Poor old Coventry was completely decimated by the Nazis during the Second World War, so much so that it gave rise to a new German verb – ‘Coventrieren’ which means ‘to flatten’. So you can’t blame Coventry for having more than its fair share of nondescript concrete buildings. But don’t let that put you off – it still has plenty of Georgian and medieval parts, complemented with a thriving cultural and entertainment scene. Plus, a recent injection of money has completely renovated the city centre with new public squares and gardens such as Millennium Place and the Garden of International Friendship.
Also, recent excavations have unearthed a number of ancient structures which have helped to redress the balance of old and new. The Priory Visitors Centre is located at the site of a priory which closed down by Henry VIII – and offers an amazing insight into the remains of Coventry’s first cathedral, the Undercrofts, and the turbulent stories of the monks who lived there. Lovers of transport will enjoy a visit to the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Museum , which feature the world’s only XJ13 racing car, as well as the Midlands Air Museum with its Vampires, Fleas and Moths.
Coventry’s Top 10
10. The Belgrade Theatre Opened by HRH the Duchess of Kent. We’re all welcome though, apparently.
5. Coventry Canal Art Trail This waterside art gallery has enough sculptures, ironworks and murals to pep up your perambulations.
9. The Coventry Light Towers Be dazzled by this unexpected light show.
4. Lady Herbert’s Garden Sir Alfred Herbert designed and dedicated it to his wife. What a guy!
8. St Mary’s Guildhall dates back to the 14th Century. Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned here and Shakespeare visited, but they let him out…
3. The War Memorial Park is one hundred acres of ornamental gardens dedicated to the memory of servicemen killed in action. Moving.
7. Coombe Country Park It took 10 centuries to get to its present glory. You may only wish to spend a day here but it will get you back to nature.
2. Warwick Arts Centre Embrace culture at the largest arts centre in the Midlands.
6. Coventry Transport Museum Everything you wanted to know from Boneshaker bicycles to modern day modes of transport.
1. Coventry Cathedral The Germans destroyed the old one, but don’t worry we built a new one! Typical bulldog spirit.
The Godiva Festival takes place in July and is a three day smorgasbord of old-fashioned entertainment, plus the Godiva Carnival procession complete with scantily clad lady!
If two wheels are better than four for you, then head to the Coventry Cycling Festival, a two day extravaganza from BMXs to skateboards in August.
August is the time for the Coventry Fun Run, a 5k – well – Fun Run! Join in or watch – but enjoy!
If you love curries and reggae music then the Coventry Caribbean Festival is for you. This fun-packed summertime event has a beer tents for grown-ups and kids stuff for kids.
Petrol heads in the know should make a note of the September Coventry Festival of Motoring. Mini cooper stunt teams, Land Rover test drives and plenty more.
The Donkey Derby is Cheltenham’s answer to the Gold Cup, but donkeys are cuter. Apparently there’s a chance to ride a donkey too.
Folk on the Water means barges filled to the brim with musicians, some going as fast as 3mph to bring you impromptu concerts.
The Vintage Motor Cycle Club’s ‘Banbury Run’ returns to the Heritage Motor Centre each June. Cover your ears as the roar of engines fills the air.
Each year Coventry is lit up like a proverbial Christmas tree. The Xmas lights get switched on at the end of November in the centre, watched by over 25,000 each year.
The Coventry Rhythm Weekend features world music at key venues around the city. Jazz, soul, Latin and Asian music is played – something for everyone.
4) When to Go
· Famously unpredictable weather applies just as much to Coventry as to anywhere else in the UK. Winters can get cold and frosty at times, but summers can be full of sunshine
· Temperatures in January and February are, on average no higher than 7 °C and no lower than zero. Summer temps during the months of July and August generally get up to 22 °C or thereabouts and drop down to 11 °C.
· Coventry experiences the most rain during the winter months along with fog and drizzle. Summer rainfalls tend to be shorter, heavier downpours which quickly give way to better weather.
5) Getting There
· It couldn’t be easier to ‘get sent to Coventry’ by bus, rail, car or air. Birmingham Airport is just 20 minutes away with daily flights to many European cities, as well as domestic flights.
· Coventry is on the main intercity route. Trains from London Euston leave every 30 minutes, with a journey time of around 80 minutes.
· Pool Meadow bus and coach station is located in the centre and National Express run a service connecting Coventry to all major cities in the UK.
The Midlands area of England has a gem of a city in Coventry. With more than 300,000 people and just barely out of the top ten in United Kingdom city population, Coventry has a lot to offer. The historic streets of the city center are where Lady Godiva, as legend has it, rode naked on a horse one thousand years ago to protest the high taxes levied by her husband against his tenants.
Other than Godiva's ghost, the most famous landmark in Coventry is St. Michael's Cathedral. Built in the 14th century, the vast majority of the original structure fell to German bombs in World War Two. A new cathedral, also worth a visit, now stands next to the ruins of St. Michael's. Other points of interest in the city include the Coventry Transport Museum, where car aficionados can admire the best British-made automobiles over the decades, as well as the Coventry Canal Basin, flanked by centuries-old heritage architecture.
Attractions & Activities
Restaurant & Nightlife
Coventry has a typical climate for England, with mild conditions throughout the year.
- Winter (December to February) 0-7°C
- Spring (March to May) 1-16°C
- Summer (June to September) 9-18°C
- Fall (October to November) 3-15°C
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