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Ely

Perhaps Ely’s most recognised attraction is its cathedral, which is visible for miles around, but there is much more to this historic city for visitors to discover. Situated just 14 miles from Cambridge, Ely is built on the highest part of the Fens and makes an ideal base for touring the area.

Ely Cathedral is known as the ‘Ship of the Fens’ because of its prominence. This magnificent twelfth century cathedral is famous for its Octagon tower and tours give visitors an option to climb this and enjoy the wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. Also housed in the cathedral is the Stained Glass Museum, where more than 125 stained glass panels are displayed. The history of stained glass going back to the thirteenth century is permanently displayed here and temporary exhibitions are also held throughout the year.

The history of the city is told at Ely Museum, which is housed in a former gaol, and all will enjoy a visit to the home of Ely’s most famous resident, Oliver Cromwell. Costumed guides will show you the house where Cromwell and his family lived for ten years. The Tourist Information Centre is also housed in Oliver Cromwell’s House.

An excellent way to explore the city is by following the eel trail. This circular walk tales you from Oliver Cromwell’s House, through the city centre to the waterside area, passing many places of interest. The route also takes in Jubilee Gardens and Cherry Hill Park and is clearly marked by 70 brass way markers.

Ely has a wide choice of shops, cafes and restaurants, as well as markets on Thursdays and Saturdays, so you are sure to find anything you need. Within easy reach of the city are attractions such as Welney Wetlands Centre and Wicken Fen, where you can discover the natural history of the area.

Come and explore the Fens; search holiday cottages in Ely today.
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  • The Old Bakery

    Little Downham, Ely

    Grade
    7
    5
    2
    2
    Ref: RW6

    Once the old village bakery (and more recently a shop), this pretty detached cottage has been totally renovated providing a spacious, bright and airy holiday home. With beams, an exposed brick wall and natural floors, it exudes much character yet provides all modern amenities, and is set in a slightly elevated position overlooking a cottage garden with an abundance of wisteria. Close by is the historic city of Ely with imposing cathedral, attractive river and good selection of individual shops, pubs, restaurants and tearooms. Within a 30-minute drive lies the city of Cambridge with its art galleries, colleges, botanical gardens and punts on the River Cam. Also close by is Newmarket for stud farms and racing. Shop 400 yards, pub 100 yards.

    Large beamed living room with wood-burning stove in brick fireplace. Beamed kitchen/dining room with TV. Utility. Single bedroom. Shower room with toilet. First floor: Four bedrooms; one double, one twin and two single. Bathroom with separate shower cubicle and toilet.

    • Wood-burning stove - fuel included
    • Electricity, full gas central heating, bed linen and towels included
    • Cot
    • High chair
    • Two TVs
    • DVD
    • Stereo/CD
    • Microwave
    • Washing machine
    • Dishwasher
    • Fridge/freezer
    • Wi-fi
    • Large enclosed garden, patio, furniture
    • Barbecue
    • Parking (3 cars)
    • Cycle store
    • No smoking

