Ely Excursion: Cathedral Tours and Afternoon Tea

On a sunny Sunday afternoon students and staff boarded the buses to make the short drive up to Ely – the neighbouring village to Cambridge town. Ely is located in the nearby fenlands- drained marshlands – and has a lovely English Countryside feel.

Once the coaches arrived students were brought to the town centre as first up on the trip itinerary was a guided tour of the famous Ely Cathedral that lies at the heart of the village.

Ely Cathedral with its unique 14th century octagonal lantern tower, is counted among the marvels of the medieval world. Much of the cathedral is over 900 years old and it offers a rich architectural history, including the 13th Century Quire and beautiful 14th Lady Chapel. Professional guides lead the students through the story of the cathedral from it’s founding to the present day.

Of particular interest to the students was the Lady Chapel’s unique statue of the Madonna and the breath-taking roof of the cathedral as a whole.

Our tour was pleasantly interrupted by a short reflection pray read over the speakers in the cathedral– reminding students of the working nature of the site as well as allowing students further insight into the atmosphere of reverence at the site.

After the tour was finished students were offered a short walking tour around the village showing them the Peacock Tea Rooms, the houseboats on the river and the historic archways and buildings that make up the village of Ely itself.

Students were then allowed to explore the town independently with friends many indulging in afternoon tea in the local cafes and tearooms. Classic fruit scones and clotted cream were combined with pots of tea to make a traditional luncheon!

The day finished with a spectacular group photograph in front of the Cathedral (pictured below) before the coaches returned to ferry the group home for a well-earned dinner at Corpus Christi.