Things to do in Coventry
Coventry has plenty of unique things to do and places to see. If you are planning to extend your visit – here are a few of our favourites. If you have the opportunity to travel outside of Coventry, the nearby Warwickshire towns of Warwick, Kenilworth, Stratford, Royal Leamington Spa and Rugby are also well worth a visit!
The Albany Theatre is truly a hidden gem in the heart of Coventry, with its impressive Art Deco-style theatre behind a superb façade of the old Coventry Technical College. Designed in 1919 and originally opened in 1935 the theatre recently reopened and regularly hosts live shows, comedy and tribute acts.
Bagot’s Castle, in the village of Baginton on the outskirts of Coventry, is believed to originally been built in the 11th century, at the time of King Henry I. It was rebuilt around the late 14th century by Sir William Bagot, a distinguished nobleman of his time. All that remains are the ruins of this historic castle.
The Belgrade Theatre features an 850 seat main auditorium that hosts professional touring productions. They also have a new space which can hold a smaller audience of 250-300 guests. It has an on-site bar and conference facilities. The theatre is a major arts and cultural facility in Coventry and remains one of the largest regional producing theatres in Britain. This fine historic building offers a diverse programme of productions from touring musicals to critically acclaimed plays, alongside traditional pantomimes and comedy.
Caludon Castle Park is one of Coventry’s hidden gems. The park is a special place as it houses Coventry’s only castle remains, that of Caludon Castle set in a beautiful park land. The park is a great place to relax and enjoy the open space as well walk around a 14th century ruin and historic site. Caludon Castle is one of only 20 Ancient Scheduled Monuments in Coventry.
Originally a 12th century Cistercian abbey, nestling in England’s historic heartland, Coombe Abbey offers a haven of peace and tranquillity from the stresses of the outside world. Set within 500 acres of landscaped parkland, Coombe Abbey is the ideal backdrop for a celebration or a special treat.
Coombe Country Park offers a wide variety of family activities including woodland walks, children’s play areas, formal gardens, coarse fishing, lakeside walks, a hands-on visitor centre, a restaurant and gift shop. With one of the largest heronries in the UK on site, including a large accessible bird hide, it’s great for wildlife enthusiasts.
Experience the old and new of Coventry Cathedral all in one visit. The spire of Coventry’s old Cathedral still stands majestically in the heart of the city centre with the tower climb offering breathtaking views. Forming part of the Old Cathedral and its magnificent ruins, the spire is a lasting reminder of the Blitz of November 14 1940 and sits adjacent to the beautiful new cathedral. The buildings remains one of the most important international symbols of peace and reconciliation in the world.
Coventry Canal Basin is the ideal place to start out on several fascinating art trail treks through picturesque countryside. Look out for several informative fact boards and plaques along the routes highlighting some of Coventry’s rich industrial history and enjoy miles of traffic-free towpath walks.
Explore Coventry Transport Museum and be whisked away into stories of real people, real passions and real hope. Discover how Coventry became the centre of the world’s motor and cycle industries, and get up close with the world’s biggest collection of British road transport, including the actual vehicles that defined some of history’s most important moments – including the fastest car in the world!
Fargo Village, Far Gosford St is bringing a whole new dimension to the city of Coventry, with niche and unique retailers, artists’ studios, creative workspace, crafts, cafes, markets and entertainment space.
Directly opposite Coventry’s two Cathedrals lies the inspiring Herbert Art Gallery & Museum. This FREE ADMISSION museum tells the fascinating story of Coventry’s history from the Medieval to the modern, including galleries dedicated to Peace and Reconciliation and the much-loved Lady Godiva story. The museum is also home to a world class art collection and a diverse range of temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
Take a tour around Coventry whilst learning about the many report unexplained events and possible ghostly sightings that haunt the city. Join us as we delve into the dark side of Coventry’s past and look at some of the possible causes of these unexplained events. The walk will last up to two hours and takes place in all weathers.
