- For other places with the same name, see Coventry (disambiguation).
Coventry is a large city in the West Midlands region of England, part of the United Kingdom. It has a population of just over 365,000 (2018), making it the eleventh-largest city in the country. Locally, the city is known as 'The Three Spired City', because of the church and cathedral spires that form the most striking aspect of the city's landscape. Coventry is perhaps best known for its association with the 11th century legend of Lady Godiva and for its two cathedrals, one of which is preserved as ruins after heavy bombing in the Second World War. Although an old city, visitors should not expect much in the way of old-world charm. Extensive rebuilding of the city following the war in the 1940s and 1950s replaced much of its pre-war appeal with questionable concrete structures and a highly pedestrianised city centre, enveloped by a partially-elevated ring road.
The area that Coventry now occupies has been inhabited for over 1,000 years. The city is known for its association with Lady Godiva, who rode naked through the city streets in order to gain a remission of the oppressive taxation imposed by her husband on his tenants. Lore has it that the term 'Peeping Tom' is derived from this tale, describing a man named Tom who did not cover his eyes as she rode through the streets. Coventry has been an economically important city in the past, being a hub for the cloth trade in the Middle Ages and for the burgeoning automotive industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The city's industrial prowess helped Britain's war efforts in the early 20th century; it also however made it an obvious target in the Second World War. A series of German bombing raids from 1940-42 (the Coventry Blitz) destroyed much of the city's infrastructure, although the single night of bombing in November 1940 dealt the largest damage, killing more than 500 people.
In the succeeding decades after the war, most of the old medieval dwellings were not rebuilt, being replaced instead by more modern constructions, often brutalist concrete structures. Subsequent to these, Coventry has undergone extensive remodelling most notably within the city centre, making it more pedestrian-friendly. Major regeneration projects have attempted to make the city a more attractive place, such as the Phoenix Initiative (completed in 2004) which was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
In common with most of the UK, Coventry experiences cool winters and mild summers with moderate annual rainfall. Winter temperatures seldom drop below -10°C (14°F) and the summer months rarely exceed 30°C (86°F). Moderate but occasionally disruptive snowfall is possible in January or February.
Coventry is near the centre of the UK motorway network. The M6 passes the north of the city. The M1 is easily accessible via the A45 towards London and the M69 northbound. The M40 is accessed along the A46.
To enjoy the drive into Coventry approach along the A46, exiting at Kenilworth. Drive through central Kenilworth and past the Abbey Fields park before turning right towards Coventry. The broad tree-lined Kenilworth Road offers a beautiful boulevard into the city.
The city also provides a Park and Ride facility, see National Park and Ride Directory.
You can reach Coventry from London using Megabus which starts at roughly £13 return, but it arrives in Cannon Park, near Tesco, not the city centre. National Express has buses arrive at Pool Meadow Bus Station (see listing below), which can be cheaper at some times, though on average, Megabus proposes more options that are almost as cheap as the cheapest, yet less common National Express's equivalents.
One possible problem visitors to Coventry City centre may encounter is the infamous Coventry ring road. It can be very confusing to first time users, with its single on/off ramps. Speed is limited to 40 mph, but don't be surprised to see cars pass by at [sometimes] much higher speeds, racing to get off at the next junction! If you plan to come to Coventry (and want to visit the city centre), it's advisable to have someone who understands the ring road drive you around first.
- 1 Coventry. on the main London Euston to Birmingham rail route. There are usually three trains to and from London Euston station every hour from platform 1. The journey takes about an hour and (as of December 2019) costs from £30 for an adult off peak return. Significantly cheaper advance single tickets (in each direction) may be found if booking far enough in advance, and Megatrain also offer tickets on a few of the emptier of these trains (generally Monday-Thursday only) for as little as £2.50 return, again if booked far enough in advance. Alternatively London Midland offer an hourly service to and from Euston that takes about 1 hour 45 minutes, but has cheaper off peak and super off peak tickets compared to those valid on Avanti trains; Trains to central Birmingham are even more frequent, with a 25-minute journey time. Birmingham International, serving the NEC and Birmingham Airport, is 10 minutes away, on the line to Birmingham. Direct trains also serve Bournemouth (via Leamington) to the south, and Liverpool, Manchester and Scotland to the north.
