The best things to do in Coventry range from cathedral tours to sampling sessions in quirky microbreweries. With so many museums, art galleries, sprawling green spaces and plenty of history to experience, this UK city is brimming with attractions that could keep you occupied for weeks.

    Learn about Coventry’s past by visiting centuries-old structures, including a Roman fort. You can also explore recently renovated industrial districts to see the city’s modern and creative side. Whether you want to browse the world’s largest collection of British-made vehicles or kick back with a picnic surrounded by nature, Coventry has you covered.

    What are the best things to do in Coventry?

    1

    Coventry Transport Museum

    Marvel at the world’s largest collection of British-made vehicles

    • Families
    • History

    Coventry Transport Museum is home to the largest collection of publicly owned, British-made vehicles in the world. Giving you a glimpse into the city’s rich manufacturing history. It has around 250 cars, 100 motorbikes and 300 bicycles. Must-sees include Coventry-built Jaguars, Humbers, Standards and Triumphs.

    Some of the most popular exhibitions include the ThrustSSC, the first road vehicle to break the sound barrier in 1997, and an Austin Metro once owned by Lady Diana. For kids, popular activities include scientific experiments and engineering challenges.

    Location: Millennium Place, Hales St, Coventry CV1 1JD, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)24 7623 4270

    Map

    photo by Jim Linwood (CC BY 2.0) modified

    2

    Coventry Cathedral

    Admire the ruins of this 14th-century religious monument

    • History
    • Photo

    Coventry Cathedral was originally constructed during the 14th century in the gothic style. After being partially destroyed during the Blitz in 1940, it was left in ruins as a memorial. Today, the spire, outer walls, tower and a bronze effigy of its first bishop remain intact. There’s plenty of tourist information boards that give you an insight into the building’s history.

    For a small fee, you can admire one of England’s largest bell towers and climb to the top. You’ll have to tackle 180 steps, but you’ll be rewarded with sweeping city views. Just next door is the Cathedral Church of St Michael, a modernist structure built in the 1960s that’s well worth a visit.

    Location: Priory St, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday from noon to 4 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)24 7652 1200

    Map
    3

    War Memorial Park

    Explore the memorial, manicured gardens and host of leisure facilities

    • Families
    • History
    • Budget

    Coventry’s War Memorial Park covers around 50 ha, built during the 1920s and 1930s to commemorate the city’s fallen WWI soldiers. One section includes the 27-metre-tall Portland stone monument that's surrounded by colourful gardens, while the other is home to a waterpark, playing fields, tennis courts and a golf course.

    The War Memorial Park earned Green Flag status for its facilities and upkeep after being given a makeover that started in 2010. It’s an excellent place for jogging and cycling – you won’t struggle to find a peaceful spot for a picnic. Throughout spring and summer, it hosts a variety of lively festivals, such as the Caribbean Festival and the locally loved Godiva Festival.

    Location: Kenilworth Rd, Coventry CV3 6PT, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)24 7697 7770

    Map
    4

    St Mary’s Guildhall

    One of England’s oldest surviving guildhalls

    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    St Mary’s Guildhall, built during the 14th century, is one of the city’s oldest structures. Inside, you can view collections of medieval art, armoury and furniture. You can also hear fascinating stories about the building’s past, such as when it was used as a prison for Mary, Queen of Scots. According to legend, it was also once a playhouse for Shakespeare.

    Visit the Great Hall to see wooden beams with angel carvings, Medieval stained-glass windows and one of the nation’s most valuable tapestries. Admission to St Mary’s Guildhall is free, but because the building is often used to host weddings and functions, we recommend planning your trip in advance.

    Location: Bayley Ln, Coventry CV1 5RN, UK

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 10 am to 4 pm (closed on Fridays and Saturdays)

    Phone: +44 (0)24 7683 3328

    Map

    photo by Rock drum (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    5

    Herbert Art Gallery and Museum

    See works of art from the Stone Age to the 20th century

    • History

    The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum is Coventry's largest and most popular art gallery. The Lady Godiva painting by Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood member John Collier is the gallery's main draw. You'll also see an impressive collection of medieval objects, such as stonemasonry from a Benedictine Priory, and archaeological artefacts ranging from Stone Age ceramics to Anglo-Saxon tiles.

    At the British Life and Landscapes exhibition, you can view masterpieces from 20th-century English painters like Paul Nash and Stanley Spencer. If you're more of a history buff, head to the archaeological department to journey through time from prehistory to the 17th century.

