Why you should take a trip on Bob Todd's Liberty Belle Cruise

About to board the Liberty Belle Cruise along Ely river with boat master Bob Todd

About to board the Liberty Belle Cruise along Ely river with boat master Bob Todd - Credit: TERRY HARRIS

As the world starts to get back to some sense of normality, what better way to spend an afternoon in Ely than cruising along the tranquil River Great Ouse while learning the history of the city and its waters.

That's exactly what you'll get by taking a trip on the Liberty Belle with knowledgeable and friendly boat master Bob Todd.

Liberty Belle Cruise boat master Bob Todd

Liberty Belle Cruise boat master Bob Todd - Credit: TERRY HARRIS

Having been forced shut due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Bob - who took over the 23-year-old company seven years ago - can now take a large family group aboard, or one group of six, as per Government rules.  

Ahead of welcoming his first visitors on March 29, Mr Todd had polished all of the brass, scrubbed the decks and completed his final checks.

About to board the Liberty Belle Cruise along Ely river with boat master Bob Todd

About to board the Liberty Belle Cruise along Ely river with boat master Bob Todd - Credit: TERRY HARRIS

And, despite it being a rather windy and chilly day when the Ely Standard team set out on our voyage with him on April 1, that didn’t mean it was any less enjoyable.

After embarking on the freshly sanitised boat, we were given a brief health and safety talk before hearing about where we were heading.

With Bob as our engaging tour guide, his expert facts gave us plenty to think about while taking in the stunning sights and sounds of Ely’s picturesque waterside.

Cruising Ely's tranquil waters onboard the Liberty Belle 

Cruising Ely's tranquil waters onboard the Liberty Belle - Credit: HARRY RUTTER


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We learnt that it's the fourth-longest river in the country, with 85 miles of navigation, but one fact that stood out most was that, in Ely you can still pay for things with eels, as per an old tradition.

“Try that when paying your Council Tax,” he joked.

Chief reporter Ben Jolley taking in the picturesque views onboard the Liberty Belle.

Chief reporter Ben Jolley taking in the picturesque views onboard the Liberty Belle. - Credit: HARRY RUTTER

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During our cruise, in the days leading up to the Boat Race in Ely, we also caught a glimpse of the boathouse and got to see of the rowers on the waterside as well as the BBC who were setting up their cameras. 

Sailing seven days a week from 11am to 5pm, Liberty Belle Cruises depart from the Quayside, near Waterside Antiques and The Maltings.

Tours last for 30 minutes and cost £7 per adult or £4 per child. Maximum capacity is 12.

To book, call 07927 390380 or for more information visit www.facebook.com/LibertyBelleEly  

Waiting on Ely riverside, ahead of climbing onboard the Liberty Belle 

Waiting on Ely riverside, ahead of climbing onboard the Liberty Belle - Credit: HARRY RUTTER

Boaters on the River Great Ouse

Boaters on the River Great Ouse - Credit: HARRY RUTTER

In the distance, you can see Ely Cathedral 

In the distance, you can see Ely Cathedral - Credit: HARRY RUTTER

Cruising Ely's tranquil waters onboard the Liberty Belle 

Cruising Ely's tranquil waters onboard the Liberty Belle - Credit: HARRY RUTTER

Onboard the Liberty Belle Cruise along the River Great Ouse with boat master Bob Todd

Onboard the Liberty Belle Cruise along the River Great Ouse with boat master Bob Todd - Credit: TERRY HARRIS

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