Welcome to Ely
A small but charming city dominated by a jaw-dropping cathedral, Ely makes an excellent day trip from Cambridge. It takes its name (ee-lee) from the eels that once inhabited the surrounding undrained Fens. From the Middle Ages onward, Ely was one of the biggest opium-producing centres in Britain, with high-class ladies holding 'poppy parties' and local mothers sedating their children with 'poppy tea'. Today, beyond the dizzying heights of its cathedral towers, Ely is a cluster of medieval streets lined with traditional tearooms and pretty Georgian houses; a quaint quayside adds extra appeal.