Following the announcement that Coventry has been named the City of Culture 2021, we look at why it’s a perfect time to consider a group trip there.
Coventry is the birthplace of poet Philip Larkin, electronic engineer Delia Derbyshire, and author Lee Child. It has also seen a lot of history, including significant bombing during World War Two, as well as strong links with the performing arts over the years.
After the city fought off competition from Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea to receive the title, Laura McMillan, manager of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “This is a win for Coventry, a win for young people and a win for diversity. The economic impact will be huge for the city and the West Midlands.
“It’s been a bid by and for the people of Coventry. It has brought so many people and organisations together and this is just the start. Over the next three years we will ensure that everyone in the city, which has been moving people by cycle car and jet engine, is now moving people through culture.”
So why should you consider taking your group?
There are plenty of museums to visit when in Coventry, covering a range of interests. The Coventry Transport Museum and British Motor Museum are great choices for groups of petrol heads. For history buffs, there's the Coventry Watch Museum Project where you can discover the city’s involvement in watchmaking over the years as one of the main centres for the art. Close by there's the Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery, the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Rugby Art Gallery, Museum and Visitor Centre, and Midland Air Museum.
Pictured: Coventry Transport Museum (Photo credit: Mischa Photo Ltd).
For history and heritage lovers, Coventry offers Blue Badge guided tours which can involve a variety of different themes. Fam trips with these tours can also be organised for GTOs. You can also see the ruins of Coventry Cathedral which was bombed during World War Two. And following that, groups can visit Coventry's New Cathedral. Nearby in Warwickshire you can head to Kenilworth Castle and Ragely Hall, too.
Food & Drink
For food and drink you can enjoy a multitude of restaurant, pubs and cafes. For something a little different you can try the DC-6 Diner which allows you to dine onboard a vintage aircraft as featured in the James Bond film Casino Royale. Close by you can enjoy a Medieval banquet at Coombe Abbey, among other interesting eateries and foodie experiences.
Parks & Gardens
If gardens are your bag, you’ll have lots to choose from when visiting Coventry and the surrounding Warwickshire area. Caludon Castle Park is nestled within Coventry. Hidden within you’ll find the remains of Coventry Castle. Arbury Hall is an attraction worth visiting, along with Brandon March Nature Centre for animal lovers, Burton Dassett Hills Country Park, and Stoneleigh Abbey, with its 690 acres of surrounding parkland.
Pictured: Coventry Godiva Festival (Photo credit: Mischa Photo Ltd).
Theatre & Events
The Belgrade Theatre in Coventry hosts many touring productions throughout the year. Group organisers planning a visit might like to check the theatre website before visiting to see if there are any shows their group may be able to see when there. There’s also other event and entertainment venues such as the Ricoh Arena. Various events are also held in Coventry and you can check the events calendar here.
Hull is the current City of Culture and provides plenty of entertainment and a full events programme throughout the year.