- 2 Birmingham Airport (BHX IATA). It lies closer to the centre of Coventry than to central Birmingham and a drive should not take much longer than 30 minutes depending on the traffic situation. A taxi from the airport costs around £20. A cheaper option is to take the free AirRail Link to the adjacent Birmingham International rail station from where trains to Coventry depart several times each hour.
- 3 Coventry Airport (CVT IATA). A private airport, with no scheduled flights.
Many firms operate within Coventry. Black cabs can be flagged down on the street but private hire taxis must be booked. Popular firms include:
- Allens Taxis, ☏ . Operating since 1938.
- Central Taxis, ☏ . Offers student rates.
- Yellow Taxis Coventry, ☏ . Like black cabs, but yellow.
- 1 Coventry Canal. Starts just outside the ring road, to the north of the city centre. After five miles it connects with the Oxford Canal at Hawkesbury Junction, then the Ashby-de-la-Zouch Canal at Marston Junction, just outside Bedworth. It next meets the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal at Fazeley Junction, near Tamworth. Finally, it joins the Trent and Mersey Canal at Fradley, 38 miles from Coventry and near Lichfield. Operating a boat in the canal requires a licence from the Canal and River trust. Boats are available for hire from various providers on the canal network.
There are a plethora of buses serving Coventry, all run by National Express, although first time users or those unfamiliar with city bus transport can find the sheer number of different routes intimidating. Cost within the city boundaries is standardised at £2.10 per journey, apart from single journeys within the ring road, which are £1. Daysaver tickets for unlimited travel within the Coventry area for one day are £4 for adults and £3.10 for those under 16.
If you plan on travelling frequently by bus, travelcards are available.
- Adult Coventry Faresaver allows unlimited travel at any time around Coventry. 1 week costs £13.00 (available only from participating agents) and 4 weeks costs £45.25.
- Adult Coventry Off-Peak Faresaver are valid in the Coventry area all day Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. Travel on weekdays (M-F) is limited to between 9:30AM and 3:30PM, and from 6PM onwards. 1 week costs £9.50 (available only from participating agents)
- 4 Pool Meadow Bus Station (not far from the cathedral; adjacent to the Transport Museum). Served by local and national routes.
Coventry's city centre is not very car-friendly. With the pedestrianisation of large tracts of the central business district, travelling in the confusing patchwork of roads winding around the pedestrian quarters can be very frustrating. The ringroad surrounding the city centre is a very quick method of getting around, but its frantic pace and multiple sudden exits make it notoriously difficult for visitors. There is ongoing construction work outside the town hall and Herbert Art Gallery which will further restrict accessibility by car, narrowing the road down from two lanes to one.
In contrast, the city's suburbs are much better suited for car transport, although as expected in a city, rush hours tend to be very busy.
Central Coventry is fairly flat, and good for cycling. Cyclists may use the ring road, but are best advised not to do so - quieter side roads are available for the same journeys.
- 2 Coventry Cathedral, Cathedral Quarter. The mediaeval Gothic Cathedral of St Michael was built as the parish church in the late 14th to early 15th century, but largely destroyed by the Luftwaffe on the night of 14 November 1940 in an incendiary bombing raid - only the tower, spire and outer walls remain. A new cathedral was built 1956-1962 next to the old (which now forms a memorial) to a design by Basil Spence. The new cathedral is noted for its striking post-war modern design, the large tapestry of Christ enthroned, its innovative stained glass windows and various items of sculpture. These include (on the façade) the striking St Michael's Victory over the Devil by Sir Jacob Epstein. Archaeological digs have uncovered the remains of the original monastic settlement founded by Lord Leofric in 1043, these have been incorporated into the priory gardens and an interpretive centre exhibits some notable finds. Free.
- 3 Lunt Roman Fort, Coventry Road, Baginton, ☏ . Based in the nearby village of Baginton, this is a partial reconstruction of a Roman fort that stood on the site from c. 60 - 80 CE, erected in response to Boudicca's revolt. Exhibits include a museum of Roman period life (based on finds excavated at the site between 1965 and 1973), a model of the fort and occasional full costume re-enactments of Roman military manoeuvres. Adults £2, concessions £1.
