Ely located in Cambridgeshire is an easy day trip! This cathedral city is only 30 mins away from the Lakenheath area and has quite a bit to offer. From it’s Ely cathedral which is considered one of the medieval wonders of the world, to it’s historic tourist information center found in Oliver Cromwell’s home, as well as the outdoor experiences it can provide a great day of fun!
I’d recommend parking in the Barton Road Car Park as it’s in a great location, is easy to access, and has a good amount of parking. Note all parking in Ely is free but there are some restrictions like parking all day is available after 0830 at some lots. You can find more info about the parking in Ely here. At the Barton lot there are free public restrooms on site. It’s also only a 4 min walk to the Tourist Info center (Oliver Cromwell’s house) and 7 mins to the Ely Cathedral. And if you plan to do the circle self guided trail walk it’s only a 12 min walk to the furthest spot back to the car park.
A good first stop is the Tourist Information (TI) center in the Oliver Cromwell’s house. There is a gift shop here, as well as local area info. If you ask the people at the desk they will give you a map of the local area. This is helpful if you want to do the Ely Trail Heritage walk, although you can also take a photo of it on the visitor info boards as well. We did not pay to tour the house but you can tour it, and there is also an escape room there. We recently did an escape experience by the guy who runs it there so I’m planning to go check that out soon!
Next to the TI center is St. Mary’s church, we didn’t go inside, just took photos from outside.
It’s just a few minute walk from the TI to the Ely Cathedral, which is well worth a visit! You can read about our visit HERE.
The Ely Heritage Trail walk provides a great overview walk of the area. If you start to the left of the cathedral you’ll walk down High/Forehill street lined with shops as you’re headed down to the River Great Ouse.
As we neared the river we came across this car parked outside a house.
At the river you can enjoy the scenery, grab some ice cream, and even take a boat tour if desired. It looks like they even offer night ghost tours if that is your kind of thing. We seen a tea room as well as food at The Maltings.
The walk back up to the city area takes you through Jubilee Gardens. This is a great scenic area of large grassy areas, a playground, as well as a gorgeous view of the Ely cathedral.
Ely is well worth a visit for a day trip! I hope you get the chance to go explore this cathedral city and all it has to offer!
Know Before You Go
What: Ely, Cambridgeshire
How To Get There: It’s located approx. 30 mins from the Lakenheath area.
Parking: I prefer to use Waze here in the UK, we parked at Barton Road Car Park and entered that into Waze. Free parking at the car parks in Ely. There are also free restrooms located at this car park. There are also a few other parking areas available as well. This one is a short walk from both the cathedral as well as the Tourist Information center which is located in Oliver Cromwell’s house. It’s easy to get to and there is quite a bit of parking available.
Cost: Depends on what you’d like to do. Free to just walk around the city and explore. Costs for the Ely Cathedral are located on my post about it. You can pay to tour Oliver Cormwell’s house or do the Escape room there. You can also take a boat tour in Ely as well.
Traveling with little kids: Free restrooms located at the Barton car park, as well as just outside the cathedral to the left if walking towards the cathedral. Note kids under 10 years are not allowed to tour the Ely Cathedral towers. There are large grassy areas and playgrounds on the circle trail walk.
Traveling with pets: Dogs are allowed in the cathedral but must be on a leash. They are not allowed on the tours, in the towers, the refectory cafe, or during services/events. There were lots of dogs walking the city with their owners.
How long: Plan on at least 1-2 hours to walk around the Ely, more if you plan to do any tours. Also there are some great parks and outdoor locations if your with littles and wanting to let them run off some energy.