Coventry is the nearest major city to Nuneaton and is located in the West Midlands county. With a population of 317,000, it is the 12th largest city in the UK and the second largest in the West Midlands.
Coventry Cathedral is the city’s best know landmark and visitor attraction. The 14th century church was largely destroyed by German bombing during World War II, leaving only the outer walls and the spire. A new cathedral was opened in 1962 next to the ruins of the old.
The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum is a museum, art gallery, records archive, learning centre and creative arts facility located on Jordan Well. The Herbert is run by a registered charity and admission is free.
The Coventry Transport Museum has the largest collection of British-made road vehicles in the world. The most notable exhibits are the world speed record-breaking cars, Thrust2 and ThrustSSC.
Just outside the city, in Baginton is the Lunt Fort, a reconstructed Roman fort on its original site. Nearby you will find the Midland Air Museum.
The Belgrade Theatre is a live performance venue seating 858. The theatre reopened in September 2007 after undergoing a £12m refurbishment with a seven-storey extension to provide a second auditorium. The new building is now a grade II listed building.
Coventry is recognised for its range of music events including the Coventry Jazz Festival, one of the UK’s foremost international jazz programmes, and the award winning Godiva Festival. Acts at the Godiva Festival over the years have included Shed Seven, Ash, Idlewild, Maximo Park, Echo and the Bunnymen and Human League.
The Warwick Arts Centre, situated at the University of Warwick, includes an art gallery, a theatre, a concert hall and a cinema. It is the largest arts centre in the Midlands and the second largest in the UK after London’s Barbican.
The Ricoh Arena in the north of the city is a 33,000 capacity stadium used to hold major rock concerts for some of the world’s biggest acts including Bruce Springsteen, Muse, Oasis, Bon Jovi, Rod Stewart, Kings of Leon, Coldplay and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The adjacent Jaguar Exhibition Hall is a 6,000-seat events venue for hosting a multitude of other acts including The Enemy, The Specials and Florence and the Machine. The Hall has also hosted Davis Cup Tennis.
The SkyDome Arena, a 3,000 capacity sports auditorium, is the home to Coventry Blaze ice hockey team who play in the Elite Ice Hockey League. The team were league champions in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010. The SkyDome has also hosted artists such as Girls Aloud, Paul Oakenfold, Judge Jules and Paul Morrell.
The War Memorial Park holds various festivals including the Godiva Festival and the Coventry Caribbean Festival.
The Kasbah nightclub also hosts a variety of big name acts and club nights.
Coombe Country Park is located on the outskirts of the city. The park has been developed from the grounds of an old abbey and now contains 500 acres of woodlands, formal gardens, open grasslands and lake. A visitor centre is equipped with a cafe, gift shop, discovery centre, history room and woodturners workshop. It also has a climbing forest, bird hide, summer wild flower meadow and an extensive events programme.
Coventry City Football Club recently left the Ricoh Arena due to financial problems and relocated to Northampton. While many supporters are boycotting matches in Northampton, the team still has a strong local following.
Coventry Rugby Club play in National Division 1. They play their games at the Butts Park Arena.
The Coventry Bees speedway team are based at the Coventry Stadium to the east of the city and compete in the top flight of the national speedway league. In 2007, the Bees won the domestic treble of the Elite League, Knock-out Cup and Craven Shield.
Coventry is near the M6, M69, M45 and M40 motorways. It is also served by the A45 and A46 dual carriageways. The A444 connects the centre of Coventry to Nuneaton and North Warwickshire.
Coventry railway station is served by the West Coast Mainline with services provided by Virgin Trains, London Midland and Cross Country and has regular rail services between London and Birmingham. It is also served by railway lines to Nuneaton via Bedworth. There is a line linking it to Leamington Spa and onwards to the south coast.
Bus service operators in the city include National Express, Travel do Courcey and Stagecoach. Pool Meadow Bus Station is the main bus and coach interchange in the city centre.
The nearest major airport is Birmingham International.
Coventry has two university; Coventry University is situated on a modern city centre campus while the University of Warwick lies on the south side of the city. University of Warwick is one of only five universities never to have been rated outside the top ten in terms of excellence and research.
The city has three further education colleges; City College, Henley College and Hereward College.
Many of the secondary schools in and around Coventry are specialist colleges, such as:
The Coventry School Foundation comprises the independent schools King Henry VIII School and Bablake School together with King Henry VIII Preparatory School.
The Westwood School, which is a technology college, is close to the University of Warwick and is the only school in Coventry that is a CISCO Academy and prides itself on its links with other educational establishments, industry and the local community.
Sherbourne Fields School is an educational special needs school for young people with physical disabilities and is located in the Coundon area.
Coventry offers a wide ranging shopping experience. Major outlets in the city centre include Primark, Debenhams, Next, River Island, Monsoon and Marks and Spencer’s.
The town centre has several shopping centres including West Orchards, Lower Precint and Cathedral Lanes.
IKEA’s first ever city centre store in the UK was opened in Coventry. The shop is spread over seven floors.
Coventry’s indoor retail market is packed with small independent retailers.
Medieval Spon Street, one of the most important collections of medieval buildings in the region, houses a superb selection of high quality shops and trade services, including hair and beauty salons, collector’s stores and gadget and tech shops.
Outside of the city centre there are several retails parks containing a wide range of stores.