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Connect Culture | April 28, 2017

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Coventry - Connect Culture

Coventry is a highly unusual city.

Coventry

Accessible parking places in Coventry city centre

Coventry is a highly unusual city. A medieval boom town, it languished as Birmingham exploded in the industrial revolution but then emerged in the C20th as one of the most dynamic industrial cities in England. The bike, motorcycle and car plants were built around the medieval city which remained largely unspoilt, as J.B. Priestley records in his ‘Journey through England’.

from Jones the Planner

Coventry in the yester years – website with photos

Postwar Buildings of Coventry Flickr from Andy Mcgeechan

Visitors who come to Coventry will notice the number of disabled people going about their business in the city centre. Coventry is an accessible city, easy to get around. Yes, there were plans afoot for change, especially as Coventry was selected as an Olympic City during the 2012 Games. Shared spaces are hot topics for discussion and there are some ancient cobbled streets but the city is not, on the whole, difficult to negotiate. Much of the city architecture is captured by the article written by Jones the Planner above.

Dancing women with schoolchildren spectators
Godiva Sisters (festival) at Coventry ruins

Apart from the juxtaposition of the old and new there is also an incredible mixture of people who have chosen to live in Coventry. Currently,  there are 100 languages spoken in Coventry: it is a truly multicultural city. it also has two universities and at least three FE colleges, bringing many  students. There is an abundance of student accomodation, catering for different needs.

Coventry gems

Coventry Cathedral

Known as a World Centre for Reconciliation, a dynamic centre of worship and mission, a place of pilgrimage, liturgical creativity, healing; a focus for reconciliation locally, nationally and internationally; education and the arts; a venue for national services and television and radio broadcasts; a focal point for the City, the Diocese and even for the world.

Coventry Cathedral charges for admission to the ‘New’ Cathedral. Charges do not apply on Sundays, nor during the week if your main purpose in coming to the Cathedral is to pray.

Charges are £8.00 per adult, with concessions for children, students, senior citizens and family groups.

 

The Cathedral Ruins – Please Note: accessible via narrow cobbled streets. Access through side ramp off Priory Street opposite Coventry University or via St Michael’s Avenue from the City Centre.(Cathedral access details are given at cathedral website)

Coventry ruins

Coventry Tourist Information Centre is based at St Michaels Tower, however it is not very accessible, cramped inside and across cobbled paths.

     New Herbert  

Herbert Museum and Art Gallery – an excellent centre for information about  Coventry, with a good exhibition on Lady Godiva for children. Recent renovations and refurbishment means the Herbert Museum provides greataccess for disabled people. The Herbert is also a good place to take the whole family – with dinosaurs for the children to history and archives for the family’s budding researcher.

Herbert Café is operated by Signatures Cafes and Restaurants. You can get hot and cold drinks, hot meals and sandwiches during museum opening hours. When the weather is good, there is an outside patio terrace, which is also accessible.

Great place for residents and visitors alike – Coventry Retail Market – is situated right in the city centre. Great for picking up fruit and veg and small bargains

Coventry Market has a rich history resulting in a market being on this site since 1958. This has always been a market at the forefront of the market industry. The managers and support staff have a wealth of experience and enthusiasm, which maintains Coventry Market as one of the most successful in the country; indeed we were the National Association of British Market Authorities’ Indoor Market of the Year for 2007 and Britain’s favourite Market in 2010.

flower stall coventr market  pumpkins at coventry market 

 Transport Museum

Another top attraction for the whole family,  even if they’re not car enthusiasts. Situated next to Pool Meadow Bus station and its free!

Museum access information.

    antique car at transport museum

Coventry has had over 300 cycle makers, 120 motorcycle makers and 130 car and commercial vehicle builders, coach makers and component manufacturers. You can discover this unique heritage through the world class collection at the museum, designated by the government as nationally important and you also get the chance to indulge in a little nostalgia along the way.

As accessibility goes, it is easy to follow the exhibits. It’s not quite so easy to locate the lifts to get down again! The cafe, Esquires Coffee House is at the entrance and is a good place for a hot drink and a light snack.

Landmarks in Coventry

Coventry is not a very big city. Everything is within walking distance. In the city centre, Broadgate, there is the Lady Godiva statue in the new Square. It also leads to the Precincts and West Orchards the main shopping centre. The whole area is level and easy to access for wheelchair users but people with visual impairments are not entirely happy with the design of the new Square.

    

There is also medieval Spon Street, with Tudor aged buildings, well worth a stroll and if you feel like walking further, consider visiting the Canal Basin. Access can be problematic for some it is through a pedestrain bridge with a steep ramp. However, there are plans to make a better passage way.

Definitely not as bustling as Birmingham’s Brindley Place, but nevertheless it holds its own charm.

Below we suggest a selected itinerary for visitors to Coventry, all chosen for ease of access. Coventry is a small city enclosed by a ring road, meaning everything is within walking distance. It is relatively flat and pavements were recently relayed and renovated for the Olympics. Expect cobbled streets around the cathedral and St Mary’s Guildhall.

On your arrival in Coventry consider:

Parking and public toilets in Coventry Map

Coventry City Bus Map (pdf)

Coventry Train station with station plan (hover with cursor for images)

For the City of Coventry stadium  heres the map

Accessible taxis – Central Taxis 024 7733 3333

Visitors with mobility issues might want to start with the Shopmobility unit  which is located on the ground floor of Barracks car park, directly behind the Upper Precinct, at the rear of BHS. This is a scooter, wheelchair lending provision for people with mobility issues. Opening hours are 8.45am – 4.30pm Monday to Saturday. Barracks Car Park, Upper Precinct, Coventry, CV1 1DD Telephone: 024 7683 2020.

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