- 4 Spon Street, Central Coventry. A historic street that was once part of an important trade route from London to Shrewsbury and Holyhead. In the 18th century it was one of the world's major centres of watchmaking. Since the end of the Second World War the street has halved in length due to the construction of the city's ring-road. Some historic buildings that survived the Coventry Blitz were relocated here in the 1960s. Today the street is home to 26 shops and forms a large concentration of the city's medieval structures.
- 5 St Mary's Guildhall, Bayley Lane, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. March–October: Su-Th 10AM-4PM. A medieval guildhall built in the 14th century across the way from the Cathedral ruins. A notable visitor was Mary, Queen of Scots, who stayed here when she was detained in Coventry in 1569. The room she was traditionally thought to have stayed in is open. Also includes Godiva Café, a café-restaurant, open 11AM-4PM year-round. Free (donations welcome).
Arts and Theatres
- 6 Belgrade Theatre, Belgrade Square, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Box office: M-Sa 10:30AM-5:30PM. A live performance venue with a 1,158 seating capacity. It was the first civic theatre to be built after the Second World War and is now a Grade II listed building.
- 7 Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick campus, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Sa 8:30AM-11PM, Su 2-11PM. On the University of Warwick campus, it is the second largest arts complex in the UK, with regular leading theatre, film, music, comedy tours, dance events and more. There are also two bars, a café, and a bookshop with over 30,000 titles.
- 8 Coventry Transport Museum, Millenium Place, Hales Street, ☏ . 10AM-5PM (last admission 4:30PM). A museum hosting the largest collection of British road transport in the world with over 230 cars and commercial vehicles, 250 cycles and 90 motorcycles. Closed 24–26 December and 1 January. Adult £14, concession £10.50, junior (5 to 16 years) £7, special prices for families, free for Coventry residents.
- 9 Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Jordan Well, ☏ . Moderately large local museum with exhibits on local and natural history. Has exhibits related to Lady Godiva and the Coventry Blitz, among other things. Free (donations welcome).
- 10 Midland Air Museum, Coventry Road, Baginton, ☏ . Star exhibits include the Avro Vulcan bomber and a heritage centre dedicated to the work of Coventry-born Sir Frank Whittle, the pioneer of the jet engine. Adult £7.75, concession £7.25, child £4, under 5 free.
- 11 Allesley Park, Allesley Hall Drive, Allesley Park, ☏ . A large park in the western suburbs which opened as a deer park in the 13th century. It has been awarded a Green Flag award, certifying its excellent credentials as a park. Facilities include a golf and crazy golf course, a children's play area and a walled garden. Free; golf: adults £7.50, senior and junior £3.50, crazy golf: £2.40.
- 12 Coombe Country Park, Brinklow Road, Binley, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 7:30AM-dusk, depending on time of year. A 500-acre site on the eastern extremities of Coventry, about 4 miles (6.4 km) from the city centre. It contains woodland, gardens, scenic walks, birdwatching opportunities and a reasonably priced café, and is worth the trip out. Free entry (£3.40 for parking).
- 13 Lake View Park, Lake View Road, Coundon. Open dawn to dusk. A scenic park used for wildlife conservation. Despite its name there is no lake in the park, although the river Sherbourne flows through it. Free.
- 14 War Memorial Park, Kenilworth Road. 24 hours day, all year-round, visitor centre: 9AM-4PM. A park which opened in 1921 as a tribute to the city's fallen soldiers of the First World War. Receives over 400,000 visitors per year. Contains many sporting facilities including tennis courts, football pitches and a bowls green, as well as a cenotaph, themed gardens, an aviary, a children's play area and two cafés. Free entry, sports facilities: see website.
- 15 SkyDome Arena, Croft Road, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. A multipurpose centre for public ice-skating, ice dancing and home to the Coventry Blaze and Coventry Phoenix ice hockey teams. Also houses a multiplex cinema.
