"I Really Really Enjoyed Ely" Top 5 Page for this destination Ely by Confucius
Ely Travel Guide: 77 reviews and 212 photos
The name "Ely" is derived from the term "Isle of Eels" as the town was once surrounded by water and marshland where an abundance of eels were caught. The eels were a source of food and income for the folks who lived in the fens.
Ely Cathedral is the memorable highlight of a visit to Ely. Work began on its construction in 1083, nearly 200 years after Danish Vikings destroyed the monastery which was previously in its place. What you see today is architecture from the 12th to 16th centuries as you walk from back to front. Most of the stained glass and all of the ceiling's painting was done during the Victorian era in the 19th century.
Take the guided tour and hear the Cathedral's stories brought back to life, starring King Henry VIII as the villain responsible for extensive Taliban-like damage to the Cathedral by the iconoclastic zeal of the Reformation radicals during his destructive "Dissolution of the Monasteries" campaign.
The highest of the highlights is climbing atop the roofs of both the West Tower and the Octagon to get closer looks at the Cathedral as well as distant views of Ely and the surrounding countryside.
There's a stained glass museum inside the cathedral, but you can also get face to face with the stained glass by taking the Octagon Tour.
- In a nutshell:Ely is really a great day trip from Cambridge!
Thursday and Saturday are market days in Ely, and so plan your visit accordingly. The Thursday market is mainly... more travel advice
One can not discuss the history of Ely without mentioning Oliver Cromwell, who is also known locally by his nickname... more travel advice
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