Best cultural hotspots and events in Coventry

Coventry is really happening at the moment, not least because of its status as UK City of Culture 2021. Here are some of the highlights.
Coventry is right in the heart of England, and although it's in the orbit of Birmingham, has its own unique history, culture and industry that makes its inhabitants such a proud bunch. Even Covid couldn't dent the Cov ID; when the pandemic threatened to scupper Coventry City of Culture events in 2021, the city switched its focus to dealing with the most pressing issue, and moved the year-long programme forward. While many of the events are now just wonderful memories, the legacy will remain for decades to come. 

Coventry City of Culture 2021 and 2022

The magnificent "Coventry Moves"  opened proceedings back in June 2021, but right now, there are still plenty of events going on around the festival. The best way to keep an eye on them is to look at the official What's On page. From heritage and history to contemporary theatre, visual arts and large-scale festivals, Coventry has done the UK City of Culture proud. Are you ready to celebrate? Here are a few of the highlights.

BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend 2022

Is this the biggest, most star-studded Big Weekend ever? You decide, but it opens on 27 May 2022 with some guy called Ed Sheeran and goes on to feature Lorde, Koffee, Calvin Harris, KSI, George Ezra, Mabel and many more top acts. With such a world-class lineup, it's astounding that there are still tickets available, so if you're a visitor to Coventry for the events, you'd better grab yours!


Godiva Festival

Although it's not technically part of the UK City of Culture events, Godiva, an annual cultural feast named after Coventry's coldest equestrian, has joined forces with the city-wide event. Between 2 and 4 September 2022, the music and culture festival will feature big name acts and activities for old and young people to enjoy. It's run by Coventry City Council and is one of the most exciting and inclusive events the Midlands has to offer. keep an eye on the official website for details.

Assembly Festival Garden

It might sound like a flower show, but this event is a smorgasbord of award-winning arts, comedy, music, dance, theatre, kids' entertainment and fun, right in the heart of Coventry city centre. It features both indoor and outdoor performance spaces on-site, so rain or shine, pop down to see what's on. Whatever your age and whether or not you've looking after kids, there will be something in the programme to delight and inspire you.

Coventry Heritage

One does not simply walk into winning a UK cultural award – it is given to a city after much deliberation by the awarding panel because of its existing attractions, and the potential for them to be built upon. So with or without the wonderful efforts of the Culture Trust, there's still plenty to see and do in this corner of the Midlands.

Coventry Cathedral

Coventry really has three cathedrals, and each is worth a visit, but by far the most famous is the original, which can trace its foundation back to the 1300s. Its iconic status comes from the fact that it's now a mere shell, after it was almost destroyed by German bombing in 1940. A new cathedral was erected next door after the war, but the old one remains in place as both a monument to the destruction the city suffered and a sign of peace and hope for the future. It's one of the most moving sights in the UK, so should form part of any visit to the city.

Herbert Art Gallery and Museum

It's worth visiting this 1960s-era art gallery simply to marvel at the architecture of the building, most notably the glass-covered extension built in 2008, where you can settle down for a drink and a snack before venturing inside. There, you'll find numerous collections, including archaeological finds, major artworks, social history exhibitions and much more besides.

Belgrade Theatre

Coventry's most famous theatre is naturally a key partner in the UK City of Culture programme, but many a visitor will enjoy the performances on offer long after the festival is over. Every branch of the performing arts as a place here, whether that's drama, comedy, music, dance or one of those arts events that's difficult to categorise. Just have a browse through the theatre's What's On guide to see what tickles your fancy.

Coventry Transport Museum

An evergreen exhibition space celebrating the city's deep links with the motor industry, thousands flock to this sublime venue every year. Daimler, British Motor Corporation, Jaguar, Chrysler and Peugeot have all made cars around here, and it was this industry that was partly responsible for the post-war immigration that so enriched local culture, cuisine and music. In the museum, expect plenty of examples of the local produce, including land speed record holders, military vehicles and everyday runarounds that changed life in the UK.

Getting to Coventry by train

It couldn't be easier to reach the centre of Coventry by train, whether you're in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh or North Wales. That's because it's an integral part of the West Coast Mainline that's served by Avanti West Coast and its regular express trains. The easiest way to start your journey is the head over to our dedicated page for train tickets to Coventry and enter where you're travelling from, and what days and times you prefer. You'll then be given plenty of time options, so you can arrive in good time for the event or exhibition you're looking to celebrate.

Also, why not check out the 2 for 1 deals you might be eligible for on a host of attractions in the West Midlands and Warwickshire when you travel by train. It can save you some serious money if you're visiting with a family. And finally, make sure you look at the ways you can save even more money by travelling at certain times, with specific groups and booking early.


Getting there by train

So, have you decided where to go for a day out in England, Scotland or Wales? Whatever city’s independent shops you’ve got your heart set on, Avanti West Coast can take you there. You can book any train journey through our Journey Planner, even if the stations and services aren’t run by Avanti West Coast.

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