The Fens a Natural Manscape
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Project part financed by the European Union European Regional Development Fund

Towns and Villages



Although Ely is officially a city, it has the tranquil atmosphere of a small market town. With its charming shopping centre, magnificent cathedral, attractive riverside and large areas of green open space it is a relaxing destination for a day or a longer stay.

Ely Cathedral dominates the surrounding landscape and is known as the ‘Ship of the Fens’ because it looms like a vast ocean liner out of the low lying countryside. As well as being the focal point of the city and a major visitor attraction it is not to be forgotten that it is a place of worship and quiet contemplation. It has the largest Lady Chapel in Britain which is attached to the cathedral and dates from 1349. Ely Cathedral is also home to the only museum in the country dedicated to stained glass.

Oliver Cromwell was one of Ely’s best known residents. He lived in the town for 10 years. His home in St Mary’s Street is now a Tourist Information Centre and visitor attraction where period dressed rooms give a vivid and imaginative recreation of 17th century life.

Ely is a place to wander and browse and take in the atmosphere,to enjoy the narrow streets with their ancient buildings, explore the many antique shops or stroll along the riverside and watch the boats and wildlife.

There are a variety of events which take place throughout the year including Aquafest, Ely Folk Fayre and the World Pea Shooting Championship.

Towns and Villages
Downham Market
King's Lynn
The Wash
Places to stay
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Did you know?
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A village near Ely was the scene of the famous Littleport Riots in the 19th century. After the battle of Waterloo, veterans found their wages were not enough to survive on; the Littleport riots were the first to voice the general dissatisfaction felt throughout the country.