tickets may not be available on the day. 


Website - 

Ely through its Architecture

Fri 14th Apr 2017

Discover the wealth of architecture of some of Ely’s period, historical buildings during this walk with our informed guide.

To Book tickets please visit Oliver Cromwell's House on the link below or call 01353 662062

Website -

Ask the Archaeologist

Sat 22nd Apr 2017

Finds Event. Bring along your archaeological finds for our experts to identify. Free entry to event.


Street LIfe 1939-1945 Exhibition

Sat 22nd Apr 2017

One day exhibition by Viva (HLF project) 'Street Life 1939-1945 - a bridge to the local history on your doorstep' 


Normal Admission Charge: Adult £3.00, Concession £2.50, Children £1.00 ( under 6 free), Families £7.00 (2 adults & 2 children). 


Free parking. 


Website -

Ely's Eel Festival Weekend - Food Safari

Fri 28th Apr 2017 - Mon 1st May 2017

The festival weekend kicks off with the launch of our fabulous Eel Food Safari and runs across all four days of the Eel Festival. Every year some of the finest restaraunts, cafes and other businesses in Ely create a dish or drink involving or inspired by the Eel.

In past years we've seen smoked eel platters and eel shaped cheese straws. We've even seen a cocktail inspired by the eel and it's more electifying cousin from the Atlantic!

Website - Eel Food Safari

Ely's Eel Festival Weekend - Eel Day

Sat 29th Apr 2017

It is to the humble Eel to which Ely owes so much; including the name of the City. How ever can we try and thank our beloved Eels? With a whole day dedicated to them!

The annual Eel Day Parade begins at 10.30 am from Cross Green (adjacent to Ely Cathedral).  Ely’s ‘Ellie the Eel’ will be heading the carnival inspired procession along part of the City’s Eel Trail Heritage Walk – everyone is welcome to join in!

We have a full programme of arena events in Jubilee Gardens including Folk Music, Eel Pottery Workshops, Music and Dancing, Historical Displays and Re-enactments with lots of family participation opportunities.  As you would imagine, eels feature massively in the day and there will be the chance to see live eels. 

Obviously it wouldn’t be Eel Day without the opportunity to sample what was once a staple food in the Fens, so this is your chance to taste smoked and jellied eels as well as more conventional forms of food. Not to forget our brilliant Beer and Cider tent, for washing down those fabulous smoked eels. 


Website - Ely's Eel Day

Ely's Eel Festival - Food and Drink Festival

Sun 30th Apr 2017 - Mon 1st May 2017

Located on Palace Green, in the shadow of the magnificent Ely Cathedral, at the very heart of this historic city, we have a huge array of artisan traders, an expansive street food selection and amazing celebrity chefs demonstrating in our fabulous Cookery Theatre, sponsored by G’s Fresh. 

All our artisan, specialist food and drink traders will be placed in our Food Hall.

The Street Food Place, comprising of a range of culinary delights will tantalise your taste buds with their unusual, yet exquisitely put together combinations and their own interpretations of classic dishes.

Celebrity Chef Line up

Over the past four years, we have had an amazing line up of celebrity chefs festival including Valentine Warner, Jean Christophe Novelli, Jack Stein and Ian Cumming, The Great British Bake Off finalist 2015. 

We take great pride in also being able to showcase some of Cambridgeshire's finest local talent with the likes of The Hole in the Wall's Alex Rushmer and Calvin Holland from The White Pheasant.

Work has already begun on organising the next Food and Drink festival, with ideas and grand designs on the boil!


Website - Ely's Food and Drink Festival

Reach Fair

Mon 1st May 2017 - Mon 1st May 2017

The Fair will take place on the first May Bank Holiday which is Monday the 1st of May

The opening ceremony on the Fair Green by the Mayor of Cambridge accompanied by the Aldermen in their full regalia and newly minted penny coins are scattered for the children.

The ancient township of Reach, or as it was previously know Reche, has been inhabited for over 2,000 years. It was the centre of considerable trade in mediaeval times and was granted a charter to hold an annual fair at Rogationtide by King John. Later, as the activity on its hythes decreased and its maritime importance declined, Reach gradually turned into a purely agricultural community. Reche the port has gone but Reach the hamlet remains and continues to thrive.

