Ely is a short 39-minute train ride west of Attleborough and we visited this lovely East Cambridgeshire cathedral town twice during May. Named after the Isle of Eels Ely is located in the Fens, a naturally marshy area of eastern England. Most of the fens were drained centuries ago, leaving the region a valuable agricultural region. Below is the Ely eel. The real live fish is much smaller in scale, was a vital food source for Ely residents for centuries, and is now a delicacy.
The picturesque River Ouse is a home to canal boats and barges and the treed pedestrian walkway is a great route to wander into town.
Ely Cathedral dates back to 1083 and was built by Benedictine monks.
The town grew around the cathedral and the springtime flowers, shrubs and trees just added to Ely's beauty.
Fancy tea and/or lunch with a view?
The interior of the cathedral is as impressive as any we've seen. I love these doors!
The cathedral is also a blend of old and new and while there is no mistaking this is a modern cross it fits in perfectly.
The wooden and painted ceilings were spectacular.
Another modern sculpture that filled the space and complemented the cathedral on so many levels.
When possible we like to take a guided tour of the cathedral. Conducted by volunteers, often retirees and sometimes eccentric individuals it can be hit and miss, however our Ely guide was informative, energetic and enthusiastic. The 90-minutes with her ended far too quickly. We could easily have carried on for another hour and a half!
While we were at the cathedral we stumbled upon a choir practice. The voices and acoustics were awesome.
Our next stop in Ely was the Oliver Cromwell House which is also home to the tourist information office.
Cromwell lived in this house with his family for ten years and it is his only remaining residence other than Hampton Court Palace.
|Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector|
Lunch time we headed to The Minster Tavern.
Then walked off the Guinness and food with a walk around town.
Certain buildings speak to me, and like the one I immediately felt a connection to in Antibes, France, this one also called to me. I'd love to have a flat in the beige building at the end of the lane.
Speaking of home, while we were in Attleborough both John and I felt very much at home with George. Isn't he gorgeous?!
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