There are places that just seem to have it all.
Stunning scenery, rich history and a cool factor thanks to its chic bars and restaurants.
Ely in Cambridgeshire is one of those locations.
So much so it has been deemed one of Britain’s ‘coolest’ places to live, grabbing the 9th spot in the run down by wellbeing brand Naturecan earlier this year.
Ely is dominated by its magnificent Norman Cathedral, has its own movie career with credits including The King’s Speech and The Crown and one of its bakery’s – Grain Culture – has very recently been named by The Times as one of the best in the UK.
Councillor Rob Pitt, Ely’s deputy mayor, has lived in the city for around 15 years and says it’s the perfect mix of old and new.
He said: “It has a beautiful cathedral, a quintessentially English city centre and lots and lots of modern influences.
“It’s a great city for all types of families and all types of people.”
With a population of just over 20,000 people Ely is one of the top ten of smallest sized cities in the UK.
So why has it such as status?
As the seat of a diocese, Ely has long been considered a city, holding the status thanks to an ancient right.
But Ely’s city status was not explicitly confirmed until April 1, 1974, when Queen Elizabeth II granted it.
Rob, 41, who is a Liberal Democrat and was in the military, says that the monthly food market called Foodie Fridays brings the city together.
He said: “It’s a melting pot.
“Pretty much the whole of the town and city turn up in the market place to enjoy food and music. It has a piazza vibe.”
A highly-anticipated outdoor street food venue, The Yard, also welcomed its first guests recently.
More than 600 guests descended on the new venue, which is spread over five shipping containers, and features a children’s play area, coffee shop, restaurant, bar and outdoor seating area.
The £400k investment has transformed a brownfield site on Newnham Street on the outskirts of the city centre into a destination venue for families, reports CambridegshireLive.
Husband and wife team Susanne Stent and Bruce Garside are behind the new venue.
Susanne said: “It feels absolutely fantastic, the feedback was brilliant, there’s something for everybody and a really comfortable place to be.”
She added: “It has a really nice vibe is a phrase that has been used a lot – many are saying it reminds them of Shoreditch.”