- 16 Brandon Stadium (Coventry Stadium), Rugby Road, Brandon, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A small stadium in the nearby village of Brandon, Warwickshire, hosting motorcycle speedway (the Coventry Bees) and greyhound racing.
- 17 The Ricoh Arena, Phoenix Way, Foleshill, ☏ . A multi-purpose venue hosting sporting events, music concerts and business exhibitions. Home to the football club Coventry City and the rugby union side Wasps, the latter of which now owns the stadium.
- 18 The Butts Park Arena, Butts Rd, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. A small stadium home to Coventry Rugby Football Club, Coventry Bears Rugby League, and the Coventry Jets American Football team. £14 adults, £10 concessions.
- 19 The Ivor Preece Field, 105 Rugby Road, Binley Woods, ☏ . A very small stadium (250 seats) home to Broadstreet Rugby Football Club.
- Christmas Lights Switch-On, city centre. This annual event is usually around mid-November, and features a line-up of music acts, presenters, fireworks, etc. There is also a parade, with businesses and schools providing floats that travel through the City Centre streets.
- 20 Lady Godiva Statue, Broadgate. A statue, by William Reid Dick, commemorating the legend that Lady Godiva rode nude on horseback through the city in the 11th century to protest excessive taxes imposed by her husband, Leofric.
- 21 Whittle Arch, Millennium Place, Hales Street (adjacent to the transport museum). An impressive pair of arches spanning 60 m across Hales Street. They were built as part of a regeneration scheme in the area and named after the Coventry-born jet engine pioneer Sir Frank Whittle.
- Coventry Canal Art Trail, Coventry Canal, ☏ . A set of 39 pieces of art inspired by local history and contemporary culture that make up a 5-mile outdoor gallery. As there are several pubs along the route that can be used to relax, the trail does not have to be done non-stop. Free.
- Watch football at Coventry City FC. The "Sky Blues" were promoted in 2020 and now play in the Championship, the second tier of English soccer. In 2019 they also left the Ricoh stadium and now ground-share with Birmingham City at St Andrews Stadium, see Birmingham for directions.
- Wasps RFC, Ricoh Arena. This rugby union side moved from the London area to the Ricoh Arena, which they now own outright, in December 2014. Members of the Aviva Premiership, Wasps have been six times English champions and twice European club champions.
- 1 Godiva Festival, War Memorial Park. A music festival that lasts for three days, commonly taking place in early July. Free.
- UK City of Culture 2021 is Coventry, with a programme of arts and culture throughout the year.
- UK Asian Film Festival is hosted by Coventry in June 2021.
- The canal basin hosts a four-day festival in Nov 2021.
There are plenty of opportunities to learn in Coventry. The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum runs classes for adults in vocational subjects and sometimes in unusual topics. Classes in skills such as maths, English, and computing along with British qualifications such as NVQs are run in the city's central library. For slightly younger learners there are four further education colleges in the city: Henley College Coventry and City College Coventry (both in the north-east of the city), Hereward College (in the west) and Coventry University College (in the city centre).
Coventry is home to two universities:
- 22 University of Warwick. Established in 1965. A highly regarded institution that is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 universities in the UK. It is on a 290-ha campus in the southern suburbs of the city and takes its name from the neighbouring town of Warwick.
- 23 Coventry University. Established in 1992 and located in buildings across the city centre, headquartered around University Square. Traditionally strong in engineering and design, the university's reputation has grown to one of the best modern universities in the country.
Coventry has a variety of shopping complexes in and around the area. These range from retail parks, to the pedestrian Coventry City Centre -one of the first of its kind. Shopping in Coventry mainly consists of the high street chain stores, although there are independent record shops and clothes shops dotted about here and there and there is also the large indoor Coventry Market, which are well worth the visit.
- 1 The Lower Precinct, Lower Precinct, CV1 1NQ, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 9AM-5:30PM, Su 10AM-5PM. The lower precinct was completed in the 1950s as part of the redevelopment plan of Coventry after heavy wartime bombing. It is home to a variety of retail shops across two floors, ranging from Next to T.J.Hughes, as well as a coffee bar, the Caffe Nero. Also has a tiled mural by Gordon Cullen, depicting the history of the City and its post-war regeneration.