    Location: Jordan Well, Coventry CV1 5QP, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm, Sunday from noon to 4 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)24 7623 7521

    Map

    photo by Julian Osley (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    6

    Broadgate Square

    View the memorials to Lady Godiva in Coventry’s city centre

    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Broadgate Square is home to some of Coventry’s main entertainment venues and shopping outlets. It’s also where you’ll find memorials to the 11th-century noblewoman Lady Godiva, who is said to have ridden nude on horseback through the streets to protest her husband’s taxation policies. The Lady Godiva Statue commemorates this brave act. Just behind the statue, you’ll see Broadgate Clock which displays an image of Lady Godiva every hour.

    If you need a bite to eat while walking the streets of Broadgate, head to the nearby Cathedral Lanes Centre, which is a shopping mecca as well as a hub for local foodies. Attractions like Coventry Cathedral and the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum are just a short walk from the Lady Godiva Statue.

    Location: Broadgate, Coventry, UK

    Map

    photo by Philip Halling (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    7

    FarGo Village

    Dine, shop and discover in Coventry’s quirky, creative hub

    • Shoppers
    • Nightlife
    • Food

    FarGo Village is Coventry’s hub for creatives and independent businesses. This repurposed industrial space is home to plenty of quirky shops that occupy container-like structures and renovated warehouses, such as the Buddha Boutique and Oshin Art & Craft. You’ll also find bookstores, galleries, microbreweries and unusual museums like the Phil Silvers Archival Museum.

    If you want an evening of live entertainment, head to The Box, a 500-capacity performing arts venue that’s within walking distance of the district’s top-rated restaurants. For West Indian cuisine, try a dish at Leave It To Esmie. If you’re looking for vegan food, book a table at Dirty Kitch.

    Location: Far Gosford St, Coventry CV1 5ED, UK

    Map

    photo by Hazel Nicholson (CC BY 2.0) modified

    8

    Lunt Roman Fort

    Tour the partially reconstructed Roman fort with the kids

    • History

    The Lunt Roman Fort dates back to around 60 AD, when the Romans built forts across the Midlands after defeating the legendary Queen Boudica and the Iceni tribe of East Anglia. The fort was partly reconstructed following an archaeological survey in the 1970s. Inside, you'll find a granary, a gatehouse, and the only known gyrus (a small ring that may have been used for horse training) in the Roman Empire.

    The reconstructed sections of Lunt Roman Fort, which include the wooden gateway, were built by royal engineers using the same tools and techniques as the Romans. Tours led by uniformed Roman soldiers are also available.

    Location: Coventry Rd, Baginton, Coventry CV8 3AJ, UK

    Open: Monday–Friday from 10 am to 3.30 pm (closed on weekends)

    Phone: +44 (0)24 7623 7575

    Map
    9

    Twisted Barrel Ale Brewery and Tap House

    Treat yourself to a tour of the brewery and a tasting session

    • Nightlife

    The Twisted Barrel Ale Brewery and Tap House is an artisan vegan brewery with an adjoining pub. Established in 2015 during the creation of FarGo Village, Coventry’s creative hub, this microbrewery specialises in brewing flavourful real ales in small batches, though its pub can accommodate up to 300 people and has 23 unique beers on tap.

    Grab a seat at the Tap House to sample some of the finest pints in Coventry. Local favourites include Brobdingnagian and Wake Up Juice. You can take a tour of the brewery to learn about the production process and to sample a variety of original ales.

    Location: Far Gosford St, Coventry CV1 5ED, UK

    Open: Wednesday–Thursday from 5 pm to 10 pm, Friday–Saturday from noon to midnight, Sunday from noon to 8 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +44 (0)24 7610 1701

    Map
    10

    Coventry Music Museum

    Learn about the city’s musical history starting from the Roman era

    • History

    At the Coventry Music Museum, you can learn about the history of music development from as far back as the Roman era. You can also browse memorabilia from the city’s most famous names in music, such as The Specials and Delia Derbyshire, and some of the nation’s pioneering artists from the 1950s through to the modern day.

    After viewing the exhibitions, take a look at the reproduction of a record booth shop before putting your musical skills to the test in the interactive recording studio. On most weekends, the museum hosts live events, where you can watch some of the city’s best up-and-coming, homegrown artists.

    Location: 80 Walsgrave Rd, Coventry CV2 4ED, UK

    Open: Thursday–Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm (closed from Mondays to Wednesdays)

    Phone: +44 (0)7971 171441

    Map
    Joshua Saunders | Contributing Writer

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