Welcome to Coventry

Welcome to Coventry – found in the heart of England, home to rich history and ancient legends, as well as two internationally renowned universities, three cathedrals and an abundance of unique arts and culture.

Whilst you’re here, learn the legend of Lady Godiva, tour the inspiring ruins of Coventry Cathedral or visit one of the finest medieval Guildhalls in England, where Shakespeare himself is reputed to have trod the boards. Take a look at one of our award-winning, family-friendly museums, such as the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum or Coventry Transport Museum, or visit one of our acclaimed theatres, such as the Belgrade Theatre or Warwick Arts Centre. These are exciting times for Coventry as we celebrate being European City of Sport 2019 and UK City of Culture 2021. Just an hour from London and with great transport links to surrounding areas, Coventry offers something for everyone.

Rooted in medieval history, Coventry welcomed ancient Kings and Queens, and was once the home of parliament. The city was the capital of England and has a rich historical past. Take a wander around the old cathedral quarter, walk down cobbled streets and discover St. Mary’s Guildhall. First built in the 1340s, it was the holding place of Mary Queen of Scots when she was held captive in the city, host to Shakespeare’s performers and, in Victorian times, the setting for one of George Eliot’s novels, Middlemarch – a must visit on your heritage trail. Today, you can visit the magnificent Great Hall, with its medieval stained glass, a ceiling of carved angels and, dominating an entire wall, one of the rarest and most important tapestries in the country.

St. Mary’s Guildhall also shares its cobbled street with the ruins of the Old Cathedral, which is adjacent to the modern, but no less glorious, New Cathedral. Bombed in the Blitz in 1940, the cathedral ruins are roofless, with shards of medieval stained glass still visible in the stone window arches. Despite its tragic past, the cathedral ruins are a peaceful place, with space for people to stay and reflect upon the significance of the site. The uniquely designed New Cathedral was built in the 1960s, with stunning architecture and impressive stained glass window vistas. Christ in Glory, the huge tapestry once thought to be the largest of Christ in the world, is only one of the many treasures that can be viewed inside. A site of peace and reconciliation, it is internationally recognised as a beacon for hope, and an inspirational space for reflection.

Food and Drink

When it comes to dining out, Coventry has something for every taste and budget. Stop off for a quick snack or a real ale as you wander around the sights, or celebrate a special occasion with some cocktails and a meal prepared by top chefs in the beautiful surroundings of one of our finest restaurants. We can tickle your taste buds with a medieval banquet at Coombe Abbey Hotel and soon, enjoy a Michelin Star restaurant in the historic Charterhouse building. Alternatively, why not soak up the atmosphere in a picturesque pub, such as The Golden Cross, the oldest pub in Coventry, or a cosy café?

Cathedral Lanes is a great place to start the evening. Go for cocktails at The Botanist, complete with band stands, indoor stream, glass roof and adorning plants. Then why not head over to Bistrot Pierre or Zizzi’s for a meal? Or support one of the city’s many independent eateries at Playwrights, down cobbled Hay Lane, which serves up a delicious menu with numerous vegan and vegetarian options available.

Coventry’s independent scene is constantly growing, and this is evident with its host of quirky and alternative coffee shops. Bean and Leaf offer a mixture of cosy warmth and cool modern aesthetics, nestled in the centre of Coventry. With bookshelves lined with titles on achieving ‘Hygge’ and the dizzying Coffee Dictionary, it’s easy to see their dedication to a good atmosphere and good coffee. Finney’s Coffee Co. put cool into their coffee. It’s the ultimate place to get your caffeine fix, indulge in freshly baked pastries and get a delicious bagel ordered. The delightfully vintage-themed Rising Café is located in the shadow of the New Cathedral. Offering dishes at reasonable prices, you can also feel good spending time there, as the charity that operates the café supports people struggling with addiction and giving them the skills and self-confidence to get their life back on track.

Coventry’s stunning St Mary’s Guildhall also houses the atmospheric Undercroft café, where you can enjoy tasty treats prepared in the original 14th century kitchens.

What’s On

From top class sport to beautiful country walks and world famous theatre – you’ll find lots to do in Coventry. Sports fans can get their adrenaline pumping by coming along to one of the Wasps rugby and netball or Coventry City football matches, or cheer on the Coventry Blaze Ice Hockey team.

The Godiva Festival is the UK’s biggest, award winning, free family music festival. Bringing its usual collection of comedy, food, drink, quirky entertainment and, of course, live music every year to Coventry’s gorgeous War Memorial Park. Legends such as The Human League, The Enemy, The Selecter, Jake Bugg, ABC, Kid Creole & the Coconuts, Hazel O’Connor, Example & DJ Wire, AJ Tracey, Professor Green, Biffy Clyro, The Fratellis, Kasabian, Scouting for Girls, The Boomtown Rats and the Happy Mondays have all played a stage at Godiva over the years.

Heritage Open Days run every September and Coventry is proud to open up venues the public would never normally get to see and revealing their secrets. From medieval hospitals and private schools, to museum stores and even the famous Lady Godiva clock in the centre of Broadgate, all have opened up for visitors to take a peek at the treasures inside.

FarGo Village is Coventry’s creative quarter and hosts events throughout the year. From its Independent Gin Festival to Rum and Reggae nights, its Vegan Festival and its numerous craft and vintage clothing sales, FarGo has lots going on. Whilst you’re visiting, why not pop in to one of its many independent shops and places to eat and drink, including a mini-brewery, to make sure you’ve had the full FarGo experience.

How to get here

Coventry is one of the most accessible locations in the UK. Situated right at the heart of the country, you can comfortably arrive at any of your destinations either by car, bus, coach, plane or train. Just one hour from central London by train and twenty minutes from Birmingham, Coventry superbly links to all other major towns and cities across the country.