Plan your day out in Ely

Most visitors to Ely start with the Cathedral. Once an island in the marshes, the city developed around this impressive landmark, so most of the other major attractions fan out around it. It's also just a short walk to the riverside where you'll find a variety of eateries and the region's largest antique centre.

City centre

There's a reasonable range of High Street names in Ely's network of shopping streets, but it's the independents who steal the show. You can spend hours browsing around the many gift shops, craft shops, bookshops, antique shops and art galleries. The Cathedral Gift Shop on the High Street and the Ely Museum Shop at the Old Gaol are both great for souvenirs or presents for your loved ones, and if you fancy a traditional treat, visit Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe in Coronation Parade (just a few steps from the Cathedral's huge west door) or the Ely Fudge Shop on the Market Place.

Ely hosts no less than four outdoor markets. The general market on Thursdays has been running since the 12th century and is one of the largest in Cambridgeshire. Every Saturday there's a Craft and Collectables Market, featuring unique arts and crafts, vintage and collectables, bric-a-brac, books and retro artefacts and the weekly Sunday market has an eclectic range of food, flower, craft and vintage stalls. There is also a farmers market on every second Saturday of the month.

Ely Cathedral

Known as the 'Ship of the Fens' because of it unmistakeable profile rising from the stark, flat, marshy landscape, Ely Cathedral is nothing less than an architectural masterpiece. Built from the 11th century onwards, it has a magnificent octagonal shaped tower and the third longest nave in the UK – the same length as the city's High Street. It's also one of the few British cathedrals still to have resident choristers.

Find out more about Ely Cathedral

Housed in an ancient building that was formerly a private house, a tavern, a registry office and the Bishop's Gaol, this family-friendly museum takes you on a time-travelling trip through the history of the Isle of Ely and the Fens.

Visit Ely Museum website

The infamous 17th century anti-Royalist military and political leader Oliver Cromwell lived in Ely for ten years. His former family home has been turned into a brilliant interactive museum where you can experience 17th century domestic life.

Visit Oliver Cromwell's House website

Stained glass has been made in Britain for at least 13 centuries and this fascinating museum (located within the Cathedral) traces its history. The permanent collection features over 125 panels (at eye level for close inspection) and temporary exhibitions are presented regularly.

Visit The Stained Glass Museum website
Babylon Gallery

A former brewery warehouse on the riverside is home for this contemporary art space, which features regularly changing exhibitions throughout the year. The gift shop sells a range of items created by local artists and artisans.

Visit Babylon Gallery website

Recently refurbished with the aid of an Arts Council grant, this riverside arts and entertainment venue presents a year-round programme of films and live events. It's close to the Cathedral with stunning views over the Great Ouse marina.

Visit The Maltings website
Cherry Hill Park

Set between the historic King's School and the river, this delightful green space has views of the Cathedral and is perfect for a picnic. Less formal than its neighbour, Jubilee Gardens, Cherry Hill Park features classic English rural parkland scattered with many wonderful mature trees.

Find out more about Cherry Hill Park

Opened in 2002 by Prince Philip to mark the Queen's Golden Jubilee, this exquisite garden is next to the river with the Cathedral as a backdrop. Beautifully laid out, it has a variety of trees, shrubs, flowers, sculptures and a traditional bandstand.

Find out more about Jubilee Gardens

Ely's waterside area is a timeless treasure that brings the countryside into the city. Go for a scenic boat trip or a stroll along the river bank, or take a seat in one of the riverside cafes or restaurants and enjoy the view. You might see the Cambridge University rowing team, who often train on the river between The Maltings and nearby Littleport.

Cafes, tea rooms and coffee houses

Caffè Nero and Costa are present in the city centre, but when it comes to light refreshments in Ely, the emphasis is definitely on traditional, independent establishments. The Refectory Café at the Cathedral is a favourite spot with visitors, serving a good selection of drinks and snacks, including fair trade tea, coffee and hot chocolate. Alternatively, head for the waterside, where you'll find the award-winning Peacocks, set right on the river. They offer a huge selection of teas from around the world, as well as delicious cakes, sandwiches and light meals. Alternatively, how about afternoon tea and a scenic river cruise aboard the Captain's Table floating restaurant?

