3 Night Cruise
4 hours per day
This return Ely to Bedford canal boat holiday take seven nights, cruising around five hours per day. You begin this active boat hire cruise at the Black Prince Ely base, which is located around 14 miles northeast of Cambridge.
Ely is famed for its Norman cathedral, which contains the only pavement labyrinth in a UK cathedral. Having originally been founded as an abbey in the year 673, it was destroyed by invaders in 970 before George Gilbert Scott restored it in the 19th century.
The end base for this self drive boat trip is Bedford, once a small agricultural town but now offering a brilliant mix of the old and the new. You can visit Bedford castle mound, the remnant of the town’s Medieval Castle and Bedford park, which has original Victorian features. You can also enjoy a bustling town with a great range of modern facilities for all the family, including bars, restaurants, ten-pin bowling, cinemas and a swimming pool.
Upon leaving Ely you cruise the Old West River to St Ives which has one of only four chapel bridges in England, dating from the 15th century. It has also long been known as a thriving market town and was home to some of the most prominent markets in the country. Even today, you can visit the bustling Monday market which takes over the entire town centre.
After a visit to the centre, relax in The Dolphin or The White Hart, two pubs that boast over four hundred years of history, or take a walk to see the Oliver Cromwell statue in town.
The civil war history continues on city cruises at the Cromwell Museum in the ancient town of Huntingdon, which was originally charted in 1205. From Huntingdon, cruise on to Buckden, famous for the Great Tower where Catherine of Aragon was once imprisoned and the ancient St Mary’s Church.
You then head to St Neots, a rural market town on the Bedfordshire/Cambridgeshire border. St Neots was famous in the 18th and 19th centuries for its corn milling, brewing and railways.
After leaving St Neots, cruise on to your final hire boats stop, Bedford.