Enjoy a day out in Ely. Whether you’re looking for family walks, leisurely shopping or the best of eating and drinking in Ely, the Fenland’s Cathedral city is the place for you at this time of the year.
Places to eat in Ely
The best way to arrive in Ely is by train, with services spanning the East of England and beyond. Walk from the railway station to the nearby riverside, and you’ll find a tranquil area to explore. Eateries include the Cutter Inn, serving drinks and meals right by the river, the Riverside Bar and Kitchen at the historic Maltings, offering a great range of freshly prepared dishes, and the award-winning Peacock’s Tearooms, where you can enjoy a light lunch or a cream tea, with a staggering amount of delicious brews to choose from.
Walks in Ely
Stroll along to Jubilee Gardens and enjoy a picnic and explore the winding paths amongst the trees and flowerbeds. From here you can wander up to Ely Park, with fine views of the Cathedral, and further into the city centre. Known locally as Cherry Hill, Ely Park incorporates an ancient castle mound, and links the riverside to the Cathedral and City Centre.
Take a walk around the back of the Cathedral and you’ll discover an entrance to the gardens of The Almonry Restaurant and Tearoom. Take a seat in the 13th-century medieval vaulted undercroft, or enjoy a picturesque view of the Cathedral from the neat and pretty gardens.
From here, duck through the medieval gateway and you’ll be right in the centre of the city, at the Market Place. The general Thursday market has been held here since the 12th century and features fresh local fruit and veg and everyday household items alongside artisan breads, cakes and tasty street food.
The Craft, Food & Vintage Market is held every Saturday, and has a fantastic range of arts and crafts from local makers plus antiques and vintage collectables, plus a wealth of worldwide food and drink, including Ely’s very own Ely Gin.
There’s even more to explore at the Farmers Market, which takes place every second and fourth Saturday of the month, all year round, and has a great selection of seasonal local produce. For more details visit www.elymarkets.co.uk
Alternatively, if you carry on further along the riverside, you’ll discover the vast Waterside Antiques Centre, the largest antiques centre in East Anglia. This enormous building, originally built as a maltings in the late 1760s, is home to more than 65 antiques dealers and is chock-full full of treasures waiting be discovered.
Just along from Waterside Antiques is another hidden treasure of Ely’s riverside, Babylon Arts, which has a programme of visual art, film, and live events throughout the year, featuring artists from the area and further afield.
Things to do with children in Ely
Walk further along the riverside, past the boats and willow trees, and you’ll discover one of Ely’s best children’s play areas, at Ely Country Park. This is a fantastic place for the kids to run about and to enjoy a picnic. It features some great play equipment, including a zip wire and a multi-play pirate ship. There are also two circular walking trails, from which you can take in the surrounding wildlife in the Fen landscape.
For more information about events in and around Ely throughout the year, go to www.visitely.org.uk.