Website - Reach Village

Ely Cathedral Science Festival

Fri 19th May 2017 - Fri 16th Jun 2017

A month long event of interactive fun and discovery exploring science and the natural world through art, music, exhibitions and fun activities for all ages. This extraordinary festival will involve science shows, live experiments, prehistoric creatures and fascinating talks by leading experts. Highlights include a lecture by Prof Robert Winston, a dinosaur dig with a life size T REX and a Sci-Fi Prom featuring music from favourite composers and movies.

For the duration of the Festival a specialist exhibition will be on display in the Lady Chapel exploring the world of science from 'Dinosaurs to DNA' providing a rare opportunity to see many national and local artefacts of great scientific significance including an original copy of Darwin\'s Origin of Species and over 2 metres of remains of a Late Jurassic Pliosaur discovered in the Cambridgeshire Fens in the 1950s.

The Cathedral will be adorned with a science themed art work from over 500 local children and a specialist suspended installation by award winning contemporary artist, Alex Carr. The Cambridge Science Centre\'s Pop Up \'Science Laboratory\' will be a permanent feature of the event.

View the full list of Science Festival events and a copy of the brochure on our website.

Website -

Living History Day

Sun 28th May 2017

One of the most popular events at Oliver Cromwell's House returns again for 2017.

What examples of history coming to life will appear this time

Website - Oliver Cromwell's House


Ely's Aquafest

Sun 2nd Jul 2017

Welcome to Aquafest, Ely's Premier Community event which will be in it's 39th year in 2017! Ely Aquafest is held on the first Sunday in July, the date for 2017 is Sunday 2nd of July Aquafest covers three premier sites along the riverside, Lavender Green, Jubilee Gardens and the Maltings Green,and is a must for families of all ages and interests. Whether you are 9 or 90 Aquafest has something to offer YOU!

There is also the fun fair, beer tent, burger bar and stalls - a miscellany of charity stalls, with charity, craft and a variety of business stalls there providing something of interest to all. A major crowd pleaser is the amazing Annual Raft Race on the River Ouse, with numerous decorated rafts, everyone enters into the spirit of the day and fun is had by all. Meanwhile the two arenas provide varied entertainment through the day, often featuring local talent. There is music, dancing, interesting demonstration and audience participation.

Website - Aquafest


Ely Folk Festival 2017

Fri 7th Jul 2017 - Sun 9th Jul 2017

Ely Folk Festival is a bijou weekend folk and roots music festival that takes place in the wonderful cathedral city of Ely. The festival provides an opportunity to listen to some of the best folk acts around in an intimate and friendly environment.

With on-site camping facilities, a real ale bar, lots of kids activities, morris dancing displays, ceilidhs, workshops and music sessions, the festival is a wonderful and great weekend or day out.

Website - Ely Folk Festival

World Pea Shooting Championship

Sat 8th Jul 2017

 The 8th of July 2017 at Witcham sees the 47th holding of the World Pea Shooting Championship &  Village Fair on the Green at 12 pm.  (Competition starts around 1pm). This is the main fund raising event of the year for the upkeep of the Village Hall.

Website - Witcham Village


1940s Day at Prickwillow Museum

Sun 6th Aug 2017

With period clothes,hair and make-up, traditional 1940's food, music and dancing, military and domestic vehicles, memorabilia. Why not dress in 1940's style and immerse yourselves in the event! Normal Event Admission Charges: Adult £5.00, Concession £4.00, Children £2.00 ( children under 6 free) Families £12.00.

The Fantastic Engines will be running at intervals throughout the day at all of our events.

Hot and cold food. Free Parking. 

Website -

Nostalgia Day at Prickwillow Museum

Sun 3rd Sep 2017

Featuring Cars, tractors, stationery engines and much more! Normal Event Admission charges:Adults 5.00, Concessions 4.00, Children 2.00(children under 6 free) Families 12.00. The Fanbtastic Engines in the Musem will be running at intervals throughout the day at all of our events. Hot and cold food availalbe and free parking.

Website -

Ask the Archaeologist

Sat 9th Sep 2017

Finds Event. Bring along your archaeological finds for our experts to identify. Free entry to event.

Website -