Found within England’s heart, the city of Coventry has been a popular destination for visitors across England. Although the face of the city has much changed over time, Coventry continues to offer much to see and do for those who visit its streets.
Boasting ancient structures, bustling shops, fine art and high culture, and sleepy parklands, a trip to Coventry is sure to fill up any weekend schedule. The next time you decide to take your older loved ones out on a city trip, be sure that Coventry won’t disappoint.
First constructed in the 14th century, the Guildhall served as a general meeting place and administrative headquarters for the city’s merchants’ guild. During the War of the Roses, it also served as the headquarters for King Henry VI.
Today the Guildhall remains one of the best preserved medieval buildings in the country, and contains countless relics painstakingly protected for visitors to enjoy. With carefully restored rooms giving an insight into what life was like for the great, wealthy and powerful of the mediaeval era, history buffs will not want to miss the chance to visit.
Admission to the Guildhall is free, and a café is located within the building for light lunches and drinks. It’s a short 20-minute stroll away from the train station, or you can catch the bus to Pool Meadow. Not all of the structure is wheelchair accessible, but those parts that are can be reached by stair lift. Large print and tactile displays are also available for the seeing impaired.
Formerly St Michael’s Cathedral, construction of the Coventry Cathedral started in the 14th century and was completed by the 15th century. For centuries it stood as the spiritual heart of the city, receiving worshippers and pilgrims from across Coventry and beyond.
Its use as a place of worship was brought to an end during the Second World War, where much of the cathedral was destroyed by the Luftwaffe.
The ruins are now open to the public, a replacement structure built right alongside it. Today it serves as a monument to the destruction of war, and a symbol for the enduring hope for peace. The ruins are fully open to public access, although it’s open-to-the-elements nature may cause some uneven footing in places.
Motor enthusiasts will kick themselves for weeks if they visit Coventry and don’t take the time to visit Revival Cars. A peculiar mixture of historical collection and car-rental service, Revival Cars offers people a chance to get behind the wheel of a classic vintage car.
Whether you like Jaguars, Morgans, or Morris Minors, Revival Cars has a wide range of models from the ‘50s to ‘80s available to take for a spin. It’s a perfect way to see the Warwickshire countryside in style!
The War Memorial Park was founded in 1921, three years after the guns of the First World War fell silent as a memorial to the Lost Generation. The centrepiece of the park is the War Memorial, inside of which is the Chamber of Silence. It’s open to the public every Remembrance Day so that they can see “The Roll of the Fallen”, which catalogues every Coventry serviceman and woman who lost their lives in conflict from the First World War to the Iraq War.
The gardens itself encompass acres of lawns, ponds, copses of trees, and carefully tended flowerbeds. Each year it plays host to the Godiva Festival, and a café can be found on site for refreshments. It attracts roughly 40,000 visitors each year, all of whom can enjoy a welcome break and a moment’s reflection under the leafy boughs of the trees, each one of which represents a fallen soldier.
Coventry has plenty of theatres for drama-lovers, both of the huge show-stopper variety and the smaller, independent variety. Theatre Absolute falls into the latter category.
Independent and proud of it, Theatre Absolute focuses on the contemporary and the urban with its productions. It boasts a diverse cast and team, all of whom are passionate about their craft and perform hundreds of shows every year. With a focus not so much on technical perfection but simply telling good stories, they’re happy to welcome one and all to witness them in action.
The theatre is on the cosy side, having only 55 seats, but the place is flexible and adjusts depending on the show. Resembling as much a workshop, lounge or café more than it does a theatre, the space is large, open and well lit.
For those wanting to stretch their legs and get some healthy exercise in, take a walk along the Coventry Canal Basin. Fully restored and now a burgeoning community of shops, small businesses and boats for hire, it’s the ideal staging area for an afternoon stroll or Sunday bike ride.
Public toilets are available a short walk from the Basin, and benches can be found frequently along its length. Ducks make their nests along the canal’s banks, and are happy to be fed so long as you have something healthy for them. The Canal Basin is a great way to keep active without too much exhaustion afterwards.