Best Places to Visit in Ely (United Kingdom)

Are you searching for the Best Places to Visit in Ely? Are you thinking of a trip to Europe and wondering what to explore in Ely? We’ve got you covered. In Medieval times, this Cambridgeshire town was situated in the Isle of Ely, an area of high ground amidst miles of fenland with water.

Slowly, the unpassable landscape was conquered by pumps and ditches powered by wind, then diesel engines. Ely originates from eels, and this animal was the foundation of the diet and economy for centuries.

There’s even a World Eel Throwing Competition at Ely’s beautiful riverside in May. The crowning glory of Ely is its cathedral, which is crowned by an exquisite 14th century Octagonal tower with nothing like it in Medieval architectural style.

In the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell had a place in Ely. The home has been maintained in a way the Lord Protector would recognize.

Let’s look at the top activities you can do when visiting Ely:

Anglesey Abbey

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Anglesey Abbey is one of the best places to visit in Ely. Explore this historical mansion to discover the treasures accumulated by its wealthy owners and wander through the lovely gardens. Anglesey Abbey is a charming country house on the fringes of Cambridge.

The property is surrounded by 114 acres (46 acres) of lush gardens adorned with beautiful flower sculptures and displays. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon cruising through the woods in these beautiful and tranquil landscapes.

The house’s origins go back to the 12th century, when an entire community built a monastery on the land. The house was rebuilt as a country home in the early 1600s. It was then the property of various wealthy families, including Lord Fairhaven, a British nobleman from the United States.

Take a guided tour around the house to better understand its history and the precious stones that have been amassed over time. Some of the exhibits are exquisite silverware and clocks. Explore the collection of antiques and paintings that Lord Fairhaven purchased, intending to create a formal 18th-century atmosphere.

Visit The Wildlife Discovery Area, where they can construct dens, join the storytelling circle, and climb to the Lime Tree Lookout tree house. There are several trails designated across the vast area. You can take, for instance, the Winter Garden and Riverside stroll, which can be completed in under an hour. There are several trails to choose from. Woodland Path, Hoe Fen Trail, and The Circular Walk are longer trails.

Explore the beautiful gardens to admire the delicate snowdrops, hyacinths, roses, and other beautiful flowers. A lot of these plants are available in the Plant Center. The grounds also include the operational Lode Mill.

Most of the property is accessible to guests from the early beginning to the late afternoon. The building itself closes on Tuesdays and Mondays. The entry fee varies based on the type of attraction you wish to experience. Families, children, and groups are eligible for a discounted price.

Anglesey Abbey is located 8 miles (13 kilometers) northeast of the central area of Cambridge. You can take the bus route between Cambridge and Anglesey Abbey or stroll or cycle through a picturesque course. If you are driving and park on the property, you can park it for free.

Ely Cathedral

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Overlooking the flat surrounding countryside, this stunning cathedral is known as”the Ship of the Fens. Ely Cathedral is one of the most well-known cathedrals in the country. It is widely regarded as a landmark in medieval architectural design.

Its remote site and plain fields make it stand out from the surrounding landscape, making it appear more impressive than it would be in an urban setting. Nowadays, it’s a favored location to film films. Look up the style of films like The Boleyn Girl, The Boleyn GirlThe King’s Speech, and Elizabeth: The Golden Age.

The cathedral was initially used as a Benedictine monastery established by the Anglo-Saxon saint Etheldreda in 673. The Danes later demolished the nunnery in 673. The Normans built a church on the site in the 11th century. Take note of the Romanesque arches supporting the massive walls added after the church was upgraded to cathedral status in 1109.

The cathedral is entered through the magnificent West Door in the Galilee Porch. It is the typical feature of the Early English style of architecture. The cathedral’s high nave is worth a visit. It is the fourth-longest church nave in England, 248 feet (75 meters). Other architectural highlights are its Victorian-painted ceiling and simple circular Norman arches.

Make sure to visit the impressive Lantern Tower, built in 1322. Made up of more than 400 tonnes (365,000 kgs) composed of lead and timber, The tower is an impressive engineering feat.

Be sure to visit the 14th-century Lady Chapel, a Decorated style chapel that retains its original beauty despite being damaged during the Reformation. Pay attention to empty niches that once held stunning statues of the period.

Take the time to visit the cathedral’s museum, which examines the development of stained glass throughout history. With displays of stained-glass windows illuminated by cases, The museum offers a fascinating insight into how work styles have evolved over more than eight centuries.

The cathedral can be captivating during choral services as well as evensongs. You can sign up for an organized tour for an honest look into one of the towers in the cathedral.

