With a population of over 300,000, Coventry is the biggest urban area near campus. It is the second most popular location for accommodation, though Leamington is still by far the most popular. Just a 20-minute bus ride on bus number 12, the city offers a bigger range of shops than Leamington, all located within the city centre.
In aesthetic terms the city is the polar opposite of Leamington; rather than grandly displaying its royal spa-town architecture, Coventry is a city which has had to re-develop following its heavy bombing in the Second World War. The city boasts three cathedrals, of which the aptly named and stunning Coventry Cathedral is the most popular amongst tourists. In 2012 it will be celebrating it’s 50th birthday so there will be many exhibitions and celebrations worth attending. The cathedral also hosts several concerts throughout the year for those of you who are interested in classical music.
Discover the home of the British motor trade with a visit to the Transport Museum, dip into historic beauty in the Priory Gardens, or take advantage of the shopping experience in one of the centre’s many malls. A short excursion out of the city will take you to Coombe Country Park, a great location for exploring the British countryside. Kasbah offers the pick of Coventry’s nightlife.
The Odeon Cinema is in the famous Skydome in Coventry. If Orange is the network-provider for your mobile phone, you can text “film” to 241 on Wednesdays and get two tickets for the price of one! In the same building you can go ice-skating at Planet Ice too. This is where Warwick’s Ice Hockey team trains and the annual Varsity match is played here; hundreds of students go and support the Warwick Wolves every year.
Coventry also hosts a range of galleries, museums and other attractions, which are listed in detail here. No matter what your interest is, Coventry is bound to have some kind of attraction which will suit you.
Living Quarters in Coventry
Situated neatly between Canley and Coventry city centre, Earlsdon homes a substantial amount of Warwick students. Students tend to choose Earlsdon for convenience rather than social life, although it’s been known to home some excellent house parties! Hearsall Common provides a large open space to host football matches or barbecues in the summer.
Earlsdon Street is the main high street which offers a string of shops but if you’re looking for a hive of activity it’s probably best to stick to Leamington or Coventry.
Canley is the area of Coventry where the University is situated and is where many final year and PhD students choose to live due to its proximity to campus. We’ll be honest – there’s practically nothing to do or see in Canley, although the main supermarket for students, Tesco, is situated there. Canley train station, which is about 20 minutes walk from campus, is often the cheapest way to get to Birmingham with return tickets often costing just £2, so the area does at least have one other advantage!
NB: many Erasmus students also live in Liberty Park, a halls of residence situated in Coventry.