Presentation of the destination
Coventry is a city in the West Midlands in England. It is located approximately 20 mi from Birmingham, one of the largest cities in the United Kingdom. Coventry has a population of approximately 315,000 people, making it the second largest city in the West Midlands. It has a very long history as a settlement, perhaps dating back as far as the Bronze Age. By the 14th century, it was one of the most important cities in England, and was a key area for the cloth industry. In later centuries, it became an important producer of watches and clocks as well as bicycles and eventually cars. In fact, one of the most famous companies founded in Coventry is car manufacturer Jaguar Cars. Much of the city was destroyed during the “Coventry Blitz” air raid during WWII. It has since been rebuilt, with the addition of important institutions such as the University of Warwick and Coventry University, as well as a new Coventry Cathedral.
Points of interests / things to see
Coventry Cathedral, also known as St. Michael’s Cathedral, is one of the most important historical and religious monuments in Coventry. It is the third cathedral to have been built in Coventry after St. Mary’s Priory and Cathedral, which was destroyed in the early 1500s, and the original St. Michael’s Cathedral, which was largely ruined during the “Coventry Blitz” bombing during WWII. The first St. Michael’s was an impressive Gothic church built in the late 14th century. After the bombing, only the tower, outer wall, spire, and a bronze tomb survived. These ruins, including the 90 m spire that is the tallest structure in Coventry, can still be visited at their location next to the current Coventry Cathedral, which was constructed in 1956. It is an especially interesting cathedral due to its modernist architectural style, as well as its large tapestry of Christ designed by artist Graham Sutherland and its Baptistry window that is composed of 195 panes of various colors in a unique abstract design. Another important feature is the Charred Cross and the Cross of Nails, which were created using materials from the bombing ruins and are considered to be symbols of peace and reconciliation around the world.Location: Priory St, CoventryHours: New Cathedral open Mon through Sat 10:00 to 17:00 and Sun 12:00 to 16:00, Ruins open daily 9:00 to 17:00Admission: Adults £6, Concessions £5, UK university students and children under 18 freeWebsite: http://www.coventrycathedral.org.uk/
The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, also known as The Herbert, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Coventry. It contains an art gallery as well as a museum with collections that focus on natural history, archaeology, and social and industrial history. It is named after the English industrialist and philanthropist Sir Alfred Herbert, whose considerable donation to the Coventry City Council allowed for the creation of the institution. Its collections contain thousands of fascinating artifacts which are featured in exhibits with topics such as 19th century women’s clothing and the history of Coventry as a center of ribbon making. The Herbert’s archaeology exhibitions focus on objects excavated in the Coventry area, including pottery, animal bones, jewelry, and coins. Visitors are also given the opportunity to learn all about the history of Coventry, as well as many birds, fish, mammals, and molluscs found in England and elsewhere in the world. It is also known for its spectacular art collections, which include an impressive group of paintings by British artist William Henry Brooke and a wonderful British life and landscape collection that was started in the 1950s.Location: Jordan Well, CoventryHours: Open Mon through Sat 10:00 to 16:00 and Sun 12:00 to 16:00Admission: FreeWebsite: http://www.theherbert.org/
If you’re interested in cars, motorcycles, or bicycles, then make sure to stop by the Coventry Transport Museum. It is home to a fascinating collection of these modes of transport that were made in Britain. It should come as no surprise that this museum is located in Coventry as the city is considered to be the birthplace of the British motor and cycle industries. Museum exhibits teach visitors all about these important industries on a chronological journey starting in the streets of the 19th century. After visiting recreations of the first car factories, visitors enter the Blitz Experience, where you can experience what life was like during the WWII bombing of Coventry. The Boomtown exhibit teaches visitors all about the height of the transport industry in Coventry, and includes a display featuring a sewer tunnel with a Mini Cooper coming out of it, which depicts the famous scene in the 1969 British film “The Italian Job” that was filmed in Coventry. Other popular exhibits include royal cars owned by Queen Mary and George VI and the ThrustSSC, a jet-propelled car that holds the World Land Speed Record at 763 mph, which you can experience in their thrilling simulator.Location: Millennium Place, Hales St, CoventryHours: Open daily 10:00 to 17:00Admission: FreeWebsite: http://www.transport-museum.com/
Lunt Roman Fort is an archaeological site located just outside of Coventry in the village of Baginton. This impressive Roman site was first discovered in the 1930s after large amounts of Roman pottery were found in the area, with excavations beginning in the 1960s. These excavations led to the discovery that the site was occupied for three distinct time periods as a Roman military camp. After its construction around the year 60, the fort was used by a Roman legion, which generally consisted of approximately 5,000 soldiers. It was an important headquarters for the Roman Army during their campaign against Boudica, the queen of a Celtic tribe in Britain. The fort’s size was later reduced since it was only being used by a cohort, a small tactical unit of approximately 500 soldiers. A century later, it was used once again as a temporary fortification. The fort is located above the River Sowe, providing breathtaking views of the countryside as well as the nearby city of Coventry. In recent years, it has been partially reconstructed by the Royal Engineers, who used techniques and tools identical to those the Roman Army used so many centuries ago.Location: Coventry Rd, Baginton (approximately 5 mi from Coventry)Hours: See website for details on open daysAdmission: Adults £3.75, Concessions £3, Children under 4 freeWebsite: http://www.luntromanfort.org/
