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What's On - Key Events

New Escape Room at Oliver Cromwell's House

Sat 17th Feb 2018 - Sun 28th Apr 2019

Every Saturday and Sunday at 11.00 am, 12.30 pm, 2.00 pm and 3.30 pm.

We can also accommodate weekdays and hours outside those stated.  Please contact us to discuss further.

Following the launch of Ely’s first Escape Room, Oliver Cromwell’s House is pleased to announce the opening of its new room – a Lock-in at the Cromwell Arms.

The new theme is set around a plot to murder Queen Victoria and bring about a new republic. The landlord of The Cromwell Arms is deeply troubled and needs your assistance to prevent this unspeakable crime.

Sessions are priced at £90 and are ideally suited for between 4 and 8 people. To find out more then please click on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

The activity also lends itself to the corporate market, work parties or even young people's parties (aged 13 to 16).  To discuss your requirements, please email or call us on 01353 662062.

Tree of Life - Exhibition of works by Helaine Blumenfeld OBE

Fri 13th Jul 2018 - Sun 28th Oct 2018

An enlightening and unmissable exhibition at Ely Cathedral showing major new works by nationally acclaimed artist and contemporary sculptor Helaine Blumenfeld. This is to be one of her largest exhibitions in Europe and has been curated by Jacquiline Creswell. 

'Tree of Life' takes its name from one of the most important and enduring themes occupying Blumenfeld's work. It captures all the powerful symbolism of this imagery and describes a compelling narrative of renewal, energy, optimism and hope - all themes developed by Helaine over a lifetime and now fully realised in this exceptional exhibition. 

Helaine Blumenfeld has been creating bronze and marble sculptures in her Cambridge and Italy-based studios for almost fifty years. Formerly hailed as the next Henry Moore, she had a seminal joint exhibition with him at the Alex Rosenberg Gallery, New York, in 1985. In 2008, the Royal British Society of Sculptors held a major retrospective of Blumenfeld work and, in 2011, she was awarded an honorary OBE to mark her achievements in sculpture. Helaine Blumenfeld has exhibited her work extensively both in the UK, including at Salisbury Cathedral (2013) and London's Berkeley Square (2015), and internationally in Europe and the United States. She has created more than 90 public sculptures, among the most notable are 'Tempesta' overlooking Hyde Park in London and 'Fortuna' in Jubilee Park at Canary Wharf. Entry included with Cathedral admission fee.

Seven Ages of Man

Sat 1st Sep 2018 - Sun 31st Mar 2019

The Seven Ages of Man illustrate seven stages of life, from infancy to death. Inspired by the words of Shakespeare, the artist Rachel Mulligan made these panels as a personal tribute to her father, Jim Mulligan. His life is seen unfolding through the frame of a grapevine, and each scene is linked to a changing season.

These panels were made between 2015 and 2016 and first exhibited at Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham in 2016. Rachel Mulligan studied Fine Art at Coventry, and specialised in printmaking, before discovering stained glass. Artistry and craftsmanship are equally important to Rachel. She learns about stained glass by sketching historic and contemporary windows. Rachel designs and makes her windows using traditional techniques alongside new innovative techniques of her own.  Exhibition in The Stained Glass Museum gallery is included in standard admission fees.

Ben Macintyre in Ely

Wed 26th Sep 2018

7.30pm - 9.00pm

On a warm July evening in 1985, a middle-aged man stood on the pavement of a busy avenue in the heart of Moscow, holding a plastic carrier bag. In his grey suit and tie, he looked like any other Soviet citizen. The bag alone was mildly conspicuous, printed with the red logo of Safeway, the British supermarket. The man was a spy. A senior KGB officer, for more than a decade he had supplied his British spymasters with a stream of priceless secrets from deep within the Soviet intelligence machine. No spy had done more to damage the KGB. The Safeway bag was a signal: to activate his escape plan to be smuggled out of Soviet Russia. So began one of the boldest and most extraordinary episodes in the history of spying. We are thrilled that Ben Macintyre is returning to Ely to talk about 'The Spy and the Traitor', this gripping tale of espionage, betrayal and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever.

