has, for so long, been overlooked and undervalued.”

� AMAZING ATTRACTIONS She added: “Of course, all eyes are on 2021 and what an amazing year that will be for the city but it’s also given people reason to take another look at the city now and to see the amazing attractions already on offer here. “We are confident that the city will

attract more visitors in the run-up to 2021 and that the many wonderful attractions will welcome new people through their doors.” The Warwickshire city has a rich,

medieval heritage, and is home to two universities, historic sites and many museums and galleries. Roger Bailey, a Blue Badge tourist guide who specialises in Coventry, highlighted how the city has three cathedrals – the current one was consecrated in 1962 to replace the one destroyed in the Blitz on November 14, 1940.

Sir Basil Spence – architect of the new

cathedral – suggested keeping the ruins as a memorial of that fateful night. Bailey recommends the Coventry

Priory Visitor Centre, known as the home of Lady Godiva’s Cathedral, which was destroyed during the reign of Henry VIII. Visitors can see artefacts of Channel

4’s Time Team digs at the medieval cathedral site.

Also in the historic cathedral quarter is St Mary’s Guildhall, one of the finest medieval guildhalls in England. Its main attraction is the Great Hall, with medieval stained glass, a ceiling of carved angels and one of the rarest and most important tapestries in the country. Bailey said the Guildhall has links

with novelist George Eliot – whose 200th birthday will be marked in 2019 – and playwright William Shakespeare. He also has tips about where to try Coventry god cake – a local delicacy.

� CITY MUSEUMS Bailey said the city boasts several museums, such as the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, and Coventry Transport Museum, which houses the largest publicly owned collection of British vehicles in the world. Now fully open after a £9.5 million

The Thrust SCC, the ‘world’s fastest car’ at Coventry Transport Museum

redevelopment programme, visitors can see the fastest car in the world and explore the stories of Coventry’s innovators and entrepreneurs.

Godiva Carnival The Belgrade Theatre is a key arts and

All eyes are on 2021 but it’s also given people reason to take another look at the city now

cultural facility and remains one of the largest regional producing theatres in Britain.

Other shows can be seen at Warwick

Arts Centre, which has several venues under one roof, and is one of the largest arts centres in the country. It is undergoing a multimillion-pound

makeover and will relaunch in autumn 2020 with a new gallery and three cinema screens. The War Memorial Park welcomes thousands of visitors each year to the annual Coventry Godiva Festival while in the city centre, Broadgate provides a backdrop to many events and celebrations, including regular markets, musical extravaganzas and cultural performances. If visitors have time to explore further,

Bailey recommends nearby Stratford- upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare and home to the Royal Shakespeare Company. Other regional attractions include

castles at Warwick and Kenilworth; Rugby – the birthplace of rugby football – and Royal Leamington Spa, with its independent shops, high street brands, restaurants and parks.


June 2018 | TravelGBI 21

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