Coventry is a large and important city in the West Midlands region of England, part of the United Kingdom. Coventry is both an industrial centre and a cathedral city, combining industry with culture in an interesting combination. Locally, the city is known as The Three Spired Jewel.
Heavily bombed by the German Luftwaffe during World War II, Coventry is not the most attractive of cities, much of its pre-war appeal having been replaced by questionable re-building in the post-war period. However, major regeneration projects such as the Stirling Prize shortlisted 'Phoenix Initiative' are beginning to make the city a more attractive place.
Coventry is conveniently situated at 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.
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 arriving at the Bus Hub (Pool Meadow), which can sometimes 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.
Coventry is on the main London to Birmingham rail route operated by Virgin. There are usually three trains to and from London Euston station every hour. The journey takes about an hour and (as of July 2011) costs about £41 for an adult off peak return. Significantly cheaper advance single tickets 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 currently 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 Virgin's trains.
Trains to central Birmingham are even more frequent, with a 25 minute journey time. Birmingham International, serving the NEC and Birmingham Airport, is just 10 minutes away.
Coventry Airport (IATA: CVT) used to be a hub for Thomsonfly but all operations were ended in November 2008 and as such Coventry Airport is no longer served by any scheduled flights.
Birmingham International Airport is closer to the centre of Coventry than it is to central Birmingham and a drive should not take much longer than 30 minutes depending on the traffic situation. A taxi costs £20. Another option is to take the free AirRail Link to the Birmingham International rail station from where trains to Coventry depart several times each hour.
Coventry Cathedral Quarter, . The medieval Gothic Cathedral of St Michael was built in the late 14th-early 15th century, but largely destroyed by the German Luftwaffe on the night of 14 November 1940 in an incendiary bombing raid - only the tower, spire and outer walls remained... A new cathedral was built 1956-1962 next to the old (which now forms a memorial garden) to a design by Basil Spence. The 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 facade) the striking sculpture of St Michael's Victory over the Devil by Sir Jacob Epstein.
Recent archeological 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.
Lunt Roman Fort, Coventry Road, Baginton, near Coventry, +44 24 7630 3567, . Admission adults £2, concessions £1. 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
Midland Air Museum, Coventry Road, Baginton, near Coventry, +44 24 7630 1033, . Admission adults £4.25, children £2.50 concessions £3.75. Star exhibits include the Avro Vulcan bomber and a heritage centre dedicated to the work of Sir Frank - pioneer of the jet engine.
Coventry Transport Museum, Millennium Place, Hales Street, +44 24 7623 4270, fax +44 24 7623 4284, mailto:email@example.com, . Daily except 24-26 December 10am-5pm, last admission 4.30pm, admission free. - the largest collection of British road transport in the world with over 230 cars and commercial vehicles, 250 cycles and 90 motorcycles
Lady Godiva Statue and Peeping Tom clock, Broadgate.
Christmas Lights Switch-On, city centre. This annual event is usually around mid-November, and features a line-up of music acts, presenters, fireworks and various other things. There is also a parade through the City Centre, with businesses and schools alike contributing to the floats that that travel through the streets.
St. Mary's Guildhall, CV1 5RN, ☎ +44 24 7683 3328, . Just across the way from the Cathedral ruins. Especially take a look at the room where Mary, Queen of Scots was presumed to be held. free. edit
Sky Dome Arena, Croft Road, Coventry, +44 24 7663 0674, . 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 .
Brandon Stadium Home of the Coventry Bees  speedway team and weekly greyhound races .
The Ricoh Arena Home of Coventry City Football club .
The Butts Park Arena Home of Coventry Rugby Football Club  and the Coventry Jets American Football team.
The Ivor Preece Field Home of Broadstreet Rugby Football Club .
Arts Centre . Second largest arts complex in the UK, regular leading theatre, cinema, comedy tours, classical, dance etc.
British Transport Museum, in the city centre.
Coventry Godiva Festival. The Godiva Festival is surely an event pencilled in any true Coventrian's diary. The blossoming Coventry music scene means that the calibre of the bands scheduled each year seems to be getting higher and higher, and therefore, the Festival is steadily making a name for itself. Not only that, but it is also free.
Coventry has a variety 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.
Coventry is host to a range of award-winning eateries. From cafés to restaurants, and from Thai to Italian, all can be found here. Those travelling to Coventry on a smaller budget are able to experience quality food at some of the takeaways in Coventry. Here, a meal can be purchased for around £10.
Here's a pick of some of the best:
Blue Orchid 14 Butts, Earlsdon, +44 24 7623 1799, .
Mercure Brandon Hall Hotel and Spa Warwickshire, Main street, Brandon, CV8 3FW, COVENTRY, ☎ (+44)2476/546000, . The Mercure Brandon Hall Hotel and Spa is 7 miles outside of Coventry City centre and is located in 17 acres of tranquil grounds. edit
Novotel Coventry, Wilsons Lane, Longford, M6 Junction 3, CV6 6HL COVENTRY, ☎ (+44)2477/092800, . The 3-star Novotel Coventry M6 J3 hotel is 10 minutes by car from Coventry city centre. The Coventry hotel offers Good access to the M6 and the Ricoh Arena.edit
ibis Coventry Centre, Mile lane, CV1 2LN COVENTRY, ☎ (+44)2476/250500, . Ibis Coventry Centre hotel is a budget hotel located in the city centre, a few minutes from both the shopping and nightlife of Coventry as well as railway and bus stations. edit
ibis Coventry South, Whitley Buisness Park, Abbey Road, CV3 4LF COVENTRY, ☎ (+44)2476/639922, . Ibis Coventry South hotel is a budget hotel located to the south of Coventry city centre. The hotel is near the Jaguar Engineering Centre and has good transport links into the city centre. edit
Lava/Ignite. Large City Centre club in Skydome complexedit
Kasbah, Primrose Hill Street, Coventry CV1 5LY (taxi may be your best bet due to downmarket locality, but walkable from bus station), ☎ +44 24 7655 4473 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Formerly the Colosseum. Dingy indie rock club which attracts some fairly well known live actsedit
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.
Chicago Rock Cafe
1450, Medieval Spon Street: Loads of international lagers and other beer sorts. Good place for some tasting of beer from countries such as Brazil, Peru, Namibia and New Zealand. Also a restaurant.
The Old Windmill, Medieval Spon Street: Cosy traditional English pub with good crowds and numerous cask ales.
The Tin Angel, Medieval Spon Street Coventry CV1 3AX, ☎ +44 24 7655 9958, . Popular live music baredit
In the centre of the city you will find the usual pub chains as well as some new bars that have recently been established close to Millennium Place.
The Flying Standard, 2–10 Trinity Street, Coventry, West Midlands, ☎ +44 24 7655 5723. Sun–Thu 9am–midnight; Fri/Sat 9am–1am. Franchise of the ubiqitous Wetherspoons chain is set in a spectacular timbered buildingedit
Flamingo, Priory Place. bar & grill
Glass House, 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 an extremely limited gay scene in Coventry: the city is not very gay-friendly and lacks any real gay nightlife. The only option is Rainbows, close to the University, this is a fairly small establishment with a 'clique'-y crowd - expect to be treated like new meat on your first visit. For a much better scene, head out to Birmingham's Gay Village.