Ely has been named among the best places to live in England and Cambridgeshire for 2024, according to Muddy Stilettos.

The acclaimed lifestyle website creates a list of the 'best places to live' every year and included the city in its Top 260 Places to Live series.

The 260 villages, towns and cities included from across 28 counties have been rated on their nearby attractions, shops, house prices, cultures, and other factors.

Ely was included in the top 10 best places to live in the whole of Cambridgeshire.

Ely Standard: Oliver Cromwell's House in Ely has earned recognition on TripAdvisor.Oliver Cromwell's House in Ely has earned recognition on TripAdvisor. (Image: TripAdvisor)

Muddy Stilettos said that Ely "has a lot going for it – direct trains to Cambridge (19 minutes) and London (70 minutes), indies aplenty and of course the cathedral.

"Rolling hills there are not, but the flat, water-logged countryside has a strange kind of beauty you’ll come to love".

RECOMMENDED READING: Oliver Cromwell's House wins VisitEngland award

They also called Ely Cathedral "one of the wonders of eastern England", adding that "seeing this marvel of architecture rising above the flat vista has to make living here a daily delight". 

They added: "But Ely isn’t just amazing because its home to The Ship of The Fens.

Ely Standard: Ely Sinfonia rehearsing at Ely CathedralEly Sinfonia rehearsing at Ely Cathedral (Image: Ely Sinfonia)

"The streets are lined with picture-postcard historic houses and cute little cobbled squares and it lies on the beautiful River Great Ouse, where you can row and walk to your heart’s content."

When it comes to food and drink, they commended The Old Fire Engine House as "a traditional restaurant and art gallery in a gorgeous Georgian House that serves food inspired by the Fens". 

RECOMMENDED READING: Stunning reader photos show the beauty of Ely Cathedral

Other eateries given a mention were The Royal Standard ("a popular place for a relaxed meal") and Poet's House ("for something a little more special").

The website added: "For easy lunches after a riverside walk, there’s Peacocks Tearoom, Riverside Bar Kitchen and The Cutter Inn.

Ely Standard: The Yard opened in Ely in March this year.The Yard opened in Ely in March this year. (Image: Silver Oak Coffee)

"The Cromwell is the place to head for cocktails and wine and for a unique place to eat head to The Almonry restaurant in The Undercroft of Ely Cathedral’s medieval precinct.

"The Yard, by Silver Oak, is a new outside street food style eatery with amazing coffee.

"And, in June 2023, Ben’s Yard, a smart new retail village, opened with a pretty botanical-inspired restaurant that is a wonderful place for breakfast, brunch and lunch."

RECOMMENDED READING: Ben's Yard review - why you should visit new Ely restaurant

RECOMMENDED READING: Silver Oak Coffee's new street food heaven The Yard opens 

Ely Standard: We tried out the new Ben's Yard restaurantWe tried out the new Ben's Yard restaurant (Image: Newsquest)

When it comes to shopping, Muddy Stilettoes highlighted Ely's many independent shops, plus its three market days a week. 

"The Ely Fudge Company, which as the name suggests sells the most delectable handmade fudge and sweet treats.

"There are family-run clothes shops like Jensen’s and gift shops including the treasure trove that is The Eel Catcher’s Daughter and an independent kitchen store, Cutlacks. 

RECOMMENDED READING: Fudge company owner thankful ‘people are trying to shop local’

"Toppings is a proper old-school bookshop that hosts many author events, and Waterside Antiques is a huge antiques centre with around 60 dealers.

Ely Standard: Even the Mayor of Ely, Cllr Chris Philips, and his mayoress Mary Rone, popped in for a wander around the Ely Folk Festival site this year.Even the Mayor of Ely, Cllr Chris Philips, and his mayoress Mary Rone, popped in for a wander around the Ely Folk Festival site this year. (Image: David Streatfield)

"Over at Ben’s Yard, on the outskirts of the city, you’ll now find shops including Freda & Bert gift shop, LoveLane by Abi homewares shop, Thatch & Roses florist, Something About Rose ladies clothing, and Arlo & Jacob furniture."

As for culture, Muddy Stilettoes spotlighted The Maltings on Ely’s Riverside, saying it "has been converted into a brilliant theatre and arts space and holds regular performances as well a community events.

"There’s also Babylon Arts, an independent arts development that holds regular exhibitions and events. Throughout the year there are events and festivals such as the Ely Folk Festival, and the Ely Arts Festival."

RECOMMENDED READING: All the action from Ely Folk Festival 2023

Ely Standard: The Ely Arts Festival committee.The Ely Arts Festival committee. (Image: Chris Parsons)

And, when it comes to early years education, Muddy Stilettoes said there is "plenty of choice when it comes to childcare", referencing Bright Horizons (Ofsted Good), The Maltings Day Nursery (Outstanding), Busy Bees (Outstanding), Clarence House Day Nurseries (Ofsted Good) and Cathedral View Childcare (Ofsted Good). 

The website also notes that King’s Ely Acremont School has a private nursery for those from the age of two.

In terms of schools, Muddy Stilettoes said "Ely is home to one of the oldest schools in the UK, King’s Ely School, which is directly opposite the cathedral and has a really strong music, drama and arts department, as well as impressive academic results. The setting within the historic town is rather idyllic too.

"Good state schools in the area include Ely College, St John’s Community Primary School, St Mary’s CofE Junior School, Isle of Ely Primary School and Highfield Ely Academy – all rated ‘Good’."

For the full list of the 260 places chosen as the best places to live, visit Muddy Stilettos' website.