The magnificent Ely Cathedral sits at the heart of this historic city, offering a link to the past as it watches over the Ely of today. The city below is nothing short of labyrinthine, its winding streets leading you to riverside beauty spots, countryside views and peaceful parks. With a busy town centre, a clutch of historic monuments and the River Great Ouse snaking along its eastern edge, Ely really is the perfect place to lose yourself...
Jump off the train and head straight for the cathedral – you won't regret it. The former home to Oliver Cromwell dominates the city skyline, but its Gothic architecture, extensive grounds and ornate interior need to be seen up close. If your thirst for history still isn't quenched, visit Ely Museum – housed in the former city goal – to find out more about the city and the surrounding Fens.
Don't get too lost in the past however, as Ely has plenty to offer in the here and now. The compact city centre marries big-name high street shopping with the types of shops you thought no longer existed – independent boutiques, antique bazaars, craft stores and bookshops all line the city's narrow lanes and side-streets. Once you've worked up a thirst, it's over to the Prince Albert – featuring Ely's largest pub garden – for a glass of beer and a pub snack or two.
Before you hop on the train back to the real world, you can't leave Ely without sampling a cream tea from the riverside Peacock Tearooms. Its accolades include being named Country Living magazine's favourite tearoom – so expect your tea and scones to be done to perfection.