Run The Planet is proud to introduce our new affiliate Run.com, the best running route resource on the web. If you are looking for a new Ely running route, or want to share your favorite Ely running routes with the rest of the word, Run.com is the place to be.
Ely is small enough to run around and through, taking in historical and natural sights and running on a variety of terrain, all within a 30-40 minute run. It is a great run rain or shine, half of it on pedestrian only trails, and most of it at least on sidewalks. It can be modified to run the best parts of it in darkness, using the town's ample street lighting. The cathedral, finished in the 14th century, is the obvious starting and ending point, but you can also enjoy it from distant and different points of view following a circular route around the town. Run straight out from the cathedral doors across a green, past the old Bishops Palace on the left and past a cannon from the Crimean War. On your left you will then pass St. Mary's Church and Oliver Cromwell's house (also the tourist office). Taking a left here and out on to St Mary's Road you can follow it around past Victorian terraced houses and up a hill, taking a left before you come to two gas stations, one on either side of the road. As you follow this road around to the right you may be lucky enough to see a cricket game underway at the King's School playing fields on your right. The King's School is the second prominent feature of Ely and you will pass many dormitories and classroom buildings on this road, and on the way to the train station. At the next intersection, on your left is a green and a street that leads back to the cathedral. You should easily notice a large gatehouse across the street, now part of the King's School but formerly a jail (or "gaol", in English terms). Turn right and run down the hill, past the Tesco grocery store and train station and up over the railroad tracks. You'll see more well-groomed King's School playing fields across the road on the right and start uphill again. A quick left before crossing the bridge will take you down to a tree-lined, paved trail along the narrow River Ouse, which links up with the Cam and its more famous neighboring city namesake, Cambridge. You'll see long river boats with interesting names and paint schemes, ducks, geese, swans, wonderful view of the surrounding countryside, and of course, the cathedral. Run past the riverfront restaurant, the Boathouse, and The Cutter Pub (named for peat cutters, not the ships). On the right, you'll see the boathouse for the King's School rowers, and maybe catch an eight-man crew out for practice. Keep on this riverwalk and you will pass the Maltings on your left (every English city has at least one old maltings building but this has been renovated particularly well to house a restaurant and mini-civic center). Follow the river path to the railroad tracks another quarter mile. Before going under the tressel, take a left through a dirt parking lot, through a gate, and onto a grass path, taking a left. Follow the path left, then right, to stairs on the left and down them into a tree-lined path so thick in vegetation it seems like a tunnel. At the obvious end of this path, you take a left (before the railroad tracks) onto a paved road across from a lake. Follow this road across a bridge and take in the cathedral, yet again, on your left. This is going to be your best view, especially at sunset (this is also a great hill too for training repeats)! Topping the hill you run out onto a sidewalk along a major road, which you follow back toward the town's center. After you pass the High Flyer Pub on the right, you turn left (wave at the stationary bike riders on the second floor of the local gym on the right at the intersection - poor suckers - you didn't pay a penny for the exercise and enjoyment of this run!) and run on into the downtown and through the High Street shops and buildings once belonging to Ely's monastery. You can start your warm down anytime and make your way back to the cathedral or right on into the Minster Pub nearby.