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  • Croft House

    Welney, near Littleport

    Grade
    8
    5
    2
    2
    Ref: CDDJ

    Where ‘Gentlemen Adventurers’ turned marshland into farmland, overseen by Ely’s towering cathedral, The Fens is a landscape both mystical and earthy. Legendary sunrises and sunsets are the bookends of the working day in a region founded on arable farming. Welney is an old Fen town with a world-renowned centre for migratory birds, and Croft House is an attractive Victorian property which has been lovingly restored with authentic original features from its past. Croft House is named after the old Croft River (now a trickle running under the front garden!) along which barges transported Lincolnshire stone to Ely for its construction almost 1000 years ago. It keeps its original fireplaces, floorboards and doors which provide a rustic style. Previously the village shop, its glass frontage has been retained to allow the light to flood in, and you can trace its history on the floors of the main living room: counters, customers’ footsteps, and with a bit of imagination shillings being rung up on an old-fashioned cash register. Croft House is at once spacious and cosy. Two living rooms are joined by an arch forming a double-aspect space, with one part a ‘snug’ gathered round a working open fire, and the other, larger, ideal for more substantial groups. Its conviviality, ideal for family gatherings or getting together with friends, results from its rustic charm and comfort. The owners have respected the original character of the house but delivered a contemporary and comfortable environment where it counts, with hotel-quality beds and mattresses. Some clever decorating tricks have been used to maximise the space available for guests: instead of bulky wardrobes you have chests of drawers and coatstands. Elegant wooden shutters retain the property’s light and airy feel.
    With the UK’s lowest rainfall, you will be able to appreciate the outdoors. The Welney Wetland Centre is just over a mile away and with a fair wind you can hear hundreds of swans in the afternoon cooing for their food. You can sometimes feel the beating wings of a half dozen Whooper swans as they fly in formation thirty feet above you. Many miles of walks away from roads along the waterways of the Welney Washes are available just two minutes from the front door. The views are magnificent from the raised dykes and you can see Ely Cathedral from 10 miles away. Local sights and attractions include Ely’s Cathedral, Oliver Cromwell’s House, the Stained Glass Museum, and the Prickwillow Drainage Museum which tells the history of this fascinating area. Dutch drainage engineers replicated what they had achieved in Holland by draining the marshes and creating farmland to thrive alongside the original wetlands of the Fens.
    Croft House is about 20 miles north of Cambridge with its beautiful colleges and visitor attractions, and a similar distance from the old Hanseatic port of Kings Lynn. Slightly further afield, within an hour you can be on the wide sandy beaches that stretch from Hunstanton along the whole North Norfolk Coast, taking in the royal Sandringham estate along the way. The village pub and restaurant just across the road is an old-style inn renowned locally for its food (booking recommended). Shop 5 miles, pub and restaurant 100 yards.

    Spacious double aspect living room with open fire. Dining room. Farmhouse-style kitchen with breakfast area. Wooden floors throughout. Open-sided stairs to first floor: Two double bedrooms; one with en-suite shower room and toilet. Twin bedroom. Two single bedrooms. Spacious bathroom with bath, separate double shower cubicle and toilet.

    • Open fire - initial fuel included, thereafter available at cost
    • Electricity, full oil central heating, bed linen and towels included
    • 31" Freeview TV
    • DVD
    • Microwave
    • Washer/dryer
    • Dishwasher
    • Fridge/freezer
    • Wi-fi
    • Courtyard with patio and furniture
    • Parking (for 2 cars)
    • Welcome pack
    • Pets free of charge
    • No smoking

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  • Shire Barn

    Doddington, near March

    Grade
    10
    5
    0
    2
    Ref: UKC629

    This award-winning, Grade II listed, 17th-century, detached barn conversion is located in the heart of Doddington’s conservation area. Adjacent to the 12th-century church, Shire Barn is steeped in history, yet combines state-of-the-art entertainment facilities within the original fabric of the house. The holiday accommodation is for up to ten guests, with five first floor bedrooms: one family room, two double, one twin and a single bedroom. The open plan downstairs is perfect for medium to large gatherings, featuring a spacious living area, large, double storey glazed windows, 84" screen home cinema system, a large, fully-equipped kitchen and a fully equipped office with Wi-Fi. Travertine stone flooring on the ground level with underfloor heating, controllable zone lighting and a split level snug area are just some of the unique design elements. The barn provides a great base from which to explore this area of Cambridgeshire, and is also close to the Norfolk border and its coastline. Sandringham and Kings Lynn are also within a comfortable driving distance. London is within a 50-minute train journey from nearby Huntingdon or Peterborough train stations. The village of Doddington and neighbouring Wimblington have a range of shops and pubs serving food. March is just 5 miles, Ely 17 miles and Cambridge 29 miles. Shop and pub ¼ mile.

