Discovering Ely: Your Handbook for Life in This Charming Town

Considering Ely as your next move? Whether you’re from the Cambridgeshire area or further afield, in this guide, we’re looking at the top things to know about living in one of England’s smallest cities. 

Ely is considered a great place to live for various reasons:

Historic charm

Ely is filled with beautiful old buildings and the breathtaking Ely Cathedral, offering a rich history. 

The city has a rich history, dating back to the foundation of an abbey in 673 AD by Saint Etheldreda. 

Originally known as the ‘Isle of Eels’ due to its watery surroundings, Ely developed into a significant religious centre with the establishment of the first Christian community by Saint Ethelreda. 

The magnificent Norman Cathedral is a legacy from William I and stands as a prime example of Romanesque architecture. 

Ely was also home to Oliver Cromwell, a prominent historical figure who served as Lord Protector of England. 

The city’s historical significance makes it a captivating destination for visitors interested in exploring heritage sites like Oliver Cromwell’s House and Ely Cathedral. 

Cultural offerings

Ely’s High Street is known for prioritising independent shops, creating a bustling cultural hub for residents.

The city offers cultural experiences like theatres, art exhibitions, and events throughout the year, including festivals like the Ely Folk Festival. There’s also a vibrant food scene with cafes, tearooms, bakeries, and restaurants catering to all tastes.


Ely provides a range of educational options, from good schools to private nurseries and renowned institutions like King’s Ely School.

Natural beauty 

Ely is known as the flagship of the Fens, a flat, marshy landscape that stretches across Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire. 

Surrounded by open green spaces and less than a 20-minute drive away from nature reserves like Wicken Fen, this quaint city offers a picturesque setting with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. 

Home to over 9,000 species, it is one of Europe’s most important wetlands. Visitors can enjoy various activities such as nature walks, cycling and bird-watching. 

Convenient location 

With direct trains to Cambridge and London, Ely provides easy access to major cities while maintaining a calm and welcoming atmosphere for residents. 

If you’re preparing for a move to Ely, speak to Reads Removals today to get your hassle-free removal booked in.