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“Magnificent Building”
Review of Ely Cathedral

Ely Cathedral
Ranked #1 of 33 things to do in Ely
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 19, 2013

Magnificent cathedral that towers over Ely. Experienced marred by very noisy work being carried out using a scissor lift, the noise it made was deafening. Perhaps a discount for visitors when this (I am sure) vital work is being carried out? Even as a student its £6.50 for basic entry (as usual they want extra for exploring the whole of the building) Did not try cafe, shop the usual over priced stuff.

Thank HellyBoro27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,809 - 1,813 of 2,181 reviews

Reviewed April 14, 2013

Magnificent ceilings, especially above the altar. Lots to learn about the history of the cathedral and its bishops dating back 1500 years. Very good giftshop.

Thank Marios S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2013

Firstly, be aware that I love the history, spiritual gravity and architecture of our great Cathedrals so there may be some bias here. PLEASE take time to read up a bit in advance of your visit, otherwise it is possible to overlook the riches of this building and simply be wowed by the Victorian pastiche that is everywhere (but well done). Of course, everyone wants to see the Octagon Tower / Lantern Tower. A tour is well worth it and helps to break through the initial impact to the story underneath.

Entrance fees are not cheap... I think we paid £6.50 a head, but we also paid for an Octagon Tower tour (an additional £7.50) so that was a big slab of cash for 4 people if you intend to eat out, later. The Cathedral takes several hours to give the Tourist-Eye to, with about an hour added for the tower (note, if you are in any way unfit, large, arthritic or carrying a rucksack you will not make it through some of the tiny doors or up the narrowest & steepest of the spiral staircases in the tower). The views over the countryside are breathtaking.

The Cathedral has quite a bit of tasteful modern art in it which adds to the enjoyment, as well as some very significant history. The dissolution of such places by Henry VIII left untold distruction but there are signs & traces everywhere of what went before... this is a showcase for empty niches! At regular points throughout the day ALL visitors are brought to a standstill for a 3 minute call to prayer & meditation, reminding us of why these beautiful buildings were built and cherished. There are traces of Norman heritage though to the present day. The only spoiler was a massive trade-show in the nave, though it was possible to ignore it.

If the weather if good then walk around the beautiful grounds then around the adjacent field and down to the river where there are longboats, the Jubilee Park, places to sit, drink tea and enjoy the beautiful town. By combining the river-side this makes a great day out in a peaceful town

2  Thank pcollingridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2013

This is a lovely cathedral, the trouble was that you had to bypass several very off-putting displays of local businesses. This was apparently part of "celebrating local businesses" and as this was not an obvious part of religion, you were constantly reminded that the cathedral authorities are after making a quick buck! As we were charged £7.50 each to get in, it was hard to justify the commercialisation. Perhaps better to charge a bit extra and do away with the huge adverts. Apart from the tackiness of it all, that sort of thing spoils the look of the cathedral and is displayed so prominently that it's the first thing you notice when you come in (clearly the point as far as local businesses are concerned). A shame.

2  Thank Allybookworm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 9, 2013

Arrived here on a cold April afternoon. The entrance fee is quite pricey but it does allow you to revisit for a year. I decided to do the Octagonal Tower tour too while my wife just wandered around the cathedral.

The tour was superb, lots of useful information without being bombarded with an excess of forgetable facts. I got to see excellent views from the roof as well as the interior of the tower and it was an hour well spent.

I would like to return on a warmer day when I can see more of the exterior and the setting of the cathedral and it is certainly worth a second visit.

1  Thank MarcusHurley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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