The English country side is beautiful. Driving away from a major city like Cambridge will give you a great surprise especially when stoping in a much smaller town like Ely. Ely has amazing history and it's small enough that it can easily be visited in a day. We enjoyed Ely very much ourselves. Read on to see what's worth seeing and doing in Ely, England.
My favorite tourist attractions in Ely, England
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- Visit the Ely Cathedral. Yes, there are many cathedrals and churches in England, but the Cathedral at Ely is much different even if only by its size.
- Visit Oliver Cromwell’s house. Oliver Cromwell is the most important historical figure in these parts and his house will give you a glimpse of his life.
- Take a stroll on High Street and come back up on Market Street. This is pretty much the center of Ely. At the end of Market Street you will find Ely Museum which shows a small slice of Ely’s lifestyle back in the day.
- Take a break in the Jubilee gardens and enjoy the view of the Great River Ouse and the many boats traveling up and down the river.
- A visit to the Ely Museum, while interesting, it’s not worth your time unless you have seen everything else.
This is one large cathedral and it’s well worth your visit. You can admire intricate interior decorations and a beautiful Stained Glass Museum. To tour the cathedral it will take you around one hour and then another 30 minutes for the Stained Glass Museum. In addition to the cathedral interior, you can also climb in the tower for an additional fee.
Oliver Cromwell is the most important historical figure in Cambridgeshire. In Ely you will find one of his houses, where the Cromwell family lived most of their lives. It houses the Ely Tourist Information Center as well as the Cromwell Museum. While it’s a bit pricey, the rooms and furninture on display really give you a good glimpse into family life a long long time ago.
Walking through the park south of Ely Cathedral, you will end up quickly walking through Jubilee Gardens and by the River Ouse. This is a very nice area for walking around and just relaxing after all the walking around the city.
Depending how much time you have you can also visit Ely Museum at the end of Market Street. The admission price is part of your visit at Cromwell museum and it is a short visit. There is not very much to see at Ely Museum other than a reconstruction of a room with furniture and old artifacts.
How to get to Ely, England
The easiest way to get to Ely is to come north on the A10 from Cambridge. It’s only about 30 minutes north east from Cambridge. The A10 motorway becomes Cambridge Road and it will take you straight to the city center. From Cambridge Road follow Saint Mary’s street all the way to High Street. Then you’re in the center of the town. Parking is tough in general near the city centers in England but you can generally find parking on nearby streets.
We found free parking near the roundabout on Black Hill and Silver Street. This was located on the southern entrance to the Ely Cathedral area. Anywhere in the area will do as far as parking goes because Ely’s city center is very small and any parking place somewhat close to High Street will allow you to explore the town.
Map of Ely, England and surrounding area.
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Is it worth visiting Ely, England
It is worth your time to visit Ely, England. We enjoyed our visit very much and we learned a lot about local history in Cambridgeshire. Ely maintains the small town feel even though it’s very close to the much larger and busier Cambridge.