Moving to Coventry
Coventry is an historic city in the centre of England.
Moving to Coventry from within Europe is usually by road and from further afield usually by sea, with more urgent items coming by air freight. Further details of the various shipping options can be viewed in our shipping guidance.
Earl Leofric of Mercia and his wife Lady Godiva founded a Benedictine monastery in 1043, and in time a market was established at the abbey gates which grew to become Coventry. The legendary Lady Godiva is supposed to have ridden through the city naked on horseback in protest at the high taxes levied by her husband. The residents were commanded to look away as she rode past. One man, known as Peeping Tom, did not and was allegedly struck blind.
Throughout the middle ages Coventry was at the centre of the cloth trade and one of the largest and most important cities in England. In the twentieth century it became a major centre of the British car industry. Coventry was the subject of a devastating bombing raid by the Germans on 14 November 1940 which destroyed much of the historic city centre and the cathedral, as well as around three-quarters of the city’s industrial plants.
Post-war reconstruction led to a manufacturing boom, but in recent years the city has moved towards finance, research and development, and the creative industries, although the famous London black cabs are still produced in Coventry and the headquarters of Jaguar Cars is in the city.
The spire of the ruined cathedral of St Michael’s stands majestically in the heart of Coventry city centre. The ruins are known as the Old Cathedral. Its modern successor, the hugely popular New Cathedral, was consecrated in 1962. Other popular visitor attractions include Coventry Transport Museum, which has the world’s biggest collection of British-made road vehicles, the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, and St Mary’s Guildhall, which miraculously survived the bombing of Coventry in 1940 and stands as a monument to the medieval city’s wealth and power. Much of that wealth was based on cloth, and The Weaver’s House has been restored to show how a weaver’s home would have looked in 1540.
Within easy reach of the city, Bosworth Battlefield Visitor Centre and Country Park will tell you all you need to know about the Battle of Bosworth, where Richard III died in 1485. Compton Verney is a Robert Adam mansion set in 120 acres of landscaped parkland created Capability Brown, housing a magnificent collection of art from around the world.
Amenities and Entertainment
Coventry has an impressive selection of markets, precincts and shopping centres, including Lower Precinct and West Orchards, with an eclectic mix of shops from high street favourites to designer boutiques and independent retailers. The city also has a multitude of restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars where you can enjoy all kinds of food and drink, from fine cuisine to takeaways. The Belgrade Theatre is a major arts and cultural facility that hosts professional touring productions, and there is a range of music events in the city including the Coventry Jazz Festival and the Godiva Festival.
The Ricoh Arena is home to Football League club Coventry City Football Club and Wasps Rugby Club. One of rugby’s leading clubs, Wasps relocated to Coventry in 2014 and play in the English Premiership. The Ricoh Arena also hosts major pop concerts.
Coventry has excellent road, rail and air links to the rest of the country.
- Coventry railway stations runs services to London Euston and to Birmingham New Street. The journey time to London is around one and a half hours, that to Birmingham a little under half an hour.
- Coventry Airport is mainly used for flight training, by cargo carriers, and by business aircraft. Birmingham International Airport, which handles some 11 million passengers every year and offers domestic and international flights, is just eleven miles from Coventry.
- The M6 motorway passes just to the north of Coventry, giving easy access to Birmingham and the north-west, and to London or Leeds via the M1. The M40 to the south of the city is an alternative route into London. The M69 connects Coventry directly to Leicester.