When one of our friends in Cambridge suggested that we should visit Ely we thought we might as well do it. I hadn’t realised that we were so close to Ely, for some reason I seem to recall that the place was regarded as the back end of beyond when I lived in the south of England. I really don’t know why because it’s close to Cambridge, I was going to say and civilisation, but really it’s fairly civilised itself!
Driving into the town we saw signs to Oliver Cromwell‘s house. I don’t know if I ever knew that he had lived in Ely – if so I obviously blocked it out as it was a surprise to me. He lived there for ten years. Cromwell is on my mental list of despicable characters from history so I didn’t bother to actually go into his home which is a very short walk from the town.
I think that this wee house is much nicer though and it’s very close to Cromwell’s. I think the windows are nicer and I’m fairly sure that it can’t have been lived in by anyone as horrible as Cromwell so it’ll have a better atmosphere! It strikes me that it would be really easy to transform all of these old houses into cross stitches. I might do something like that in the future.
The cathedral is undergoing building work at the moment, which ancient building isn’t, I ask myself?
All in all I really liked Ely, it doesn’t feel as well off and salubrious as Saffron Walden but it’s a friendly place with nice buildings and shops and a wee bit of a market.
Well I did have every intention of blogging while we were away but we packed so much into every day that we were too exhausted to do anything in the evenings except turn the TV on and vegetate whilst wondering who would be the next MP to do something crazy, we didn’t have long to wait did we! Over five days we visited:
Moffat (on the way down)
Lincoln (very nice but it chucked it down with rain)
Grantham (the only place we didn’t like much)
Stamford (very pretty with quirky houses and grand buildings)
Cambridge (lovely but smaller than I had imagined)
Newmarket (also worth visiting)
Grantchester (made famous by Rupert Brooke, lots of thatched cottages)
Madingley (very beautiful but sad American war cemetery)
Ely (lovely cathedral and ancient town)
Braintree (where we used to live, all very different in a good way)
Witham (where I used to work)
Silver End (to see art deco buildings)
Coggeshall (a re-visit for us, very chocolate boxy)
Great Dunmow (more ancient quirky buildings )
Thaxted (stopped briefly to snap – amongst other things – Gustav Holst’s house)
Saffron Walden (I really loved this place, very old fashioned)
So you can see why we were exhausted! Very naughtily I bought 15 books from second-hand bookshops, details later. So I hope you enjoy photos of old towns and villages as I’ll be blogging about our travels soon. It’s just as well that Jack still has another week of holiday time left, recovery time!