3 Night Cruise
4 hours per day
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.