Cathedral City of Ely, Cambridge
Ely Cathedral is a wonderful church inside and it has lovely stained glass.
Within the Cathedral, there is a Stained Glass Museum which is woth visiting. You need to pay separately to enter the Museum.
At Summer or during Spring it is even more enjoyable.
I highly recommend an excursion to Ely, especially on a Saturday when the town's market comes to life. The main highlight of Ely is its cathedral, which soars over the fens with wonderful views from the roof. There aren't many cathedrals in England that let you climb onto the rooftop, so don't think that this is just an ordinary church. The cathedral has other distinguishing traits, which you can see on my Ely page.
By the way, the town's name really does rhyme with the word "really" and not "rely" so try to remember this tip when you go there. It was once famous for eel cultivation, but nowadays there are few restaurants in Ely that still serves the local delicacy.
Other highlights of Ely include the local museum and a large antiques warehouse. If you like shopping for antiques in England then you MUST go to Ely and visit the three level building with over 70 dealers showcasing all kinds of interesting items. The Saturday farmer's market in the town square has vegetables, plants, handicrafts, antiques, and lots of homemade baked goods. I even saw one stall cooking fresh ostrich burgers!
You can get to Ely by bus from the Drummer Street station or by train from Cambridge Railway Station. I suggest taking the coach as it drops you off at the bus stop near the center of town on Market Street. (The Ely train station is just outside the town's perimeter.)
If you go to Cambridge and you have the time, then a visit to Ely for its Cathedral, is worth the journey.
Ely is in Fenland and if you do not know that much about it, I would recommend you to read Graham Swift's "Waterland" which story is set on the area.
The Cathedral is even more impressive when ou think it is surrounded by flat land. You can see it from miles away.
It's not too difficult to get to Ely on the train, and its nice to get away from the hordes of tourists in Cambridge in the summer. The cathedral is beautiful, really impressive, and there are a couple of nice pubs in the center to relax afterwards. Though I wouldn't say that Ely represents "real English life," its a heck of a lot closer than you'll see in most parts of Cambridge.
Ely is a fantastic old town about a half hour from Cambridge. It has an impossing cathedral and numerous museums. I forgot my camera so it's a good thing they also had a great pub at 62 Silver Steet, called the Prince Albert!