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Car-free adventures inElyCambridgeshire

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Peaceful water meadows, an ancient cathedral and an interesting town that’s easy to walk round: Ely is a great car-free destination. Plenty of people living here don’t have cars – you can get around town on foot or by bike, there are good bus routes, and the riverside railway station is a bit of a hub for longer distance train journeys. Also: two people can visit the cathedral and museums for the price of one when you arrive by train.

  • County: Cambridgeshire
  • Great for: antiques | boat trip | cathedral | history | riverside walks | wildlife |
  • Refreshments: pubs, cafes and restaurants
  • Please note: researched/updated October 2018. If anything’s changed or you have tips to share, do get in touch:
sticky fenland cake - Ely car-free adventures
  1. 3. Explore the River

    Don’t miss Ely’s vibrant riverside. You could spend an hour so simply browsing in the huge Waterside Antiques, East Anglia’s largest antiques centre. And don’t miss the award-winning Peacocks tearoom nearby and the Babylon Gallery, with changing exhibitions.

    • There are lovely walks in both directions. Turning right along the river, a short, sweet half-mile stroll leads past the water meadows back towards the station.
    • Or you can go further, following the Fen Rivers Way a fifty mile long distance route between Kings Lynn and Cambridge.
    • Turning left, there are six miles of waterside walking (sometimes rather overgrown) along this route, heading north to Littleport Station. A few fishermen stare silently at the shining water, cows graze in the meadows, swans drift, moorhens forage in the reeds and teasles bristle among the yarrow and knapweed.
    • The River Great Ouse shares its wide valley with a railway and minor road, but this straight stretch of the Fen Rivers Way is a big-skied waterside walk, full of wildlife.
    • If that sounds too much like hard work, take a boat trip instead on the Liberty Belle. From 11am, there are daily half hour cruises in season for £7.
    • You can even take an £18 evening fish and chip cruise to the Lazy Otter and other riverside inns, setting off at 6pm every Friday and Saturday from April to October and getting back after sunset.
  • sticky fenland cake - Ely car-free adventures
  • Grebe catching a fish in Ely - Ely car-free adventures