From its architecture to its industry and sporting events, this is a city of fascinating contrasts just an hour by train from London.
Coventry is a city of hope, survival and rejuvenation fueled by the passion of its people. Centuries-old monuments, art galleries and museums bring to life its two golden ages. A thriving wool town in the Middle Ages, Coventry was a world-leader in car manufacturing in the 1800s and 1900s. German bomb raids devastated the city in 1940 and the demise of the British car industry brought hardship, but it has since bounced back to become a vibrant cultural destination.
Antiquity abounds in the Cathedral Quarter, a compact district with landmark buildings. Coventry Cathedral has both the ruins of a 14th-century cathedral and a new modernist church. See the relics of the city’s first cathedral at the Priory Visitor Centre and admire Doom artwork at the Holy Trinity Church. St. Mary’s Guildhall is a fine example of a medieval guildhall and Herbert Art Gallery and Museum celebrates local history.
Stroll to Broadgate, a pedestrianized plaza dominated by the Lady Godiva Statue. The statue honors the folkloric tale of Godiva, Countess of Mercia, who rode naked on horseback through the city streets. Brand-name retailers, boutiques, cafés, pubs and malls line the streets of the surrounding precinct. Shop for fresh produce and flowers, handmade jewelry, second-hand clothes and toys at Coventry Market.
Learn about the city’s importance to the bike and car-manufacturing industries at Coventry Transport Museum. Nearby Cook Street Gate and Swanswell Gate are the sole-surviving gates of a 14th-century defensive wall. On Spon Street a collection of restored half-timbered houses hark back to medieval times. Browse displays of clocks and watches at Coventry Watch Museum Project.
For sporting entertainment, watch a Coventry City soccer match or Wasps rugby match at Ricoh Arena. Attend plays, musicals and stand-up shows at Belgrade Theatre.
Direct train services travel daily from Coventry to Birmingham, London, Manchester and Oxford. Use public buses to reach attractions outside of the city such as Coombe Abbey Country Park and Kenilworth Castle.