Coventry – the best place for Culture vultures…
Coventry is a city packed with cultural highlights – and what more proof do you need than the fact it was the UK’s City of Culture in 2021/2022. From theatre and music to interactive immersive experiences, great art and more, there’s no hiding the fact that culture runs in the blood of Coventry.
Whether it’s historic buildings you want to see, or innovative art and music, Coventry is the perfect place for a cultural day or weekend. Here’s just some of what it has to offer:
Coventry is packed with history with plenty of chance to immerse yourself in it. At the heart of the city is Coventry Cathedral, where the ruins of the original building, destroyed in the Blitz, sit next to its newer replacement, with the opportunity to look around both and learn about its history.
That is just one of Coventry’s historic buildings, many of which have been lovingly restored and preserved by the Historic Coventry Trust. Take in St Mary’s Guildhall, the Charterhouse, or the recently-reopened Drapers’ Hall, or head to the Medieval buildings on historic Spon Street. You can also book special tours of the Old Grammar School and Medieval Undercroft if you want to explore even more.
If you’re planning to stay overnight in Coventry, you can incorporate the city’s history, with the chance of booking an overnight stay at one of its historic buildings. The city’s medieval gates and 3-6 Priory Row, also known as Lychgate Cottages, have all been converted into boutique self-catered accommodation, providing the perfect place to stay during a trip to the city.
There are an array of walking tours on offer, allowing you to take in the city’s history, or you can simply take in its historic surroundings while exploring for yourself.
A thriving music scene
Coventry has a thriving music scene, with some brilliant concert venues and festivals throughout the year all bringing some of the UK’s biggest acts to the city. The HMV Empire has hosted everyone from Ed Sheeran to Tom Grennan and has a packed programme of acts, also including DJs, comedy and club nights.
Delve into Coventry’s musical history at the 2-Tone Village, where a Coventry Music Museum is dedicated to the origins of the 2-Tone sound in the city and its most famous band, The Specials. Elsewhere in the city, you’ll find everything from classical music in unique settings like Coventry Cathedral to open mic nights, up-and-coming artists and more.
Another jewel in Coventry’s crown when it comes to art is the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum with its ever-changing displays and unique experiences. From getting a different take on the famous legend of Lady Godiva to exploring exhibitions often created in partnership with national museums, The Herbert is the perfect place for art lovers. As well as offering talks, events and workshops for people of all ages, it is also home to Coventry Archives, the city’s destination for historical documents, photographs, maps and archival materials.
FarGo Village plays host to an array of creatives and is a dream destination for anyone interested in the creative arts, with artists and creators showcasing their talents in a vibrant repurposed industrial space that is now a haven for independents, from arts and crafts to food and drink.
Coventry is home to several theatres, all showcasing touring shows as well as homegrown talent. The Belgrade Theatre has a packed programme of musicals, plays and more, as well as its own restaurant so you can enjoy a full evening there.
The Albany Theatre is a multi-purpose arts centre that acts as a hub for artists, communities and creative enterprise, showcasing drama, dance, music and comedy from an array of talent including local groups. Just outside the city centre, you’ll find The Criterion Theatre, a charitable organisation which has been producing theatrical entertainment of the highest quality for over 60 years.
Great food and drink
Coventry is often overlooked as a home for great food and drink, but you can embrace culture and cuisine from across the world through its many restaurants, street food traders and food and drink venues. From fine dining to food from around the world, there is something for everyone – and food you may not have tried before.
Korean barbecue restaurant Jinseon recently got a glowing review in The Observer, while the city’s thriving food and drink scene as a whole is recognised through the local Coventry & Warwickshire Foodie Awards.
Coventry’s reputation as a city of culture is about far more than a title. Culture runs through every part of it, from its buildings to its thriving music and artistic scene. You need to see it to believe it, so start exploring now.