As you'd expect in a city (albeit a small one), Ely has a good choice of places to get take-away food, including fish and chip shops, sandwich bars and pizzerias. If you're there on a Saturday, pop along to the Craft and Collectables Market, where you’ll find a street food aisle with stalls selling all kinds of exotic fare, from Mexican fajitas to Chinese dumplings.

Ely is a true heaven for foodies and you'll most likely enjoy a distinctive dining experience, whether you choose one of the city centre or riverside eateries. There's everything from French-style haute cuisine to Indian, Chinese and Thai, with many establishments offering a special atmosphere and/or scenic views. One of the unique options is The Almonry, housed in the 13th century undercroft at the Cathedral and famous for its locally sourced, home-cooked food. Or there's the historic Old Fire Engine House just down the road, which combines high-quality cooking with the friendly feel of a family home. There's also a choice of pubs in the city, including The Cutter, a riverside inn which has a cosy, traditional bar and a stylish, contemporary restaurant.

Load stations
Last updated:
Staffing level Full time
Information systems
  • DepartureScreens
  • Announcements
Station operator Greater Anglia
Ticket office opening times

Located in the main entrance hall.

  • Monday to Friday: 06:00 - 20:00
  • Saturday: 06:00 - 20:00
  • Sunday: 08:30 - 18:30
Pre-purchase collection Yes
Ticket machine Yes
Smartcards issued here Yes
Top up Smartcards here Yes
Validate Smartcards here Yes
Smartcards information

Greater Anglia Smartcards can be obtained from www.greateranglia.co.uk/smart

Penalty fares LE
Top up Smartcards here Yes
Customer service information

Monday-Saturday 08:00-20:00Sunday 10:00-20:00Bank Holidays 09:00-18:00

The hours shown are for the Customer Relations team on 0345 600 7245 (option 8).

Closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Left luggage
Lost property
  • Monday to Sunday and All bank holidays: 24 hours
Seated area
Waiting room

There is a waiting room on platform 1 and a waiting room on platforms 2 and 3

  • Monday to Friday: 05:15 - 22:00
  • Saturday: 05:15 - 22:00
  • Sunday: 08:15 - 22:00
Station buffet

Toilets including accessible (radar key) toilets are located on all platforms and open when the station is staffed.

Baby changing facilities

Female toilets

Post box

Post box is located on Platform 1

Tourist information

Ely town centre

ATM machine

Nearest ATM is at Tesco which is across the car park


Newsagent on platform 1. Large Tesco supermarket next door to the main car park


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0800 028 28 78

URL: https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

08:00 - 20:00

  • Monday to Sunday: 08:00 - 20:00
Staff help

Assistance at this station is provided by a staff member during train service hours. Booking is recommended.

  • Monday to Saturday: 05:15 - 01:00
  • Sunday: 08:00 - 01:00
Induction loop available Yes
Ticket machine
Ramp for train access available
Accessible taxis information

Details of nearest taxis are shown on station information poster

National Key toilets available
Step free access

This station has step free access to all platforms via a ramped subway.

This station is a category A station according to ORR station classification system. https://www.orr.gov.uk/media/10955

Assistance meeting point is the Ticket Office when open or the Supervisor's office on platform 1

Ticket gates
Impaired mobility set down available
Car park 1 Station Car Park
Car park 1 operator National Car Parks Ltd
Car park 1 spaces 143
Car park 1 opening times
  • Monday to Friday: 24 hours
  • Saturday: 24 hours
  • Sunday: 24 hours
Car park 1 charges
  • Off-peak: £7.50
  • Daily: £8.50
  • Weekly: £32.00
  • Monthly: £119.00
  • Three monthly: £337.00
  • Annual: £1,181.00
Car park 1 contact details

URL: http://www.ncp.co.uk

Car park 2 Premium Bay
Car park 2 operator National Car Parks Ltd
Car park 2 spaces 9
Car park 2 charges
  • Annual: £1,680.00
Car park 2 contact details

Telephone: 0345 050 7080

URL: https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

No bus information available.
Cycle storage available Yes
Cycle storage spaces 330
Cycle storage sheltered Yes
Cycle storage CCTV No
Cycle storage location

In station car park

Cycle storage types
  • Compounds
  • Stands
Rail replacement information

Replacement transport stop at station entrance

Where to stay

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