Area guide - Ely

Local Information about the Ely area

Brief History of Ely

Ely is one of Cambridgeshire’s most famous landmark cities. Towering about this vibrant market town is one of the most truly stunning 7 Wonders of the Medieval World, Ely Cathedral. First built as an abbey in 673 by St Etheldreda and destroyed in 870, the magnificent building you can see today was rebuilt over 100 years later and is now one of the UKs most visited and admired cathedrals. Its place in British history has ensured Ely’s position as one of Cambridgeshires most desirable locations to both live, work and visit.

Ely CathedralThe town was built around the cathedral and was once a busy shipping port and centre for trade. The traditional markets still held there today are a legacy of bygone eras. Ely was also once home to many historical characters like William 1st and Oliver Cromwell, whose home is now the Ely Tourist Information Centre and is a favourite destination for ghost hunters...

As a traditional market town, Ely plays host to up to 150 different stalls including food, general, flower, craft and farmers markets, which run twice weekly throughout the year and are enjoyed by both visitors and locals. From exotic food stalls to vintage collectables and antiques, this famous market place has something for everyone and it bustles with life and colour.

There is always plenty to do in and around Ely. With a host of both indoor and outdoor activities, there is something for all ages and abilities to get involved in. For outdoorsy or nature lovers the famous Newmarket Race course is just a stone through away and the famous Great River Ouse winds its way through Ely and its surrounding fens and waterways, which are alive with both native and migrating wildlife. Ely is surrounded by SSSI and Nature Reserve sites so grab your binoculars and go and see the spectacular flocks of migrating birds on the Ouse Wash or the otters enjoying the many rivers and streams feeding into it. There are literally hundreds of trails for walkers and cyclist throughout the area and as Cambridgeshire is relatively flat, users of all abilities can get outside and enjoy the stunning scenery.

Ely CathedralThere are many museums in and around Ely like Ely Museum and the UK’s only Stained Glass Museum hosted by Ely Cathedral, plus you can even find out how the fens and marshes were drained at Prickwillow Engine Museum. For art and performing art lovers, check out the ADEC website. There’s always something new and exciting coming up on this site so make sure you bookmark it. How about a splash with the kids at The Hive leisure centre or a cruise down the river on one of the boats that sail from Ship Lane every half hour. Or even a tasty lunch by the river at one of the many delightful tearooms, restaurants and pubs along its banks. One of our favourite places to relax and enjoy fabulous food in luxurious surroundings is at the Poets House hotel. This beautiful Grade II listed building has been renovated and refurbished to the highest standards and enjoys fabulous views of the Cathedral and Oliver Cromwell’s old house and is just a few doors down from our Ely office.

Ely is a great place to bring up a family and has over 40 schools, nurseries and colleges including excellent road and rail links. As you can see, Ely could easily be called the jewel in the eye of East Cambridgeshire and we can think of a hundred and one reasons to call Ely home. Give us a call or register with us today and join our friendly and thriving community in one of Cambridgeshire’s most beautiful and historic towns.