Ely Cathedral is within walking distance from the station. The station is connected frequently to Cambridge. Ely Cathedral is available daily, and admission is a cost for adults. However, children are allowed to enter free of charge.

The Stained Glass Museum

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There’s no reason to use rose-colored glasses when you visit The Stained Glass Museum. Please bring your children and let them look at thousands of intricate artworks and discover how they’re created!

With more than 1000 stained-glass artifacts from Europe and the British Isles, there’s plenty to explore and experience. Learn more about all the fine details of the difficulty that stained glass can be mastered with the help of museum experts. Did you realize that you’ll see an example of stained glass dating back to the 12th century?

After you have learned about stained glass, you can also participate in other activities. Experience the glass during specific workshops or engage in activities suitable for children and adults. Why not stop by and take a class at the specialist center to enjoy a fascinating and unique excursion?

  • Learn about how stained glass is created
  • More than 1000 artifacts made of stained glass
  • Kids can participate in crafts and other activities

Hours of operation

Monday to Saturday 10:30 – 17:00 Sunday 12:30 – 16:30

Last Entry

Thirty minutes before closing time.

Fitzwilliam Museum

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Explore for hours more than four hundred years of antiquities and art in the stunning setting of this magnificent 19th-century building. The stunning facade of the neoclassical structure is the Fitzwilliam Museum which is a treasure trove of art and antiquities. One of Europe’s top regional museums, it houses over half a million intriguing objects, from pieces by Rubens and Monet and even Roman as well as Egyptian burial items.

The museum was established in 1816 after the Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion left his art collection and his Cambridge University library. Through the years, the collection has grown and continues to grow to the present day.

Begin exploring the lower galleries, which focus on the antiquities of several ancient civilizations. Seek out marble statues of Greece or Rome and burial pieces found inside Egyptian tombs. Study the sculptures of ancient times, including the Chinese Han dynasty dating back to the 3rd century B.C. and an Egyptian sculpture of a cat goddess.

The museum’s lower two floors include exhibits focusing on Far Eastern applied arts and Korean ceramics and an extensive assortment of manuscripts. Find the earliest examples of published books, letters written by great writers, and music scores signed by Handel and Elgar.

The gallery’s upper galleries are filled with sculptures and paintings. See the stunning works of British artists, such as William Blake and JohnConstable and Flemish masters like Jacob van Ruisdael and Frans Hals. Make sure you check for the two monumental paintings by Titian and Salvator Ros’s work “L’Umana Fagilita.”. Be sure to take the time to look through the gallery post-1945, which includes works from Henry Moore and Lucian Freud.

In addition to the ongoing collection of artifacts, the museum has temporary exhibitions and numerous courses and events for everyone. For a nominal cost, you can benefit from guided tours that are available during the Saturday after-hours.

The Fitzwilliam Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, and admission is free. However, donations are accepted. The museum is close to King’s College, within walking distance of the city’s center. If you prefer walking, take advantage of the local buses.

Ely Museum

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Ely Museum is one of the best places to visit in Ely. The building that houses the Ely Museum comprises a part historical and modern. The older wings are a two-story stone and brick structure that served as the Bishop of Ely’s prison in the 17th century.

The permanent exhibit is set in nine galleries. It features tableaux and objects that chart the formation of the Fens and their history as a people through their history through the Bronze Age, Romans, Saxons, Victorian times, and the two World Wars.

One of the most recent additions to the collection is a dazzling Bronze Age gold torque found in the Cambridgeshire countryside in 2017 and is worth around PS220,000. Another fascinating, though bizarre, the exhibit is the Roman Sarcophagus, which has the remains of a legionary within that was discovered by a farmer plowing his fields in 1981.

There is also the possibility of studying historical events specific to Ely, such as catching eels and hunting waterfowl using enormous punt guns mounted on boats.

Burwell Museum

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Burwell Museum exhibits how life was in the region over the last 100 years. There are Anglo-Saxon and Romano-British displays. Stevens’ Mill (the adjacent windmill) is part of the museum. You can visit it while being accompanied by a member of staff who can describe the experience when you ascend.

Children will be delighted by the antique collection of vehicles, including rare cars and one of the Austin 7, and a mobile butcher shop. Also, there is an immersive Victorian schoolroom and an artisan shop. There are also costumes to try in the Nissen cabin, which houses various outfits and uniforms of both World Wars.

An excellent opportunity to study through hands-on interactive exhibits and an audiovisual gallery.
There are spaces open for kids to play or to take your picnic. Visit the Roman pottery as well as the rotating Summerhouse. There’s also an 18th-century barn with wagon sheds, a forge, and the authentic shepherd’s house, with sheep!