Midland Air Museum is a museum located near Coventry Airport that contains an intriguing aeronautical collection. When it first opened in 1978, it featured just five aircraft. It is now home to dozens of aircraft and engines on display in its large hangar, as well as the Sir Frank Whittle Jet Heritage Centre, which provides visitors with the fascinating history of the jet age. It is named after Sir Frank Whittle, who was an RAF air engineer officer and aviation pioneer who invented the turbojet engine. If you’re interested in aircraft, then you’ll love exploring the museum’s many treasures. Its two largest aircraft are an Armstrong Whitworth Argosy used for military cargo and an Avro Vulcan, a jet-powered delta-winged strategic bomber that was operated by the Royal Air Force and was able to be equipped with nuclear missiles as part of a nuclear deterrent used during the Cold War. Nearby, visitors can see an Avro Blue Steel missile that would have been used with the aircraft. Location: Coventry Airport, Rawley Rd, Baginton (approximately 5 mi from Coventry)Hours: Open Mon through Sat 10:00 to 17:00, Sun and holidays until 18:00 (April through October); open daily 10:00 to 16:30 (November through March)Admission: Adults £6.50, Seniors and students £6, Children over 5 £3.25, Children under 5 freeWebsite: http://www.midlandairmuseum.co.uk/
One of the most recent additions to Coventry is Millennium Place, a large public square in the center of the city. It is home to several interesting works of art and architecture. Among its many sculptures is a fascinating 24-hour clock designed by Belgian artist Francoise Schein. However, the most famous structures in Millennium Place are Whittle Arch and the Glass Bridge. Whittle Arch is a twin-arch structure named after Sir Frank Whittle, a famous local aviation pioneer, that is illuminated each night. The nearby Glass Bridge is a breathtaking spiral bridge that takes pedestrians over a medieval wall and across a beautiful garden to the city’s Garden of International Friendship.Location: Millennium Place, Coventry
St. Mary’s Guildhall is an important historical site in Coventry that was built in the 14th century. For years it was used by local guilds, before eventually becoming the city’s armory and treasury. It is especially famous because Mary, Queen of Scots lived there in 1569 under the orders of Queen Elizabeth I, who had asked the citizens of Coventry to look after her. The building is also known for its exquisite architecture, since it is one of the most remarkable surviving medieval guildhalls in England. After you’ve learned all about its history, head for its beautiful vaulted undercroft, which is now used as a restaurant.Location: Bayley Ln, CoventryHours: Open Sun through Thurs 10:00 to 16:00 (mid-March through early October)Admission: FreeWebsite: http://www.stmarysguildhall.co.uk/
If you’re interested in enjoying a live performance one evening during your stay in Coventry, then head to the Belgrade Theatre. It opened in 1958 and was the first theatre built in Britain after WWII, therefore holding considerable cultural importance as a part of Coventry’s large rebuilding project. The theatre seats just over 850 people for a wide variety of live events, including dramas, musicals, ballet, concerts, and many other exciting performances. It is named for the Serbian city of Belgrade, which donated timber to the construction project. Famous past members of the theatre company include Ian McKellen, Trevor Nunn, Michael Crawford, and Frank Finlay.Location: Belgrade Square, CoventryWebsite: http://www.belgrade.co.uk/
Nature lovers visiting Coventry should take an afternoon to explore Coombe Country Park. It is located in the countryside outside of Coventry on the former grounds of an abbey which has recently been converted into a hotel. The park consists of 500 acres of woodlands, grasslands, and gardens, with features such as an arboretum, a visitors center, and a history room. The lake is a perfect place for a family picnic in the sunshine. Other features include a climbing forest, a bird hide for birdwatchers, and plenty of walking paths to use for a leisurely stroll.Location: Brinklow Rd, CoventryHours: Open daily from 8:00, closing times vary between 16:30 and 20:00 depending on seasonAdmission: Parking is £3.70 per carWebsite: http://www.coventry.gov.uk/coombe
Vacation rentals in Coventry (England)
How to get there ?
By plane: While Coventry does have its own airport, it does not provide any passenger flights to the public. The nearest airport to Coventry that is useful to visitors is therefore Birmingham Airport (BHX) in the nearby city of Birmingham. It is located approximately 10 miles from Coventry by car. Birmingham Airport is an international airport that provides domestic flights as well as international services to destinations in North America, Europe, the Middle East, India, and the Caribbean. Website: http://www.birminghamairport.co.uk/By train: Coventry has a railway station on the West Coast Main Line, which runs through several major UK cities in addition to stopping in smaller towns such as Coventry. There are 6 trains per hour from Coventry to London, 7 trains per hour to Birmingham, and 1 train per hour to Manchester, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. More information regarding fares, schedules, and routes can be found on the National Rail website. Website: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/By bus: There are several bus companies that provide services within and around Coventry. These include National Express Coventry, Travel de Courcey, and Stagecoach in Warwickshire. More information regarding bus routes, fares, and schedules can be found on their respective websites.Websites: http://nxbus.co.uk/coventry/ (National Express), http://www.traveldecourcey.com/ (Travel de Courcey), and http://www.stagecoachbus.com/localdefault.aspx?Tag=Warwick (Stagecoach)
Hotels in Coventry (England)