    Step to entrance.
    Ground floor: With Travertine stone floor.
    Living room:
    With 84" Freeview TV and Xbox One.
    Study/reading room.
    Kitchen/dining room: With gas range, microwave, fridge, freezer and dishwasher.
    Utility room: With washing machine.
    Shower room: With shower cubicle and toilet.
    First floor:
    Bedroom 1: With super kingsize bed and en-suite with bath, shower cubicle and toilet (Jack and Jill shared with bedrooms 3 and 4).
    Bedroom 2: With kingsize bed, single bed and en-suite with bath, shower cubicle and toilet (Jack and Jill shared with bedroom 5).
    Bedroom 3: With double bed.
    Bedroom 4: With twin beds and TV.
    Bedroom 5: With single bed.

    Gas central heating (underfloor on ground floor), gas, electricity, bed linen, towels and Wi-Fi included. Cot, highchair and stairgate available on request. Welcome pack. Large, enclosed, lawned garden with patio and garden furniture. Private parking for 6 cars. No smoking.

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  • Chittering Farm

    Stretham, Ely

    Grade
    12
    6
    2
    4
    Ref: RNN6

    Chittering Farm was rebuilt from an old barn to afford every comfort for an enjoyable and relaxing holiday. An excellent choice for families, the property is very comfortably furnished with a spacious living room and welcoming open fire, making the perfect retreat for winter evenings. The French doors provide access to the beautiful surroundings on warm summer evenings. Providing bright, spacious accommodation, this detached house with unspoilt views over open countryside, is well equipped with excellent facilities and comes with 1 acre of garden, where you can play badminton (net and rackets provided). Accessed by a private road and set in the heart of the owner’s 3000-acre arable farm, a stay here will provide the opportunity to enjoy the rural tranquillity of farm life including farm and river walks, bird watching and cycling. It also offers the convenience of being just a short drive from the historic city of Cambridge (there are also cycle routes to Cambridge from the farm) and cathedral city of Ely.
    The city of Cambridge is 10 miles away, famous for its colleges, museums, botanic gardens and art galleries, where visitors can also try their hand at punting on the river Cam or enjoy a wealth of restaurants, pubs and theatres. Ely is 6 miles in the other direction with its 12th-century cathedral and range of interesting shops and restaurants. National Trust properties can be found at Wicken Fen
    (5 miles), an ideal place to explore fen landscapes and Anglesey Abbey and gardens. A day at the races in Newmarket (14 miles) is a possibility, or pay a visit to the National Horse Racing Museum in the town. An added bonus for steam enthusiasts staying at Chittering Farm is the Stretham Old Engine which is located on the edge of the farm; erected in 1831 this is one of the earliest examples of a land drainage steam engine. There is also the opportunity to experience wakeboarding, with tuition, on the farm reservior (by arrangement with the owners). Shop 2 miles, pub 1 mile.

    Spacious living room with wood-burning stove in feature brick fireplace, oak wooden floor and French doors. Sitting room with TV and wooden floor. Large beamed kitchen/dining room with electric/calor gas range (for cooking) and tiled floor. Utility/separate toilet. Double bedroom (can be twin) with en-suite shower room and toilet. First floor: Double bedroom with 5ft bed and en-suite bathroom with over-bath shower and toilet. Three further double bedrooms, each with 5ft bed and wooden floor. Double bedroom. Bathroom, separate shower cubicle and toilet. Bathroom with toilet.

    • Wood-burning stove – fuel included
    • Electricity, full oil central heating, bed linen and towels included
    • Travel cot on request
    • High chair
    • Two Sky TVs (full package)
    • DVD
    • Range included
    • Microwave
    • Washing machine
    • Tumble dryer
    • Dishwasher
    • American-style fridge/freezer
    • Wi-Fi
    • 1-acre garden with patio and furniture
    • Gas barbecue
    • Ample parking
    • Cycle store
    • Table tennis and pool table in outbuilding
    • No smoking
    • Ground floor facilities

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