Woodlands B&B

Grunty Fen Rd., Witchford, Ely, United Kingdom
Woodlands B&B
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More about Ely


A pilot's windowA pilot's window

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Ely CathedralEly Cathedral

Staging point.Staging point.

Forum Posts

A Day in Ely

by oneonta_ni

We are going to Cambridge for a weekend and I have thought about a day trip to Ely. Is there enough to see there for even a half day? The stained glass museum sounds interesting but other than that and the cathedral, what is there to see? Any restaurant recommendations for lunch?


Re: A Day in Ely

by bonio

Hi, Ely should be OK for a short visit, don't know the museum but the cathederal is impressive,but otherwise it's a pleasant town to wander around, do remember a couple of good pubs in the centre, (my friends used to live nearby) Fountain and the Prince Albert,are both on Silver Street in the middle of town, not too sure if they sell food....but the beer is good! Enjoy yourselves! Alan

Re: Re: A Day in Ely

by leffe3

Same as Bonio - don;t know the museum, typical English market town so half the pleasure is wondering around the town itself and the cathedral is fabulous. Restaurants? Maybe there are a few (I vaguely remember an excellent Indian one) but there are 2 or 3 pubs down by the river (10 minute walk from the cathedral) which provide a nice environment and a relaxed way of whiling away a couple of hours after the delights of the cathedral. Don't forget that one of the proud boasts of Ely cathedral is that it is like a ship of the Fens - the countryside around it is so flat and the cathedral towers above the countryside, so can be seen for miles before you reach it. So take your time approaching it.

Re: A Day in Ely

by KennetRose

Ely is well worth a day, though probably not a lot more. It's a nice town but it's the cathedral that will take up most of your time - and it really is beautiful, not a great virile one like Durham or York but a gorgeous, sensuous piece of medieval building.

Fill out the time with a boat trip on the river!

Re: Re: A Day in Ely

by oneonta_ni

Thanks everyone!

I was beginning to wonder if I had dreamt about the stained glass museum but it is definitely mentioned on the Ely website. It seems to be near or part of the cathedral.

My husband and I both like to take photos and Ely looks like a lovely place for it.

Rose, you mentioned going out along the river - are there punters there? March probably isn't the best time for that but in case we get lucky with the weather, it might be a fun way to see the area.:o)


Re: Re: A Day in Ely

by KennetRose


The Ouse is a bit deep and frisky for punting but there are boat trips out into the fens - a real wild, primordial landscape!

Recommended background reading for the area: "Waterland" by Graham Swift.

Travel Tips for Ely

Elee or Eli?

by christine.j

I had heard Ely pronounced as "Eelee" and as "Eeli" and wasn't sure which the correct way was, so I asked the friendly lady in the tourist information. She said basically both are correct. Ely was called the Isle of Ely, which was shortened into Ely, pronounced" Eelee". But it was also called the other way around, Ely isle, and this was shortened into" Eelil", the "L" was dropped and "Eeli" remained.So both are correct, but "Eelee" is more common, she told me.

The tourist information is located in Oliver Cromwell's house.

As once it was...........

by leics

All old English cathedrals (and most churches) were once highly decorated. We tend to think of them being calm, grey places but, in fact, most of them were originally a riot of colour; stonework detailing picked out in paint, pictures painted on walls, gilding ...... everything to the glory of God. Henry Vlll's Dissolution and, later, the rise of Puritanism (during Cromwell's time) destroyed or covered over much of this splendour, but you can still see traces in many religious buildings if you look carefully.

The stonework detailing in one part of Ely cathedral has been picked out in blue. Whether this is restoration of the original, or whether it is an attempt to show how the cathedral once might have been, I could not find out.

Staging post

by leics

Now the 'Stagecoach Restaurant', this building is tucked away on Market Street and would be easily missed. As you can see from the photo, this is where the stagecoaches stopped on their way to King's Lynn in Norfolk.

Travelling by stagecoach must have been a miserable business for much of the year; cold, damp, extremely bumpy and cramped. Wonder what sort of accommodation this place offered at the time; stagecoach inns were notorious for verminous beds!

The restaurant is supposed to be pleasant though, 'traditional English' with local produce used.

Cromwell's church.

by planxty

Situated just across the green from Oliver Cromwell's house (see seperate tip) is the church of St. Mary the Virgin.

Relatively unchanged since the days when Oliver could gaze out of his kitchen window at it, it is nothing spectacular, especially with such a wonderful cathedral a few hundred yards away, but it is a pleasant and tranquil place to spend a little while.

A sad sign on the times is a notice pinned to the door stating that for security reasons all valuables have been removed from the church, and hoping it will not mar the visitors enjoyment.

I also found the First World War memorial (on the wall facing the door) and located the name of a soldier whose letters home I had read in the local museum (see seperate tip). I found that quite poignant.

Take a river walk.

by planxty

Ely sits on the River Ouse, and it is a pleasant way to spend a little time just walking along the river. In summer, there are numerous pleasure craft moored up taking advantage of the several very nice hostelries there.

If you are travelling by train, the station is near the river, so you can either start or finish your days walking along this stretch.


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