Ely Cambridge is a small cozy little village in Cambridgeshire England. The sleepy little town is home to a magnificent cathedral and couple of quirky museums and green spaces worthy of a day trip visit. Let’s check out Ely today!

Welcome to Ely, Cambridge England, home to the majestic Ely cathedral
Welcome to Ely, Cambridge England, home to the majestic Ely cathedral.

The city of Ely Cambridge is rather tranquil in its own right. In fact it is more town like than a city. Interestingly, the city got its name Ely from Eels, where the city became associated with the aquatic animal for centuries in the early ages as the backbone of the city’s economy and diet. Humorously, there is even an annual World Eel Throwing Competition held in the city’s riverside in every May in summer.

Ely station
Ely cathedral

You can call it tad like a sister county or town of Cambridgeshire, in England. The city is about 23km north east of the main Cambridge city center where Cambridge University resides, and is a short one hour train ride away via the National Rail network. This makes Ely great for day trip from Cambridge.

Visit the historical Ely Cathedral

The cathedral grounds and rather gothic-looking exterior facade
The cathedral grounds and rather gothic-looking exterior facade.

The highlight of the city of Ely would be the majestic Ely Cathedral. The Anglican cathedral was formally called the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity. It was built in dedication of the Holy Trinity.

Ely church

Also, besides Ely Catherdral, Ely is also home to a number of smaller Churches such as the St Mary’s Church along Church lane. It is situated near Oliver Cromwell’s House which we would visit in abit.

Bishop house
Kings school

Furthermore, the front of the cathedral sits a tall 70m Tower. It is one of the most notable landmarks in the city. It is built with a blend of Gothic and Romanesque Architecture Style, and was completed around 1083–1375.

Looking up
Looking down
Green spaces

Also, Ely cathedral has its origins since the AD 672, this was when St Etheldreda built it as an abbey church. The front exterior of the cathedral does remind me of the facade of Kings College in Cambridge city center.

The vast and intricate interior and Altar of Ely Cathedral
The vast and intricate interior and Altar of Ely Cathedral.
Open cathedrals
Cathedral cannon

Also, the cathedral internal is massive, with a long central aisle flanked by wooden hall panels. Inside, stained glass panels lines the windows with a cavernous and high column-free roof.

The Ely cathedral roof trusses and details
The Ely cathedral roof trusses and details.
Vast interiors
Cathedral Altar

You can have an exploration of the inner Cathedral through a visit of the Cathedral top and roof area. It is a rare sight being high up under the roof trusses and looking down onto the interior below.


Ely cathedral stained glass museum

Stained glass museum inside the Ely cathedral South gallery
Stained glass museum inside the Ely cathedral South gallery.

Moreover, Ely cathedral is also home to a stained glass museum. This is a minor attraction included in your entry to the cathedral. The galleries are tucked on the upper floor of galleries of the cathedral’s South Triforium Gallery.

Cathedral store

Interestingly, it is UK’s only museum for stained glass. Here you can find an inspirational collection of rows of wall mounted stained glass displays from the medieval days to the modern present.

Stained glass
Roof supports

Ely museum and Oliver Cromwell’s House

Oliver Cromwell house
Oliver Cromwell house.

Moreover, some quirky museums worth checking out is the Ely Museum and Oliver Cromwell’s House. Ely museum is situated in the city’s former since 1997. The museum celebrates the heritage of Ely Cambridge and the surrounding fens.

Museum Lobby
Mr Cromwell

Additionally, it cover the city early way of life even dating up to the Bronze Age. Also, the galleries through a mix of archaeological dig finds and informatics charts the natural formation of the local Fens.

Ely museum

Also, it brings you into early human history via the Bronze Age, Romans, Saxons, Victorian times and the two World Wars.

Felons yard

Navigating the museum is at best interesting as it is built into a house. Hence, it is not wheelchair accessible as there are steps leading into the various galleries.

Early life

Additionally, Oliver Cromwell’s House is one of the Lord Protector of England’s residence. Also, it covers exhibits of the English Civil War through interactive displays. Interestingly, much of the house is available for lease for events and functions too.

Welcome video
The Eel in Ely

Exploring the town of Ely

On the beautiful town streets of Ely city
On the beautiful town streets of Ely city.

Additionally, the city is chill with nice green spaces you can walk through or cycle at your own time. Also, it is not a bad idea to do a cycling tour of Ely also as you can bring your full-sized bicycles on trains and public transportation. Something you still can’t do in Singapore.

An overview of the city of Ely from the top tower on Ely Cathedral
An overview of the city of Ely from the top tower on Ely Cathedral.

Also, Ely is a pretty self-sufficient town with their own marketplaces. Market square and independent local shops in addition to big chain stores.


Additionally, the Ely riverside and Jubilee Gardens is a nice place to relax by. Here, you can find a couple of boat houses which also serves as a summer residence for summer goers here.

In pubs
Cosy streets

Notably, the river here connects to the river Cam in Cambridge city center too. Also, you can take a stroll through the lush parks with birds chirping in the trees.

The stroll by the river Ely by the parks and Fens
The stroll by the river Ely by the parks and Fens. It connects to the nearby River Cambridge.
By the Fens

Also, it is not difficult to do a day trip. Ely is a rather quiet, laid back and chill town. The roads are quite devoid of cars and is pretty bicycle friendly.

Park chill

All in all Ely Cambridge is home to a couple of notable sights the museum and the Ely cathedral. within the county of Cambridgeshire. You can easily do an entire day trip to Ely, when you are visiting Cambridge city. Check out the cathedral, museums and time to spare for a town walk around at your own time.


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