Coventry is a city of contrasts. A heady mix of new and old, a small walkable city with wide, wild open spaces on its outskirts, the many fascinating Coventry tourist attractions are as alluring as they are surprising.
Coventry Cathedral is a microcosm of the city itself, blending the new with the old. Built beside the bombed ruins of St. Michael’s Cathedral, the new building represents a unity of one church for the city, while giving space for remembrance of the past. The modernist design of the cathedral juxtaposes the remnants of the old façade and spire left intact by the Blitz bombings with 195 coloured glass panes flooding the cathedral with vibrant light.
Just a minute’s walk from the cathedral is one of the finest medieval guildhalls in the country, St. Mary’s Guildhall. Tucked away from unsuspecting eyes, it has great historic charm exemplified by the magnificent Great Hall. Originally built in the 1340s before being expanded, the guildhall plots the past of the city, tracing ties to historical figures such as Mary Queen of Scots and Shakespeare. It also houses a fine collection of armoury, furniture and artwork.
Right on the doorstep of our City Centre (Belgrade Plaza) hotel is the historic Spon Street. Take a stroll down and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d accidentally wandered into an olde-worlde dimension, thanks to the medieval timber buildings lining the street. This collection of ancient buildings luckily escaped the WWII bombings, which decimated much of the city. During post-war redevelopment, many were relocated to Spon Street, which led to the cluster we have today. Spon Street is now home to dozens of shops, restaurants and pubs with ample photo opportunities.
Video guide to Coventry attractions
If you want a tranquil space to unwind after a day shopping or sightseeing, you will find plenty of parks orbiting Coventry’s busy town centre.
For a city with an architectural present very much embedded in its wartime past, the War Memorial Park is a fitting addition. Open all year round and free to enter, the park is well-equipped for a full day of fun, offering a kids playground, a café, cycling paths, toilet facilities, football pitches, tennis courts and a pitch and putt golf course. Quiet, wide open space is also plentiful, with the war memorial itself cutting through the treeline as a lasting reminder of the park’s significance.
A little further afield, Coombe Abbey Country Park lies several miles east of the city centre in Binley. Boasting 500 acres of well-maintained woodland, gardens and ponds, the park offers an abundance of opportunities to stretch your legs in the tranquil surroundings, with a visitor centre, café and toilets ensuring you’re not too far from the mod-cons when you return from your walk in the woods.
You don’t have to venture too far to feel like you’re in the middle of the wilderness. Just south of the city lies Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve. While the ponds are largely man-made, the reserve is set over 220 acres of grass and woodland. An idyllic place to feel truly at one with nature, the reserve has a visitor centre and nature trail for younger visitors to learn about and seek out the numerous animals which call the reserve home.
The 3,000-capacity SkyDome Arena is home to the city’s top-flight ice hockey team, Coventry Blaze. It’s part of the wider SkyDome multiplex; the city’s major entertainment hub. Here you’ll also find the Odeon cinema, Genting Casino, Planet Ice ice rink and a handful of bars.
Three miles from our City Centre (Belgrade Plaza) hotel, the Ricoh Arena is Coventry’s multi-purpose arena. Home to the Premiership rugby union club Wasps and Coventry City Football Club, it’s also home to the Grosvenor Casino, exhibition hall and a handful of restaurants.
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