The story of Holy Trinity Church is truly historic. The first known reference to Holy Trinity is in 1113, with its beginnings tied into the history of the Benedictine Priory of St Mary which has long been associated with Earl Leofric and Lady Godiva. The church houses many rare artefacts, perhaps the most exceptional being the famous medieval wall painting of the Last Judgement which has recently undergone significant restoration and is on full display. Holy Trinity welcomes visitors, free of charge, seven days a week.
The only reconstructed wooden fort in Britain, the Lunt dates from around 60AD, the same period as the Boudican rebellion. From Roman pottery, military artefacts and the imposing Eastern Gateway, to thrilling Roman themed re-enactments, get a sense of what it was like to live in a fort with this educational family experience.
Visit one of the country’s leading self-funded independent aviation museums and see incredible aircraft from throughout the ages including the Avro Vulcan and Argosy freighter, MiG-21 and CMC Leopard to name just a few. With photographs, collectors’ items and memorabilia along with an on-site shop and tearoom, it’s the ideal venue for any plane spotter.
Explore the remains of Coventry’s first Cathedral as featured on two Time Team programmes by Channel 4. Lady Godiva and Leofric the Earl of Mercia endowed St Marys Benedictine Priory in 1043 and it became the cities first Cathedral in 1102. This was the only cathedral in the country destroyed as part of King Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. Robbed of the lead and stone, it lay underground until 1999 when it was rediscovered and excavated to create Lady Godiva’s Gardens, The Priory Visitors Centre, The Cloisters and the hidden remains of The Priory Undercrofts all in Coventry’s Cathedral Quarter.
St John’s was built by Medieval Religious Guilds in 1344 on land given by Queen Isabella. Located on the corner of Medieval Spon Street, this Grade I listed masterpiece of architecture is one of the most beautiful churches in England. Carved from rose sandstone, the church is steeped in history. During the Civil War the building was used to house Scottish Royalists, giving rise to the saying ‘Sent to Coventry’.
Death, intrigue, scandal and spilt custard…are not compulsory when you visit St. Mary’s Guildhall, but can be discovered in more than 600 years worth of stories from the finest medieval guildhall in the country. Located in the city’s historic Cathedral Quarter, St. Mary’s Guildhall miraculously survived the Second World War bombing raids, and stands as a monument to the power and wealth of medieval Coventry. With magnificent interiors, collections of armour, historic furniture, artworks and internationally important tapestries, the Guildhall offers a window into Coventry’s glorious past. A prison to Mary, Queen of Scots, a theatre for Shakespeare and an inspiration to George Eliot, St. Mary’s Guildhall is a fascinating free experience for all ages, at the historic heart of the city of Coventry.
The War Memorial Park attracts around 400,000 visitors every year, with many coming to enjoy a peaceful stroll, picnic, bike ride, round of pitch and putt or game of tennis. The park is home to the Coventry Godiva Festival, the biggest free family festival in the UK. Enjoy light refreshments at the Pavilion Café or Beechtree Cafe.
Located at The University of Warwick, on the outskirts of Coventry, Warwick Arts Centre is the largest arts centre in the Midlands, attracting around 280,000 visitors a year to over 2,000 individual events embracing music, drama, dance, comedy, literature, films and visual arts. With six outstanding spaces, it makes us quite unique – a concert hall, two theatres, a cinema, gallery, conference rooms,hospitality suites, restaurant, bookshop, gift shop and two bars.
The 2-Tone Village is an exciting area just outside Coventry City Centre, celebrating our 2-Tone heritage and so much more. Here you will find The Coventry Music Wall of Fame, The Coventry Music Museum, the Award winning 2-Tone Cafe and Simmer Down Caribbean Restaurant, The 2-Tone Corner sub-culture shop and the Hall of Fame Memorabilia store.
For a full list of all Coventry and Warwickshire attractions, visit: http://www.visitcoventryandwarwickshire.co.uk