Then to Now

Fri 28th Sep 2018 - Fri 2nd Nov 2018

This exhibition shows recent contemporary glass art made by artists Michelle Mativi, Sarah Hunt and Glass by Butler (Jennifer Hackett). All three artists attended a Stained Glass Museum workshop to learn new skills, and have continued as glass artists. This exhibition catches up with them to see what they have been producing. Many of the pieces exhibited will be available for sale. Exhibition is free to all, located in The Stained Glass Museum shop. Please note this is accessed by a staircase of 40 steps.

Holst's The Planets - 100 years to the day after the first performance

Sat 29th Sep 2018

7.30pm - 9.30pm

One hundred years to the day after its first performance, Gustav Holst's magnificent Planets Suite will ring out in Ely Cathedral when Ely Sinfonia takes to the stage under the baton of its conductor Steve Bingham. Also on the programme is Holst's first major orchestral work, his Cotswolds Symphony, described by Classic FM's Anne-Marie Minhall as "a superb joyful piece with hints of greatness to come."

The concert starts, fittingly, with the world première of a piece by a modern, local composer. Phil Toms' Great War Overture will paint a picture of life in the trenches that will echo down the past hundred years:  fitting tribute in the wonderful surroundings of Ely Cathedral.

Tickets are available now from Ely Cathedral Box Office, Tel 01353 660349,

Email or online from

The Breadwinner

Sat 29th Sep 2018

7.00pm - 8.30pm

Amnesty Ely is screening this Oscar-nominated animated film, which tells the story of Parvana, an 11-year-old girl who lives under Taliban rule in Afghanistan in 2001. After the wrongful arrest of her father, Parvana cuts off her hair and dresses like a boy to support her family. She soon discovers a new world of freedom and danger. 12A. Duration 120 minutes

Tickets £7.00 each from: Burrows Bookshop, 9 High Street Passage, Ely; and on the door.

All profits will go towards Amnesty's human rights work. 

A Celebration of Pop

Sat 29th Sep 2018

Anneli is staging a concert at The Maltings, Ely  'A Celebration Of Pop' and will be performing all her singles plus a selection of popular hits from 1970's to current day with a live band.

Tickets £7.50. Please visit for tickets and information.


Animal Service

Sun 30th Sep 2018

Come and join in the annual Animal Service. Led by Canon James Garrard, this family friendly service celebrates all creatures great and small with whom we share our planet. With a special guest from the Donkey Sanctuary! All welcome, especially the four legged variety! Featuring music by the Ely Cathedral Children's Choir, The Ely Imps. Proceeds to benefit Woodgreen Animal Shelter and the Donkey Sanctuary.

Jazz at the Babylon

Sun 30th Sep 2018 - Fri 21st Dec 2018

Also Sunday 28 October and Friday 21 December

A monthly Jazz Club with all styles of Jazz on the Last Sunday of Each Month . 

Early booking advisable


Stained glass artist Henry Payne (1867-1940) - A talk by Caroline Swash

Wed 3rd Oct 2018

14.00pm - 16.00pm   Ely Cathedral Education & Conference Centre

Henry Payne (1867-1940) was a late Pre Raphaelite Artist Craftsman. He exhibited at the Royal Academy in the 1890s, trained with Christopher Whall in stained glass making in 1901 and then ran the glass course at Birmingham School of Art until 1908. As a painter he is best known for his murals in the Chapel of Madresfield Court and 'The Choosing of the Red and White Roses' in the Palace of Westminster, both commissioned by Earl Beauchamp. Payne moved to Gloucestershire in 1909 where he set up the 'St Loe's Guild' in Amberley with his growing family of three sons, one of whom Edward Payne (my father) became his assistant and successor. Henry's most beautiful work can be seen around Malvern and the Cotswolds, with fine windows in Yorkshire (Roker, Calton in Cleveland and Hutton Rudby. His most prestigious commission was Britain's gift to France, stained glass for the Memorial Chapel at Notre Dame de Lorette.

