Map of places

Ely             1 of 2



The Cutter Inn is the only pub in Ely to be able to take advantage of the canal side. However, it only manages small balcony of outside seats and tables to watch over the canal and these  are highly prized. The right hand side of the building houses a restaurant while bar means are available all day in the bar which is to the left. The front of the serving  bar is shaped like a small boat. The ceiling is low and the floor is big stone  tiles. Three gaming machines lower the tone in a very attractive room. There is another room for seating through from the bar.

Have one here.

Good Pub Guide 2013

Real ale      :Dragonfire; Doombar; Explorer (Adnams)Wherry

Lager          :Fosters; Hoegarden; 1664; Peroni; Becks Vier

Cider           :Aspalls Suffolk Cider                     Guinness

The Expensive Trail

Better arriving by train and heading into the town Just after the roundabout turn right into Annesdale. The end of this road brings you to the canal side and The Cutter Inn. Leave here and walk along the canal to the Jubilee  Garden and walk through this towards the cathedral. At the next road walk to the right along Broad Street to a large car park appears on your left. Walk through this to discover the rear entrance (and patio) to The Royal Standard on the right-hand side. Opposite the front door is the Liberty Belle now The Drayman's Son (Ely's micropub). Leaving here walk up the hill and then along the High St. At the end of the High Street go straight on (even though this means missing The Lamb, The Minster Tavern and The Kings Arms).

You are now on St Mary's St which curves round past Oliver Cromwell's house. Keep walking until you reach an open junction where you can turn right along West End. Not far along here you will find the West End House. Return to the junction and walk back up St Mary's Rd. Cross over and turn right into Silver St (If you reach Cromwell's House you have gone too far). Half way along Silver St is The Prince Albert and at the end of you find The Fountain. Go through the old gates diagonally opposite The Fountain and a walk through the park takes you back to the Jubilee Gardens and The Cutter Inn.

This trail needs careful planning as the Liberty Belle only opens at 5.30 during the week. The West End House is closed between 3pm and 6pm. The Prince Albert is closed between 3pm and 5pm during the week, though all three are open all day Saturday. However, The Fountain closes at 2pm on a Saturday and does not open till 6pm, while during the week it does not open at all until 5pm.



Mark Twain


The Royal Standard is a large dining pub. The entrance and the exit to beer patio and car park are both by narrow corridors yet the pub itself is quite large. There is seating facing the road, with a bar in the middle of the room. An extensive dining area is further on from the bar. Always a friendly group of locals at the bar. The same people run The Prince Albert.

Have one here

Real ale      :Greene king IPA; Proper job(St Austell); Abbot ale Betty Stogs;

Lager          :San Miguel; Fosters; 1664;

Cider          :Aspalls Guinness

The Fountain is a rather nice pub which unfortunately only opens in the evenings (except Saturday lunch time). There is an L-shaped room with lots of interesting items to view.

Have one here.

CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2013

Real ale      :6X;  Sparta (Milton); Southwold (Adnams); Landlord;


Lager          :Lieff; Budweisser Budvar; Bitburger; Kostriker; Adnams Dry Hopped lager


Now called The Drayman's Son (formerly Liberty Belle) is Ely’s micropub, which means no lager or TV, although it does have wine and Ely gin! You pay at the upstairs counter and the beer is fetched from the room where the beer is racked. Some seats are up by the counter but the majority are in the shop window at the front. Interesting mixture of curios and decoration.

Have one here.

It is unfortunately only open all day at the weekend otherwise it opens at 5.30.

Real ale      : Railway sleeper; Comet; Norfolk Kiwi; Jubille Porter; Wellstream; Amnesiac; Blackberry Porter; Strawberry Blonde (usually nine real ales from less well known breweries)

Real Cider  : usually 5

The Prince Albert is a small, very comfortable, traditional pub.  What was two small rooms are now knocked together. It has a large beer garden (which has seen better days but is being, like the toilets, improved). The pub is run by the same people (with same menu) who run The Royal Standard. Unfortunately during the week it is closed 3-4pm.

Have one here.

Real ale      :Greene king IPA; Proper job(St Austell); Golden galaxy (Brentwood);

                           Betty Stogs; XX; Yardbird

Lager          :Carlsberg;  Stella;

Cider          :Aspalls Guinness

CAMRA branches map & links

Ely is a small city of about 20,000 souls in Cambridgeshire. It is a city because it has a cathedral (started 1083). Ely Cathedral also houses a Stained Glass Window museum. The city has two main narrow roads, Market Street and High Street. Market day is a Thursday.

Ely is well served by trains arriving from Norwich, London via Cambridge, Liverpool (and the North) and Kings Lynn. Arrival by bus is also possible, if slower as the buses serve the rural community. A canal also runs through Ely though most of the pubs are in the town rather than by the canal-side. Ely lays claim to Oliver Cromwell living there for 10 years from 1636.

Ely has a weekend Folk Festival  in the middle of July.

West End House is a tourist's vision of an English pub. It has a low beamed ceiling with horse brasses, lots of picture and nick knacks. These are spread over four rooms, three of which are served by the bar. The rooms are bright and cosy with red being the dominant colour. There is also a large sheltered beer garden.

Have one here.

Good Pub Guide 2013

Real ale      :Doombar; Explorer (Adnams); Wherry; DNA (Wells);  Directors

Bitter          :Tetley’s Smooth Flow

Lager          :Stella; Carlsberg


click picture to enlarge

Drink and Music


   Rolling Stones


Honky Tonk Woman

Ely (cheaper) pubs


Ely has thirteen drinking dens all of an excellent standard of decor. Most of the pubs offer food all day unless closing in the afternoon. All of the pubs offer real ale, though occasionally choice is limited.

Strangely, Ely has four pubs that close in the afternoon which makes pub crawl design awkward to organise.


The thirteen establishments can be quickly split into two groups - expensive or cheaper. There are the expensive six (most real ales around £3.70) and the cheaper seven (£2.90-£3.30). Basically this works out as a large wine and a pint for over £10 or under £8.

One barmaid explained that the high cost self-regulated the clientele.  Though I have to ask how many unwelcome clients can there be in a town of 20,000 people in the middle of rural Cambridgeshire?

Unsurprisingly, the pubs that close are all part of the expensive group.

If you want to watch sports on TV then the cheaper group all have TVs while the rest tend not to have.


Most pubs have some outside seating even if it is just along the pavement, while some have large patios and one or two actual gardens.


Practically every pub has someone talking so loud it is embarrassing

Local brewery

Greene King, from Bury St Edmunds, is the local beer supplier.




Palaeography is the study of what?


Whisky is liquid sunshine.


    George Bernard Shaw

Since the visit two other pubs have opened up along  the river, either side of The Cutter.

These are Grand Central  (mainly an American diner) and Riverside Bar & Kitchen