Leeds Ely Train
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The city of Leeds is located in West Yorkshire and is considered by many to be the cultural, financial and commercial centre of West Yorkshire. Historically, Leeds was located in the West Riding of Yorkshire and has grown from a small market town in the valley of the River Aire to become a large urban centre by the middle of the 20th century. During the Industrial Revolution Leeds transformed itself into a major industrial centre which was dominated by the wool and flax industries along with iron foundries and printing.
Leeds has three universities and as a result has one of the largest student populations in the UK. It is also second largest legal centre in the United Kingdom, after London. Leeds has extensive shopping opportunities for visitors including the indoor shopping centres of the Merrion Centre, St. John's Centre, The Core, the Victoria Quarter, The Light, the Corn Exchange and Trinity Leeds.
Leeds is home to the Grand Theatre where Opera North is based. The theatre has 1,500 seats and has recently undergone a £31.5m refurbishment. The City Varieties Music Hall, which hosted performances by Charlie Chaplin and Harry Houdini and was also the venue of the BBC television programme The Good Old Days, and West Yorkshire Playhouse. Just south of Leeds Bridge once stood The Theatre which hosted Sarah Siddons and Ching Lau Lauro in 1786 and 1834 respectively.
Located in Cambridgeshire, the city of Ely is roughly 14 miles to the north east of the city of Cambridge. The English King, Henry III, granted the Bishop of Ely a market in the 13th century. Today, the market is open on Thursday and Saturday and is supplemented with seasonal markets held monthly on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from Easter to November. The city is situated on the River Great Ouse, which was a significant means of transport until the fens were drained and Ely ceased to be an island in the eighteenth century. The river is now a popular boating spot, and has a large marina.
Annual events in Ely include Aquafest, which has been staged at the riverside by the Rotary Club on the first Sunday of July since 1978. Other events include the Eel Day carnival procession and the annual fireworks display in Ely Park which was first staged in 1974. The Ely Folk Festival has been held in the city since 1985. The Ely Horticultural Society have been staging their Great Autumn Show since 1927.
Ely railway station, on the Fen Line, is a major railway hub with the Cambridge to Ely section opening in 1845. Five major railway lines emanate from this hub: north to King's Lynn, north-west to Peterborough, east to Norwich, south-east to Ipswich and south to Cambridge and London.