Ticket: £9 / £7.50 (Friends of the SGM or Ely Cathedral)   

For tickets visit

Talk and Book signing by Helaine Blumenfeld

Wed 3rd Oct 2018

Internationally acclaimed artist, Helaine Blumenfeld OBE, will be giving a talk on her major solo exhibition, TREE of LIFE. This event will take place in the magnificent setting of Ely Cathedral where 18 of her sculptures are being displayed. Tickets: £10 (includes a glass of wine) available Box Office: 01353 660349 or


Riverside Ghost Tours

Fri 5th Oct 2018 - Fri 2nd Nov 2018

Hear about the ghostly sightings as you walk through Ely’s medieval streets and down to the riverside. Then jump on board the Liberty Belle to hear the tales of Ely’s waterside after dark. Tours run every Friday from 5th October to 2nd November inclusive.

Tickets priced £15 and must be pre-booked. Tours begin outside Oliver Cromwell’s House.

Group bookings can also be accommodated on other dates, please enquire.

For further information and book tickets visit

1 hour 15 mins

Volcanic Wine Tasting

Sat 6th Oct 2018

19.30pm - 22.30pm

An eruption of flavour is guaranteed with our selection of wines grown in volcanic soil at our event in October! Growing grapes on the scorched slopes of a volcano thats still spewing fire, smoke, and lava is as extreme as viticulture gets. 

As you know we like to do things a bit differently at Ely Wine Events and this evening is no exception! So join us to try 6 very exciting wines, in the beautiful surroundings of The Almonry Restaurant in Ely. They will be serving us a 2 course meal to enjoy with our wines. Our guest presenter for the evening will be Susie Wareham from Cambridge Wine Merchants who will have us sliding down the slopes of different volcanic wines!

Human Rights -The Big Issue?

Sun 7th Oct 2018

6.30pm - 8.00pm

Lord John Bird, founder of the world's most widely read street paper, The Big Issue, suggests ways of achieving a fairer world by making sure that human rights works for all, not just for some.

Free admission. Retiring collection for Amnesty International.

Margaret Rope of Shrewsbury (1882-1953), her life and works - A talk by Arthur Rope

Wed 10th Oct 2018

2pm - 4pm  Ely Cathedral Education & Conference Centre

The lecture will recount the life of this outstanding stained-glass artist in the Arts & Crafts Movement and will look at many examples of her work, with images from churches and private collections but also from her archive. An artist of outstanding intensity and religious passion, the work of Margaret Agnes Rope bears comparison with the greatest in the Movement. Arthur Rope has researched the work of this artist and her cousin M. E. Aldrich Rope for over twenty years, collecting images of their works and attempting a complete list of windows. Peter Cormack called this an act of "familial piety" but Arthur maintains that it is work that every stained-glass artist of significance deserves .

There will be an opportunity to purchase the volume that showcases virtually all her known works, an exhibition in a book. Part of The Stained Glass Museum autumn talks - this event is open to everyone

Tickets: £9 / £7.50 (Friends of the Stained Glass Museum or Ely Cathedral) 

For Tickets Visit

Tattersalls Tour

Thu 11th Oct 2018

9.00am - 4.00pm

The famous Tattersalls Bloodstock Auction House attracts the wealthiest owners and industry figures from all over the world, including members of the Royal family from countries such as Dubai and Qatar. As bidding soars in the saleroom the electrifying atmosphere radiates throughout the whole town. With our special Tattersalls package you will start your day with a guided tour of the Newmarket Gallops where you will see some of the 3,000 racehorses exercising on the heath followed by a visit to a busy Trainer's yard. You will then visit The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art for a tour and a spot of lunch before being taken up to Tattersalls to have a behind-the-scenes tour and learn what bloodstock agents and buyers are looking for when picking a horse to bid on. You will get to sit in the famous Tattersalls ring and witness the adrenaline and excitement as horses are paraded and bid on for thousands of Guineas.

This unique experience is £85 per person.