- West Orchards, Smithford Way, CV1 1QX (Aim for junction 9 on the ring road, the centre is clearly marked on road signs from then on.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. A large indoor shopping centre with more than 40 retail shops largely dedicated to clothing and accessories. There is parking for 650 cars with electric charging outlets on the fifth floor, and a food court that seats more than 700. Although popular all-year-round, it can get particularly busy during the festive season. Parking costs from £1 for 1 hour to £6 for 5 hours.
- Coventry Market, Queen Victoria Road, CV1 3HT, ☏ . Full of independent traders manning the 170 stalls that occupy this rotunda. The traders are mainly dedicated to selling fresh food, of which the fruit and vegetables are always high quality. The staff are friendly and personable, providing the market with a more human element which contrasts with the hustle and bustle found elswhere.
- Coventry Farmers' Market, Broadgate. 9AM-3PM. Held on the third Friday of every month, the Farmers' Market brings a bit of rural flavour into the city centre. There is usually a good range of produce on offer, as well as hot and cold takeaway snacks. Some of the items for sale can be a bit expensive however.
|This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:|
|Budget||£2 – £8|
|Mid-range||£8 – £20|
Coventry is host to a range of award-winning eateries. From cafés to restaurants, and from Thai to Italian, all can be found here. Indian cuisine is well-represented, with a large variety in quality. Most of the restaurants and establishments are in the city centre, but there may be a few surprises in the suburban areas if you are willing to look and travel out.
- Chi Bar, 13 High Street, CV1 5RE, ☏ . A tiny place offering Chinese, Japanese and Korean food. There is limited seating inside given the small floor space. The meals with pork are particularly popular, and the milk tea is well worth a try.
- Conroy's in the Park, War Memorial Park, ☏ . Daily 9AM-4PM. Locally-owned, offering a relaxed atmosphere and coffee and refreshments at low prices.
- Snax in the City, 20 Hertford Street, CV1 1LF, ☏ . M-F 9AM-4PM, Sa 9AM-5PM Su 11AM-4PM. A city centre greasy spoon café with big portions. Pleasantly staffed, they offer a wide choice of hot and cold meals for either eating-in or taking out. The value of the food is the strongest aspect; in respect of this, some of the food may appear distinctly average.
- Bombay Joe's, 277 Walsgrave Rd, CV2 4BA, ☏ . Th-Su 5PM-11PM, F Sa 5:30PM-midnight. Highly rated amongst Coventrians, offering a range of Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine. Look beyond its location in the less prosperous part of Coventry and you will find a rich culinary experience. Their chairs are also rather comfortable.
- Turmeric Gold, 166 Medieval Spon Street, CV1 3BB, ☏ . Th-Su 5:30PM-11PM, F Sa 5:30PM-12:15AM. Stylishly-themed Indian restaurant within in a medieval building. Waiting times for food may sometimes be long, but the quality of the food makes up for it.
- Zorbaz, 87-89 Radford Road, CV6 3BP, ☏ . M-Th 6:30PM-midnight, F Sa 6:30PM-2AM. Excellent Greek restaurant, and the prices reflect this. Visit at the right time and you might hear a musician playing Greek songs and see the waiters treat you to some Greek dancing.
- Habibi, 142 Far Gosford Street, CV1 5DY,, ☏ . M-Th 4PM-midnight, F Sa 2PM-1AM, Su 4PM-11PM. Better Lebanese food will not be found in Coventry. The atmosphere and the staff are equally inviting. One downside is the service being a bit on the slow side.
- Sky Dome Complex, Croft Road, Coventry. A flagship mixed-use urban entertainment complex, featuring:
- Multiplex cinema 
- Lava/Ignite. Large City Centre club in Skydome complex
- Kasbah, Primrose Hill Street, CV1 5LY (taxi may be your best bet due to downmarket locality, but walkable from bus station), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Formerly the Colosseum. Dingy indie rock club which attracts some fairly well known live acts
Coventry's bar scene is mostly concentrated along reconstructed medieval Spon Street on the western edge of the city centre. This includes the adjacent Skydome complex which includes popular nightclubs.
