Cambridge River Cam Short Break


Locks: 4  (total)

Cruising Time: Around 16hrs / 3 or 4 night short break

How to Book: Choose the Ely Base in Cambridgeshire and either the weekend or midweek option under Length of Holiday.

This is a three-day canal boat holiday from Ely to Wicken Fen and Cambridge, a lovely boat hire route for those keen on both wildlife spotting and visiting historic sights.

36 Miles | 4 Locks | 3 Night Cruise | 4 hours per day

wicken fen cambridge
Cambridge punting

Your canal holiday journey begins at the Black Prince base in the historical city of Ely, which sits 14 miles northeast of Cambridge and is home to a beautiful cathedral with a rich history: originally founded as an abbey in the year 673, it began its reconstruction as a cathedral in 1083 after being destroyed by invaders in 970. It was famously restored by the architect George Gilbert Scott and boasts the only pavement labyrinth to be found in a UK cathedral.

Once you have reached Cambridgeshire, there is a wealth of sites you can visit near the Cambridge River Cam. Firstly, you can head to the world-famous Cambridge University, founded in 1209, and discover its cultural highlights. These include the King’s College Chapel, which began construction in 1446 during the reign of Henry VI and was finally completed in 1515 by King Henry VIII. With its gothic architecture and stunning great windows, the chapel is one of the traditional symbols of the city and was described by the architect Nikolaus Pevsner as “the most exquisite piece of Italian decoration surviving in England”.

Cambridge Kings College

After visiting the chapel, you can enjoy a walk through the historic backstreets of Cambridge city, which offer a contrast between beautiful Roman and Medieval architecture and the vibrant designs of modern England.

Canal boat cruise from Ely to Cambridge

From Ely, you will cruise on your Cambridge canal boat along the unspoilt waters of the fourth largest river in the UK, the Ouse, to Wicken Fen – a stunning wetland nature reserve. Wicken Fen was the first reserve acquired by the National Trust in 1899 and is one of just four wild fens to survive in the Great Fen Basin of East Anglia. In an area now otherwise dominated by arable cultivation, it offers scenic walks through fenland, farmland, marsh and reed beds and the chance to see a host of endangered species.

Wicken Fen

You then continue down the beautiful River Cam, immortalised in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, towards the city of Cambridge. The Cam boasts beautiful views and is popular with a range of recreational activities including angling, rowing and canoeing.

River Cam Cambridge

Book our Ely, Wicken Fen and Cambridge canal boat holiday by using our online Availability Search, or by calling Black Prince on 01527 575 115.

Other routes from the Ely, Cambridge base

Cambridge and return canal boat holiday

36 Miles
4 Locks
3 Night Cruise
4 hours per day

Ely to St Ives and return, canal boat holiday

44 Miles
6 Locks
3 Night Cruise
4 hours per day

Ely to St Neots and return, canal boat holiday

74 Miles
18 Locks
3 Night Cruise
8 hours per day

Ely to Bedford and return, one week canal boat holiday

102 Miles
32 Locks
1 Week Cruise
5 hours per day

Ely, Cambridge to Huntingdon and return canal boat holiday

54 Miles
10 Locks
1 Week Cruise
4 hours per day

Cambridge and Bedford and Return Canal Boat Holiday

186 Miles
40 Locks
2 Week Cruise
4.5 hours per day