Ely Harvest Festival

Fri 12th Oct 2018 - Sun 14th Oct 2018

The National Harvest Torch (the symbol of the National Harvest Service which travels to a different Cathedral each year and is supported by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall) is heading to Ely Cathedral as part of this year's harvest celebration in October. It will be on show throughout the harvest festival weekend and presented during the Harvest 'Songs of Praise' service on Sunday. This year's event focuses on soils, under the theme of 'For the beauty of the earth'. It will feature sheep, farm machinery and food and flower displays, as well as a wormery highlighting what goes on beneath the ground. There will be children's activities in the Lady Chapel on Saturday and Sunday and a lunchtime concert on Saturday, given by Worcester Cathedral Chamber Choir based on a harvest theme.

Dubai Future Champions Race Day Tour

Sat 13th Oct 2018

 Our guide will meet you at the Premier Enclosure Entrance to the Racecourse

Time to visit Newmarket’s world famous training grounds where you will see the day’s second ‘lots’ being ridden out on Warren Hill.

Time to visit the newly opened National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art which is situated in Charles II’s sporting palace and stables and spans five acres in the heart of Newmarket. It comprises of three complementary attractions; a new National Horseracing Museum, a National Art Gallery of British Sporting Art, and a chance to meet former racehorses and learn what they do after racing, in the flagship home of Retraining of Racehorses.

Then your tour will take you up to the Racecourse for a fascinating behind the scenes tour. It’s access all areas to places never normally open to the public. You will visit the Weighing room, press room and experience the atmosphere from inside the parade ring for the first race. Your tour guide will point out the main areas of the racecourse before leaving you to enjoy an afternoon of exhilarating races.

The Golden Age of Pub Building + Beer Tasting by MileTree Brewery

Wed 17th Oct 2018

7.00pm - 9.30pm  Oliver Cromwells house

The years around 1900 saw an explosion of pub-building both in terms of numbers and the sheer quality of what was put up. In this richly illustrated talk, Geoff Brandwood will explore the background to this phenomenon and examine the rich variety of turn-of-the-century pubs. He will show how pubs then were very different from pubs today in terms of layout and organisation. He will also focus on the various arts of the pub interior, including decorative glass, that made them special places. The talk will be followed by a beer tasting with Mile Tree Brewery. Bottles will be available for sale on the night (cash only).

Geoff Brandwood has for nearly two decades been a member of CAMRA\'s Historic Pubs Group, which is dedicated to identifying, recording and campaigning for what remains of our historic pub heritage. He has lectured and written widely including CAMRA's Britain's Best Real Heritage Pubs and co-authored English Heritage's best-selling Licensed to Sell: the History and Heritage of the Public House. Part of The Stained Glass Museum autumn talks - this event is open to everyone. Advance booking advised as numbers for this event are limited!

Tickets: £9 / £7.50 (Friends of the Stained Glass Museum or Ely Cathedral) 

For Tickets Visit

The Full Monty

Wed 17th Oct 2018 - Sat 20th Oct 2018

CAT Theatre Company presents: The Full Monty!  (also 2:30pm on Sat 20th)

Tickets are £13 and are available online: (18's only).


Apple Festival

Sat 20th Oct 2018

Ely will once again be joining the national celebrations and holding their Apple Festival on Palace Green from 10 am until 4 pm. The day will be jam packed with apple related competitions, stalls, demonstrations, workshops, musical entertainment and street food. Not forgetting of course the popular Longest Apple Peeling Competition and Apple Identification Tent.

For more information contact



Everyone Sang

Sat 20th Oct 2018

In this concert we will be celebrating English music. The concert title is taken from Siegfried Sassoon's poem on the signing of the Armistice in 1918, bringing peace after World War I, very much in people's minds 100 years later.

Some of the works are by composers who lived through or served in the war, and they are balanced by Handel who wrote anthems for the coronation of George II and two living composers, John Rutter and Andrew Parnell. We have grandeur in Elgar's Give unto the Lord; joy and tenderness in Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs; characteristic re-workings of hymn-tunes in Two Psalms by Holst; profound spirituality in Finzi's Welcome Sweet and Sacred Feast; and the majestic splendour of Zadok the Priest. Couple these with the unusual addition of a clarinet to the accompaniment of John Rutter's The Lord is my Light and my Salvation, the first performance of Andrew Parnell's Everyone Sang, also accompanied by clarinet and organ, and the skills and virtuosity of the baritone Jonathan Midgely, the clarinettist Koren Wilmer and the organist Edmund Aldhouse, and we can look forward to a true celebration of English music.

