Coventry UK City of Culture 2021

Welcome to Coventry - UK City of Culture 2021

From 15 May 2021, Coventry officially took on its role as UK City of Culture. To celebrate, there were dancers, singers, poets and artists performing in their home city for locals. As trusted travel partners with Coventry, our trains are ready to transport you from across the West Coast to the City of Culture – at speed, safely and sustainably.

10% discount on train tickets to the Turner Prize

As we continue to celebrate Coventry, the city of Culture, we're offering 10% off First Class tickets to customers travelling to/from Coventry to the Turner Prize*. We can't wait to have you onboard on route to celebrate Coventry.

*Subject to availability. Only valid between London and Coventry, and Milton Keynes and Coventry.

What is the City of Culture?

The European Union awards several European Capitals of Culture every year, largely from within its membership.
These are designed to be a celebration of the cities’ achievements and creativity and give a boost in tourism and investment. Cities’ authorities bid for the title, and the cities are chosen by a committee.

Two UK cities have held the prestigious title, Glasgow (1990) and Liverpool (2008). The success of Liverpool’s City of Culture year and the investment it brought to the city inspired the UK government to begin the UK City of Culture scheme, with a new city chosen every four years.
The first was Derry-Londonderry in 2013, the second was Hull in 2017 and the third is Coventry (2021).

Celebrating Coventry UK City of Culture

Book with confidence for your journey to Coventry

If you're heading to Coventry with an Advance ticket but your plans have changed, you can now amend your journey fee-free via our website or app.

Learn more about change of journey >

Why visit Coventry?

Even before Coventry became UK City of Culture 2021, we’ve been shouting about its virtues on these pages (among other destinations, of course). We talked about its amazing cathedrals, its history, and how it regenerated itself after the war. Coventry was also the focus of the world when it became the home of 2 Tone Records and the ska revival in the 70s and 80s.

Now that heritage is being celebrated with a whole year of special events organised to mark Coventry City of Culture. There will be a celebration of the city’s industry, from innovation in the transport sector to a history of activism. You’ll find things to do everywhere from the Belgrade Theatre to Coventry University, including in the undiscovered parts of the city.

The events will get the entire region of Coventry and Warwickshire involved and see them benefit from the opportunities that the City of Culture brings.

Celebrating Coventry City of culture

Why is Coventry the City of Culture?

Cities wishing to bid to become the UK City of Culture submit their proposals to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport several years before the proposed date. Coventry’s bid in 2017 pitched the city against Swansea, Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent and Sunderland. The 2021 event is being overseen by the Coventry City of Culture Trust.

When does Coventry City of Culture start?

The original schedule would have seen January 2021 kick off a whole calendar year of celebrations. However, Covid-19 delayed those plans by a few months, with events beginning on May 15. The events will still run for a year and are due to end on May 15, 2022.

Image of dancers celebrating Coventry City of Culture launch

What's on?

There a whole range of different events to take part in, watch and enjoy this year!

  • 29 September – 12 January: The Turner Prize - In Partnership with Tate, one of the best-known prizes for Visual Art in the world.
  • 8 October - 23 January: Watch 'Coventry Biennial' - The third Coventry Biennial Hyper-Possible, curated by and featuring local curators and artists.
  • 27-29 January – Ghosts in the ruins - a new classical composition to be performed in Coventry Cathedral
  • 18 February - 26 June - Daniel Lismore: Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken - Herbert Gallery
Herbert gallery turner prize Coventry

The Turner Prize

Mentioned briefly above, the Turner Prize in Partnership with Tate takes place between 29 September 2021 and 12 January 2022. You can now visit the exhibitions at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry. For the first time, a Turner Prize jury selected a shortlist consisting entirely of artist collectives. The five shortlisted collectives are:

  • Array Collective
  • Black Obsidian Sound System
  • Cooking Sections
  • Gentle/Radical
  • Project Art Works
Turner Prize awards 2021 - image with artists names


Find out more about Coventry - UK City of Culture 2021

Train Times to Coventry  Coventry city station information


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Want to take your train journey up a gear?

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How far away is Coventry from London? 

As the crow flies, Coventry is about 140 miles from the centre of London. If you’re travelling by road, that’s a journey of about two and a half hours on a good day (traffic and weather permitting). However, by train, you can make the journey in just over an hour on one of our express services.

About Coventry Train Station

Coventry Train Station is located to the south of the city centre, just outside the ring road. You can walk to the cathedral in 15 minutes, or can grab a taxi directly outside the station and get to the heart of things in just four minutes. For all the information about Coventry Station’s facilities, accessibility, ticketing, WiFi and more, head to the station information page.