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Roger Sep 9th, 2004 07:43 AM

Day trips from Ely.
We will be spending a few days in Ely during the second week of October. Will take a couple of day trips by train and am seeking recomemdations. Been thinking of Kings lynn, Bury St. Edmunds, Norwich or Ipswich. What place would you select and why? Thanks.

flanneruk Sep 9th, 2004 09:11 AM

How do you plan on travelling after the train? There's about enough in Lynn to occupy you for 45 minutes (though some Norfolk expert might nominate something else) but a fair amount along the North Norfolk coast - virtually inaccessible, except by car, and little of it worth a journey in itself. Taken together, though, Brancaster, Sandringham, Cromer and Walsingham are jolly nice.

Bury is pretty similar, though prettier than Lynn.

Norwich, however, will fill a day without a car.

indytravel Sep 9th, 2004 09:58 AM

Of the day trips you've mentioned I've only been to Norwich.

It's a fair sized city with a beautiful cathedral, a blocky castle in the middle and some decent shopping. Plantation Gardens is nice. It's built in an old stone quarry on the edge of town.

Ely is a tiny village. If you want a bigger city for a change of pace Norwich might be for you. It even has a 1 Michelin star restaurant Adlards.

Here's a thread where I posted more about Norwich:;tid=34516380

JudyC Sep 9th, 2004 10:43 AM

I have visited the places in your list, the guild hall in Kings Lynn is interesting,the abbey ruins and old town in Bury St.Edmunds is worth a detour, Norwich by far has the most for visiting.

There are frequent trains (Bitten Line)from Norwich to all towns in Norfolk Coast(good for walking and viewing wildlife,some historical homes near Cromer).

If you are interested in archaelogical site, Sutton Hoo(near Woodbridge,on the train line from Ipswich)is worth a stop.

If you like fine old home and landscaping gardens, perhaps you would enjoy visiting Audley End(south of Cambridge, on the train line),nearby Saffron Walden is an fine old town too.

For travelling around that area by pubilc transports, perhaps it would be more convenient and cheaper to buy an Anglia Plus Pass(from any train station),20 pounds for 3 days unlimited trains and some buses travel in East Anglia-including Cambridge. Please for details.

welltraveledbrit Sep 9th, 2004 11:40 AM

In March I spent sometime visiting the areas around Ely but it was all by car so that won't help. If you do decide a car is the way to go I can highly recommend Oxborough Hall which is a lovely National Trust fact the UK newspaper the Telegraph had an article on the area around the same time.

However I did want to correct indytravel's statement that Ely is a "tiny village". Perhaps this is a cultural difference but to an English person Ely is definately not a village(which is generally understood as somewhere small and rural) it isn't hugh but it's a well sized market town.

When you are in Ely do visit Cromwell's house which includes an interesting video on the draining of the marshes and the social repercussions in the area.

Hope you enjoy your visit, the Cathedral is very lovely and we enjoyed it very much.

Roger Sep 9th, 2004 01:24 PM

Thanks for the information. It will help us in making our plans.

SandyBrit Sep 9th, 2004 04:20 PM


Bittern Line train services between Norwich and Sherringham. More information

Agree Norwich is a treat with its Norman castle and cathedral.

Have you considered Cambridge? Catch the hop on and off bus right outside the train station.

Try this site for other suggestions


twoflower Sep 10th, 2004 02:19 AM

What are your interests? Ely is a pleasant enough place. Nearby Cambridge is well worth a full day, and/or could be included as part of a round trip taking in St Neots and St Ives. Bury St Edmunds has the smallest bar in England - "The Nutshell". A drive beyond Chatteris along "Forty Foot" to Pondersbridge and Ramsay St Marys is a fascinating look at some "different" countryside and engineering works (dead straight canal-like drains).

Roger Sep 10th, 2004 06:55 AM

Thanks again for your replies. We have seen Cambridge in the past as a day trip from London so will pass on a return. We are spending time in Ely to get over jet lag before starting out for the remainder of our trip. We are looking forward to local attractions, people watching, pub grub and a slow stroll or two. We have a brit rail pass which we will use exclusively except for the odd bus or taxi.

indytravel Sep 10th, 2004 08:20 AM

In Ely I had an excellent dinner at a restaurant in an old fire station. It was at the opposite end of the Green as the Cathedral.

The pigeon was roasted to perfection. The waitress came by and asked if I wanted another one! I was very surprised. I was too full and wanted the cheese plate for dessert so I had to turn her down. The stilton was excellent.

I had a nice lunch at the Almonry behind the Cathedral. If the weather is pretty sit on the patio and enjoy the view of the church.

Down along the water was a low, long brick building stuffed with antique shops.

Have a wonderful time!

indytravel Sep 10th, 2004 08:33 AM

I found this web site for the fire station place:

jsmith Sep 11th, 2004 10:31 AM

Roger, you should consider a day at the races. Newmarket is the home of racing and has 3 meets in October. People watching would certainly be interesting. Even if the meets don't coincide with your time in Ely, it might be worth a trip to visit the racing museum. The website is:

If you haven't visited the Air Museum at Duxford it would also be worth a visit. A large section is devoted to the US.

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