Glass and the Seaside Pier

Wed 24th Oct 2018

7.00pm - 9.00pm Ely Cathedral Education & Conference Centre

The seaside pier was one of the most exciting and innovative new building types to emerge in the nineteenth century. The use of glass in pier design has received relatively little attention, but this talk will explore its essential role in creating a space of spectacular exoticism and thrilling, subversive modernity.

Dr Clare Barry is a lecturer at the Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts, a tutor at University of East Anglia and Central Saint Martins, University of The Arts London. She gained her PhD from Middlesex University in Architectural and Cultural History. This talk is part of the Stained Glass Museum autumn talks series and is open to everyone.

Tickets: £9 / £7.50 (Friends of The Stained Glass Museum or Ely Cathedral) 

For Tickets Visit

Art Unequalled

Sat 27th Oct 2018 - Sun 28th Oct 2018

Art Unequalled is an inspiring, friendly event where visitors are assured that everything they see is created by the artists they meet.

2018 marks eight years since local sculptor, Sally Dunham launched Art Unequalled at The Maltings in Ely to bring together Artists and Craftsmen from across the country, working to the highest standards in a wide range of media. A highlight in the calendar of many local residents and also visitors travelling from the surrounding area. Art Unequalled is now a bi annual event, and will return for its second visit this year. Each show features a different selection of up to 45 carefully selected exhibitors and October's offering will certainly not disappoint! Whether you are looking for something fabulous for your home, want to show friends and loved ones how much you care and start your Christmas shopping early. Maybe you are getting married and would like some bespoke jewellery that is unique as your union, or you just wish to treat yourself, this is the place to find what you are looking for!

Ghost Tours

Sat 27th Oct 2018 - Thu 1st Nov 2018

Ghost Tours (with ghostly sightings guaranteed!)

What fearful frights await those in Ely after dark? Discover the ghostly tales of scandal, death and horror on Ely’s medieval streets with the chance to meet some of the ghosts themselves!

Tickets priced £10 and must be pre-booked. Tours begin outside Oliver Cromwell’s House.

Group bookings can also be accommodated on other dates, please enquire.

For further information and book tickets visit

1 hour 15 mins

Ely Fireworks 2018

Sat 10th Nov 2018

The annual Ely Fireworks event will take place on Cherry Hill Park on Saturday 10 November 2018 from 5.30pm. A community event run by community volunteers, all net proceeds will be donated to local charities. The Guy Fawkes competition will be judged by the Mayor of Ely at 6.00pm and the bonfire lit at 6.30pm. Fireworks spectacular starts at 7.00pm presented by the highly respected Kimbolton Fireworks Ltd.

There will be a funfair throughout the evening from J G Amusements and of course to make this fun-filled family event complete hot food and drink will be provided by Ely District Scouts catering team with their impressive range of barbecue hot dogs and burgers, hog roast, chilli bowls and pizza bar. Produced by the Ely Community Events Team (ECET), run by community volunteers from Ely and Soham Rotary Clubs together with Ely District Scouts. ECET is supported by local businesses, Ely Cathedral, King's Ely and East Cambridgeshire District Council. Advance tickets* will be on sale through local outlets and via Ely Tourist Information Centre from October 

*Gate will be closed at 6.45pm latest. ECET will limit ticket sales in accordance with safety planning. Bearers of tickets purchased in advance are guaranteed entry. The gate may be closed earlier if capacity is reached. To avoid disappointment please purchase your tickets in advance.

Ely Cathedral Christmas Gift & Food Fair

Wed 14th Nov 2018 - Sat 17th Nov 2018

This year's Ely Cathedral Christmas Gift & Food Fair takes place on the 15, 16 & 17 November, with a special preview evening on 14 November.