Oliver Cromwell’s House

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One of the most notable characters in English historical events, Oliver Cromwell, lived in Ely from 1638 until 1646. He moved to Ely after inheriting the house of the 16th century, which was later called St Mary’s Vicarage.

In addition to Hampton Court Palace, this is the only Cromwell residence left standing.
The oldest portion of this half-timbered home is from 1215. The house was purchased from the city council in 1988 and then restored to how it could have looked at the time Cromwell lived here.

An audio-tour will bring the past back to life as you travel through eight rooms that evoke the past.
One of the bedrooms is said to be haunted. Kids can participate in “House Mouse Trail” and dress in armor and clothing that date back to the time.

The River Cam

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The River Cam is one of the best places to visit in Ely. Try kayaking, punting, sailing, and swimming on this clear river that runs through one of the most iconic universities in the world. The River Cam is the historic waterway that flows throughout Cambridge. The University of Cambridge. It is famous for its punting activity, which involves flat-bottomed boats propelled by pushing a pole against the river’s bed.

Take a stroll along the shores of this picturesque river, and take in the attractions of Cambridge.
When the river flows into Cambridge in the southern part, it passes through the vast, verdant meadows that are Sheep’s Green and Coe Fen. Hire a kayak or canoe at the Cambridge Canoe Club. Explore the paths on your bicycle and look for cows wandering through this tranquil rural region.

Stroll through the banks, and snap pictures of King’s College Chapel in the distance. The river is clean and clear and supports a diverse ecosystem. It is home to wild brown trout, among other fish. Take part in the punting vessels owned by several universities’ colleges, or sit back and relax on these tiny vessels while an operator guides you down and up the river.

Continue north until you reach the Queens College area, part of The University of Cambridge. Take a stroll through the lovely riverside gardens, and then cross the famed Mathematical Bridge, constructed of crisscrossing panels made of teak lumber. The highlights of this area are the Tudor-style president’s lodge, The Old Court, and the Chapel and Walnut Tree Court.

Take a detour through St. Catharine’s College and arrive at King’s Chapel. Enter the chapel to admire its magnificent medieval stained glass and gaze at the vaulted ceiling. You can walk to Trinity College to get to the magnificent covered structure known as The Bridge of Sighs.

In the northeastern region of the city lies Cam Sailing Club, where you can catch sailing races every weekend between March and November. You can swim in the calm waters in the summer months.
The River Cam meanders through the middle of Cambridge from northeast to southwest and then flows to the Great Ouse River.

The river eventually joins the North Sea on England’s eastern coast, which is 40 miles (64 kilometers) from Cambridge. Take a trip to nearby attractions, such as the Fitzwilliam Museum, the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and the Cambridge University Botanic Garden.

Milton Country Park

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Milton Country Park comprises 95 acres of diverse terrain that can be explored based on the gravel pits that have been reclaimed. However, in its deepest reaches, there are two miles of accessible paths, an adventure play area, platforms for viewing wildlife, and different ways to spend an enjoyable day with the family in the countryside!

The play area isn’t big, but it does have everything you’ll need to meet your children’s climbing and sliding, running, and hiding requirements!

The trails are wheelchair and push-chair-friendly, and dogs are also welcome with an off-leash space at the Northern End, which means that everyone from the family can join in! There are plenty of spaces to run and play in the park, so why not bring traditional family food like balls, bats, and Frisbee?

There are platforms to fish on both lakes. However, you’ll need to arrange for a permit in advance or bring along your fishing gear in case you’re looking to enjoy the family!

Special events and seasonal celebrations are often scheduled in the summer during school holidays, such as races and fun runs, as well as the annual Grottos and Egg Hunts! So be sure to keep your eyes open for additional excitement!

Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve

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Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve is one of the best places to visit in Ely. The area of 628 acres of Ramras Wetland at Wicken Fen is a rare opportunity to observe what the landscape looked before it was drained and planted.

This magnificent natural area, among the most significant wetland areas in Europe, is controlled by National Trust. National Trust, which is also a National Nature Reserve.

In Wicken Fen, you can follow longer or shorter trails, taking you past stagnant water, the riverbeds fields, marshes and pits, dikes, and watercourses created by humans. The only remaining wind pump still operating in the Fens is located in this area, constructed around 1912 and then moved to this location in 1956.

The diversity of the natural world at Wicken Fen is staggering, with over 8,500 species being recorded.

The birds in the area include great crested Grebes, sparrow hawks, kingfishers, and five species of owls, and winter visitors include waders such as golden plovers, bitterns, and snipes, to mention just a tiny portion.


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