Cambridgeshire Part Two - A visit to Ely

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After a restful night's sleep, Mike and I woke up in our beautiful bedroom at Paddocks House and made our way downstairs to breakfast. 

Somehow, the fact that we'd had such a huge dinner the night before didn't seem to interfere with our appetites one bit. No light cereals and fruit for us. Instead, eggs - fried for me, with bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes, and scrambled for Mike with smoked salmon - toast, and a couple of pastries on the side. Plus plenty of hot tea and fresh orange juice to wash it all down.

Paddocks House, Cambridgeshire - Breakfast

Paddocks House, Cambridgeshire - Breakfast

What is it about hotel breakfasts that makes them so amazingly good? 

Once we were suitably set up for the day, it was time to check out of Paddocks House and be on our way. We had our next night booked in their sister hotel, Poets House, just half an hour's drive away in Ely, and first, we wanted to explore the city, as neither of us had visited before.

Ely is one of the smallest cities in the UK and a very pretty place.

Ely, Cambridgeshire

Ely, Cambridgeshire

Ely, Cambridgeshire

Ely, Cambridgeshire
 
Probably its biggest attraction is its cathedral, which is stunning both inside and out. I'm a bit of a sucker for history, so I loved hearing about this magnificent building from the informative guides. As you might imagine with such an ancient structure, the original 11th century cathedral has been altered, expanded and improved many times over the years, with parts being added in the 1300s, a new floor in the 1700s, etc. I'll spare you the history lesson, but I will show you some pretty pictures.

Ely, Cambridgeshire

Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire

Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire

Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire

Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire

We decided to take the guided tour up to the top of the octagon tower in the centre of the cathedral. I was absolutely fine about this... until our guide asked if we were afraid of heights, enclosed spaces, spiral staircases and spiders! After that I was dreading it, but I really did want to see the views from the top, so I pulled myself together and pretended to be brave, in the hope that I could fool myself into believing I actually was.

Either the strategy worked, or the journey to the top wasn't as bad as our guide made out, because as we got going I was fine. In fact, I even started to enjoy it.

There were lots of different stages, with interesting things to look at along the way, like these views from the roof of the main body of the cathedral.

Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire

Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire

Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire

The higher we climbed, the smaller and tighter the stairways and entrances became. I'm quite little, but I honestly don't know how I fitted through this door!

Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire

Up in the top of the tower, it was fascinating to see and touch the huge timbers holding the whole thing together. According to our guide, they're over a thousand years old.

Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire

From here, we were able to open up the painted panels at the top of the tower and gaze down at the cathedral far below us.

Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire

Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire

Finally, we embarked on the last part of our climb, onto the roof of the tower itself. The views were spectacular. The countryside in this part of the world is quite flat, so it almost felt like we could see forever from up there.

Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire

Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire

Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire
 
Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire

After admiring the view from all angles, it was time to make our careful way back down to earth again.

We thanked our guide and left the cathedral to take another stroll around the city, finishing up at the riverside. With the winter sunlight sparkling on the water, it was the perfect day to enjoy it.

Ely, Cambridgeshire

Ely, Cambridgeshire
 
Ely, Cambridgeshire

Ely, Cambridgeshire

Ely, Cambridgeshire

The afternoon was running away from us, and before we knew it, it was time for us to head back to our hotel. There was a feast waiting for us, and it wasn't going to eat itself! (The devouring of this feast will be dealt with in the third and final part of this little travel series.)

Has anyone been to Ely? And who is scared of heights, enclosed spaces, spiral staircases and spiders?!

Kate x
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28 comments

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Heather! It was such a beautiful building. x

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  2. This place looks like something out of a book. Beautiful post!

    http://saranusagg.blogspot.si/

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Sara, it really is such a lovely little city. x

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  3. Of all the meals I have at a hotel, I always look forward to the breakfasts, and your experience is testament to that -- it looks amazing! I'm a massive sucker, not just for historical buildings in general, but old, grandiose cathedrals and the one in Cambridgeshire sounds absolutely amazing. I hope you had a brilliant time there, Kate!

    May | THE MAYDEN | bloglovin'

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    Replies
    1. I certainly did May, glad to find a fellow lover of historic buildings! x

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  4. Hotel breakfast are the best :D I want to get lost in this place. great clicks <3

    Recently Posted: Some eyelooks using the MUR I <3 Makeup eyeshadow palette

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  5. OMG! Spectacular post! Love it ...
    XOXO, mimi
    #theINSIDERblog
    +http://fashionlook4u.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed it. x

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  6. Your pictures are so pretty... the church spires and the breakfast of course! I know what you mean about hotel breakfast. They seem so lavish, even though they're pretty simple things we could make at home. Maybe it's because the presentation is so elegant!


    http://www.districthilo.com

    Love, Mary

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I think that has a lot to do with it, plus the fact that someone else makes it and serves it to you! x

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  7. Gorgeous!!! I love hotel breakfasts as well and all of the photos you posted are just so beautiful. Hope you had a great time!

    a small bit | bloglovin | twitter

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  8. Ohh gorgeous snaps! I went to Ely a couple of years ago and really liked it. We didn't do the tour to the top of the Cathedral but it looks totally worth it !

    Jasmin Charlotte

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    Replies
    1. It's such a pretty place isn't it? The tour was great, although just wandering around the cathedral at ground level was lovely too. x

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  9. I ask myself the same thing every time, what is it with hotel breakfast that makes it so darn good?! I love it and I look forward to breakfast every time we stay in a hotel! The cathedral is breathtakingly beautiful, you got some amazing shots!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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  10. Kate! You're giving me all the feels to come back to the UK. I miss the quaint cities that are filled with history.

    Have a great weekend,

    Taylor
    http://foreverlywild.wordpress.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Taylor, glad you enjoyed the post! x

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  11. What a amazing city,love the pictures you took there.
    Also your outfit is nice,especially the camel coat,so trendy.
    I follow you,xx

    http://zeberry.blogspot.ba/

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  12. I have just discovered you blog :) Those pictures are absolutely amazing! Would love to go there! But don't know if I would be able to climb the stairs - I'm so afraid of heights!
    Have a great day :)
    A.
    http://thepixiechic.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! The heights were ok, just so long as I didn't look down! x

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  13. The scenery is so amazing, such a beautiful cathedral! I love your photos! Also your outfit is great too - loving this post <3

    istylelooks.blogspot.com

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  14. Lovely photos. The cathedral is so beautiful. I've never been inside. You made me want to visit again. :) x

    Renata | Speaking Beauty UK - Eyelash Enhancer GIVEAWAY

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  15. Your photos are so beautiful! I would be terrified of the heights! xx

    Beautylymin

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  16. Hi! Loved your pictures, specially bcoz you have captured great angles and i love traveling & exploring myself.
    I have recently started my blog www.theurbanista.net
    my recent post on:http://www.theurbanista.net/february-inspiration/

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