- 1 The Old Windmill, Spon Street. Cosy traditional English pub with good crowds and numerous cask ales.
In the centre of the city you will find the usual pub chains as well as some bars close to Millennium Place.
- The Flying Standard, 2–10 Trinity Street, Coventry, West Midlands, ☏ . Su–Th 9AM–midnight; F Sa 9AM-1AM. Franchise of the ubiquitous Wetherspoons chain is set in a spectacular timbered building
- 2 Golden Cross. One of the oldest pubs in Coventry and one of the longest-established alcohol-serving venues in England, first mentioned as an inn in 1661, although subsequently greatly modified. Good food and beer.
- Flamingo, Priory Place. bar & grill
- The Yard, a gay club in the Bull Yard.
Towards the eastern side of the city centre close to the University campus buildings can be found another concentration of pubs and bars that are popular with students centred close to Jordan Well and Gosford Street.
For a more sedate experience, try Craven Street, set amongst Victorian-era watchmaker's cottages in the suburb of Chapelfields, has several traditional pubs.
There is a limited gay scene in Coventry: the city is not very gay-friendly and lacks any real gay nightlife. For a much better scene, head out to Birmingham's Gay Village.
- 1 Britannia Hotel (Britannia Hotel Coventry), Fairfax Street, Coventry, CV1 5RP, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. In city centre, adjacent to the cathedral. Pets allowed at £25 per pet per stay.
- 2 Premier Inn, Belgrade Plaza, Bond Street, CV1 4AH, ☏ , fax: . Highly rated and convenient for the Belgrade Theatre. Parking available at additional cost.
- 3 Ramada Coventry, The Butts, CV1 3GG, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Within walking distance of Coventry city centre.
- 4 Royal Court Hotel, Tamworth Road, Keresley, Coventry, CV7 8JG, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Grade II-listed building approximately 3 miles from city centre. 210 rooms, some having countryside views. Access to the adjoining Spindles Coventry Health Club & Gym is an additional £10 per person per stay.
- 5 Coombe Abbey, Brinklow Road CV3 2AB, ☏ . Mid-range hotel in great setting in the abbey grounds. Assistance dogs only. B&B double £100.
- 6 Barnacle Hall, Shilton Lane, Coventry CV7 9LH, ☏ . B&B in 16th C farmhouse with 3 rooms a few miles north of the city. Assistance dogs only, no credit cards. B&B double £80.
Coventry's landline area code is 024. Dial 024 from within the UK or +44 24 from outside the UK.
Free public Wi-Fi is available at all Coventry public libraries as well as the train station.
Like the rest of the UK, in emergencies you should call 999 or 112 with ambulance, fire and police services available.
For a city of its size, Coventry has a rather low crime rate, particularly in the city centre. This can be attributed to its well-lit pedestrian sections. Take general precautions as you would in any other city in the United Kingdom.
Take a short trip into the attractive Warwickshire countryside to:
- Kenilworth, a quiet and pleasant town home to Kenilworth Castle 6 miles (9 km) south of Coventry
- Royal Leamington Spa, an affluent spa town 11 miles (18 km) away
- Warwick, a classic example of a rural English town home to the eponymous 11th century castle, just 12 miles (20 km) away
- Rugby, the purported birthplace of rugby football, 14 miles (22 km) to the east
Head north-west into the metropolitan West Midlands county to:
- Solihull, an attractive town home to some of the West Midlands' richest citizens no more than 14 miles (22 km) away
- Birmingham, the United Kingdom's second largest city and the West Midlands region's travel and economic hub only 23 miles (37 km) away.
- Wolverhampton, a former industrial city and the gateway to the Shropshire countryside just over 33 miles (53 km) away.
|Routes through Coventry|
|Birmingham ←||W E||→ Rugby → to and|
|merges with and ←||SW NE||→ Hinckley → Leicester|
|Birmingham ← Meriden ←||W E||→ Rugby → to|
|Warwick ← Kenilworth ←||SW NE||→ merges with|
|Appleby Magna ← Nuneaton ←||N S||→ END|