Due to incredible demand for tickets last year, an extra day has been added so as many people as possible get the chance to enjoy the Fair. Now in its seventh year, this popular event is widely acknowledged as one of East Anglia's exceptional Christmas shopping experiences.

Over 120 bespoke trade stalls are located in the Cathedral's magnificent nave, its famous Lady Chapel and a heated marquee in the beautiful Cathedral grounds. As well as bespoke shopping, the Fair also features Live Demonstrations, Musical Entertainment, Cafe & Food Vendors, a Festive Food Hall, Vintage Carousel plus Reindeer and Children's Entertainment (Saturday Only) - a great day out for the whole family.

Please check the website for daily opening times, ticketing and more information about the Fair. Due to the popularity of the event, it is recommended tickets are purchased in advance. Box Office: 01353 660349

G4 Christmas

Tue 20th Nov 2018

Experience sumptuous harmonies in an idyllic, festive setting... Due to overwhelming public demand, original X-Factor stars and operatic multi-platinum selling vocal quartet G4 are back, with their atmospheric "G4 Christmas" tour.

With a series of 24 shows in beautiful cathedrals nationwide, these intimate performances see Jonathan, Lewis, Mike and Nick recall the musical experiences of their childhoods. Expect to hear timeless classics such as When A Child is Born, Silent Night and All I Want For Christmas, as well as delightful medleys to evoke the Christmas spirit. Tickets: £37.50, £32.50, £27.50, £22.50. £77.50 (Meet & Greet) available from Box Office: 01353 660349 (Mon-Sat 9.30am-4pm) or

Ely Spirit & Wine Festival

Sun 2nd Dec 2018 - Sun 2nd Dec 2018

Ely Wine Events would now like to present their Christmas Spirits and Wine Festival.  You can try before you buy those all important Christmas presents and Christmas tipples!  

A Festival of Carols

Fri 7th Dec 2018

A spectacular evening in celebration of Christmas with music by the Ely Cathedral Choir, The Ely Imps and featuring special guest, Ruthie Henshall, interspersed with seasonal readings and poems. Supported by The Cambridgeshire Freemasons in aid of SSAFA and Ely Cathedral. Tickets: £35, £25, £18, £12.50. Additional reception tickets £20 (to include pre-concert and interval Champagne receptions in the Lady Chapel) available from Box Office: 01353 660349 (Mon-Sat 9.30am-4pm) or

Jack & the Beanstalk

Fri 14th Dec 2018 - Wed 2nd Jan 2019

KD Theatre Productions once again return to The Maltings (Oh Yes they do!) to present this year’s GIANT of a pantomime ‘Jack and the Beanstalk.’

Hark! The Herald

Sat 22nd Dec 2018

A memorable evening of traditional Christmas carols and seasonal music in the magical setting of Ely Cathedral. The magnicent 30ft Christmas tree and soaring voices of the Cathedral Choir accompanied by Ely Sinfonia creates a very special Christmas event for family and friends. Tickets: £20, £16, £10. Interval champagne and canape's reception tickets an additional £12.50 available from Box Office: 01353 660349 (Mon-Sat 9.30am-4pm) or

Guided Walks - City Walk

Sat 29th Dec 2018

City of Ely

What better way of discovering the history of this magnificent city than being guided around its splendid array of medieval paths and monastic buildings. Discover the origins of the Cathedral and the importance of trade in this former Isle of Eels. 

Walks will begin from Oliver Cromwell's House. Pre-booking is advised to avoid disappointment and tickets can be booked on-line. For full details please check website.

Distance approx 1 mile

time 1 hour 15 mins to 1 hour 30 mins

Website -

Guided Walks

Sun 30th Dec 2018

Architecture of Ely

Discover the wealth of architecture of some of Ely’s period, historical buildings during this walk with our informed guide. Ely is truly a magical mix of buildings constructed in dramatically different periods of British History.

Walks will begin from Oliver Cromwell's House. Pre-booking is advised to avoid disappointment.

Distance approx 1 mile

time 1 hour 15 mins to 1 hour 30 mins