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Coventry aerial

UK City of Culture 2021, Coventry was once a thriving medieval town, based on textiles including silk weaving. Clocks and watches were made here in 18th and 19th centuries, then sewing machines, followed by bicycles.

The first design for the Penny Farthing was created here and the Starley Safety Bicycle, produced by Rover, was the start of Coventry’s booming bicycle manufacturing industry. The first British car was made here by Daimler in 1897, adding to Coventry’s impressive list of firsts. Visit the Coventry Transport Museum for the stories and displays.

Sadly, the bombing Blitz in 1940 destroyed much of the city centre, changing this significant city forever. Rebuilding took place in the 1950s and 1960s with one of Europe’s first pedestrian precincts.

Today Coventry Cathedral is a poignant reminder of the devastation, now a symbol of peace combining old and new. Museums to visit include the Herbert Gallery & Museum.

Where to stay? The Telegraph Hotel on Corporation Street brings 1950s glamour to the city centre, in the building that housed the city’s newspaper of the same name for 50 years. The seasonal Generators rooftop bar has a printworks’ industrial theme and is a great place to watch the sunset!

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City of Culture May 2021 - May 2022

Ten things to do in the City of Culture 2021

Coventry Cathedral

Peaceful symbol of hope

Coventry Transport Museum

14 galleries of vehicles

Herbert Gallery & Museum

Coventry exhibitions & archives

Telegraph Hotel

Coventry icon revisited (b,l,d; ££)

Text © Alison Plummer

Image by West Midlands Growth Company