Ely

Travel Guide
Ely Cathedral showing heritage architecture, a church or cathedral and heritage elements

One of the top attractions in the Fens, this little market town is mostly known for its stunning cathedral. 

Ely is a compact town comprised of medieval streets and surrounded by quaint countryside. Admire its impressive cathedral, go for a walk along the charming riverside footpath or browse the traditional shops that line its main thoroughfare.

Ely takes its name from the eels that once lived in the undrained fens surrounding the town. Until the 18th century, Ely was a true island, encircled by dangerous marshlands that were difficult to cross. Visit Wicken Fen, a nature reserve found 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) south of town, to see what the undrained fenlands once looked like. This important wetland is home to more than 8,500 species, including Konik ponies, hen harriers and numerous types of dragonflies.

Don’t miss the town’s most famous attraction, the 11th-century Ely Cathedral. The imposing cathedral’s gorgeous Gothic octagon took nearly 20 years to build. This domed stained-glass skylight is considered to be a masterpiece of medieval engineering.

Near the entrance of the cathedral is the Stained Glass Museum, where you can inspect a beautiful collection of glasswork dating between the 13th century and the present day. To the north of the church, check out the charming shops and Georgian houses lining Ely’s High Street.

Explore Oliver Cromwell’s House, a half-timbered residence where the controversial military and political leader lived with his family in the 17th century. The interior has been decorated with period furnishings, as well as exhibitions and displays dedicated to its infamous former occupant.

Take a look inside the interesting little Ely Museum, which traces the history of the Isle of Ely and the Fens from prehistory through the 20th century. You’ll see displays of original prehistoric tools, Anglo Saxon jewelry and Roman pottery. The museum’s other exhibitions focus on the formation of the Fens, as well as old-fashioned trades like eel fishing and leatherwork.

Ely is easily visited as a day trip from Cambridge. Ride an express train or stagecoach bus from Cambridge. Trains for Ely also depart regularly from London's King’s Cross Station.

Lamb Hotel by Greene King Inns
Lamb Hotel by Greene King Inns
3 out of 5
The price is RM346 per night from 3 Oct to 3 Oct
Located in the heart of Ely, this hotel is steps away from Ely Museum and Ely Cathedral. Oliver Cromwell's House and Babylon Gallery are also within 10 minutes. ...
3.8/5Good! (305 reviews)
"Excellent location, lovely building and grear staff"

Reviewed on 11 Sep 2021

Lamb Hotel by Greene King Inns
Poets House
Poets House
4 out of 5
The price is RM1,178 per night from 5 Oct to 5 Oct
Located in the heart of Ely, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Oliver Cromwell's House, Ely Cathedral and Ely Museum. Babylon Gallery and Ted ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (245 reviews)
"This was our second stay at the poets house. It is conveniently situated for the centre and a stone throw from the cathedral. Breakfast is very good with plenty of choices. My wife is vegetarian and there was choices for her too. I must admit to being tight when parting with money. This hotel is ..."

Reviewed on 6 Sep 2021

Poets House
Riverside Inn
Riverside Inn
4 out of 5
The price is RM691 per night from 5 Oct to 5 Oct
Situated in Ely, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Babylon Gallery, Ely Cathedral and Oliver Cromwell's House. Ely Museum and Wicken Fen National Nature ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (81 reviews)
"Our experience was an excellent one, they have a pristine location by the river, their rooms are impeccable, the lady that tends to and cleans the inn is very friendly, efficient, and always available and willing to help. Their continental breakfast is one of the most complete I have ever seen, and ..."

Reviewed on 12 Sep 2021

Riverside Inn
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Narrowboat Puzzle
Narrowboat Puzzle
3 out of 5
Situated in Ely, this houseboat is within a 10-minute walk of Jubilee Gardens, Ted Coney's Family Portraits and Babylon Gallery. Ely Cathedral and Ely Museum ...
5/5Exceptional! (17 reviews)
excellent little escape away
"This was our first trip away in well over a year - and our first ever stay on a boat. We were greeted with a lovely, friendly welcome. The narrow boat was very clean, tidy and we slept soundly. The boat can get rather warm when thendoors and windows are closed but the fan was enough to keep us cool ..."

Reviewed on 6 Jun 2021

Narrowboat Puzzle
2-bedroom Lodge in Ely
2-bedroom Lodge in Ely
3.5 out of 5
Situated in Ely, this holiday home is 2.8 mi (4.4 km) from Denny Abbey and Farmland Museum and within 6 miles (10 km) of Ely Cathedral and Oliver Cromwell's ...
5/5Exceptional! (1 review)
"Excellent property, extreamly clean and modern inside. The site is exceptional quiet with superb security and well managed. Parking right outside your property. The owner was very friendly and kept us up to date with anything we needed to know. Would highly recommend this property to anyone. Worth ..."

Reviewed on 2 Jun 2021

2-bedroom Lodge in Ely
St Johns House
St Johns House
3.5 out of 5
St Johns Road, Ely, England
Situated in Ely, this cottage is within a 10-minute walk of Oliver Cromwell's House and Ely Cathedral. Ely Museum and Jubilee Gardens are also within 15 minutes. ...
St Johns House
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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