Great accessible UK weekend breaks: Coventry
21st February 2019
From learning about the legend of Lady Godiva to visiting family-friendly museums, there is so much to do in Coventry, and this is why it’s a great destination for a weekend break.
The future for Coventry looks bright as it will become the European City of Sport in 2019 and the UK City of Culture in 2021, demonstrating just how the city offers something for everyone with its rich history and an abundance of culture and arts.
Coventry is a very accessible city to visit and for those with mobility problems who use stairlifts at home, it is easy to get around, especially as the city was the first in the country to roll out the assist-Mi app scheme. This allows people with disabilities to communicate their specific needs before arriving at a wide range of destinations and has seen people describe Coventry as the UK’s most accessible city.
Here you can see how you can travel to Coventry as well as the best attractions and most accessible restaurants and tours you can visit and go on during your break away.
How to get to Coventry
Travelling to Coventry by rail
Being on the West Coast Main Line means the city is linked to lots of major towns and cities with trains operating every 30 minutes to London, which is just over an hour away. There are also local trains linking the city to Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwick, Royal Leamington Spa and Rugby.
Travelling to Coventry by road
Driving to Coventry by road could not be easier as it has easy access to the M6, M6 Toll, M40, M42, M5, M69 and the A45. You can also travel to Birmingham by car in just 20-minutes.
Travelling by air
Birmingham Airport is the nearest airport for Coventry and the Birmingham International train station offers you a quick and direct route to Coventry train station.
Best accessible attractions to visit
Coventry has lots of great attractions to visit and here are three accessible places you can head to.
Coventry Transport Museum
If you want to know what it's like driving the fastest car in the world, then you should head to Coventry Transport Museum, which is the city’s most visited attraction.
The Coventry Transport Museum houses the largest publicly owned collection of British vehicles in the world and tells the story of Coventry through the rise and fall of its biggest industry. It’s full of displays, interactive features and thousands of exciting exhibits. Visitors can expect a world-class museum experience. The collection includes the record-breaking Thrust2 and ThrustSSC, the oldest Coventry-built car; and many of the most innovative and memorable vehicles of the last 150 years.
The Transport Museum does not only display objects from its extensive automobilia, archival & photography collections, but is also showcasing future technology, creating immersive experiences, art installations, and so much more! The museum offers activities ranging from engineering challenges to scientific experiments. Embark on journeys of adventure and discovery for the whole family.
The museum is accessible to all, providing ramps, elevators, interactive objects and experiences, as well as disabled bathrooms throughout.
Herbert Art Gallery
The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum is the perfect place to delve into Coventry’s history and engage with art and culture.
Investigate the natural world, modern art, and the Old Masters. Wander through dazzling interactive displays and enjoy the latest exhibitions while admiring the building’s unique architecture.
As well as the art gallery’s ever-changing displays, the Herbert offers a wide range of detailed talks, fantastic events and inventive workshops for adults and families.
A spokesperson from the museum, says: “Our permanent galleries range from the Visual Arts, to Social and Industrial History, Archaeology and Natural History, there is something for every visitor. The Herbert is also home to Coventry Archives, the city’s destination for historical documents, photographs, maps and archival materials”
The Herbert is accessible to all, providing ramps, elevators, interactive objects and experiences, as well as disabled bathrooms throughout.
The Coventry Music Museum
Coventry famously gave two-tone music to the world and as a result, helped bands like The Selecter, The Specials and Madness go onto greatness.
At the Coventry Music Museum visitors can find out about the musical heritage in the city including 50s Rock N’ Roll, the 60s Beat scene and more modern music to have come from the city.
The museum has wheelchair access with a stairlift, but those with mobility problems are advised to ring ahead if you wish to use this. The museum also has disabled toilets for visitors.
Best restaurants in Coventry
The city’s culinary scene is varied as you can eat around the world and try something different. Here are some of the most popular and most accessible eateries.
Thai Blue Orchid Restaurant & Bar
A hugely popular restaurant in Coventry is the Thai Blue Orchid Restaurant & Bar as you can enjoy incredible food at great prices
The authentic Indian and Thai restaurant sees diners enjoying stunning views whilst enjoying traditional curries, Thai noodles, Kha Nom, Goong Talai and other popular dishes like madras, vindaloo, Thai green curry and Thai jungle style curries.
The restaurant is wheelchair accessible with disabled toilets and lots of seating available. There is also validated parking on offer so those with mobility problems don’t have to walk too far.
The Old Crown
The Old Crown in Coventry is located in a really cosy tavern and offers homestyle pub grub, including weekly carveries and daily specials.
The food is home cooked, and the Old Crown is dedicated to serving the highest quality food to its customers. Popular dishes include the mouth-watering mixed grills, cod and chips, burgers and lasagne. Visitors can also take advantage of great offers such as two courses for £7 and three courses for £9.
The pub also caters for visitors with mobility problems as it is wheelchair accessible and has a large seating area for diners. Another great feature of the pub is the fact it is just over three-miles away from the centre of Coventry.
The Squirrel in Coventry boasts a relaxed and elegant atmosphere where you can enjoy top-quality food and drinks.
There is a vast range of premium drinks on offer from lagers and ciders to ales and fine wines, which put alongside the stylish décor makes the pub a great place to enjoy some downtime during your weekend break.
In terms of the top-quality food, you can enjoy wraps and ciabattas, burgers, pasta and salads, curries, beef chilli nachos, hot dogs and all the other traditional pub foods you can think of.
Wheelchair users and others with walking impairments can access the pub via ramps and slopes and there is a mobility impaired walker seat available to use as well.
Best accessible tours
Coventry is home to lots of accessible tours that visitors with mobility issues can go on and below are the ones most highly recommended.
Tour Coventry Cathedral
To really get an insight into Coventry Cathedral, which is a must-see attraction, you need to go on a tour of the 20th Century building.
A guided tour is the best way to really appreciate the cathedral’s ‘casket of jewels’ and the knowledgeable guides will lead groups through the ruins, the blitz and the building of the new cathedral.
Tours generally last around an hour and on top of the architecture you will learn about the art being displayed in the building, the artists and the iconic story of Lady Godiva, the noblewoman who rode through the streets of Coventry naked to decrease the taxation her husband imposed on his tenants.
Some areas of the new cathedral can only be accessed via steps and are not accessible to wheelchair users. However, there are a small number of wheelchairs and walking frames available to use for free during your visit. There are ramps leading to the old cathedral and there are accessible toilets available at the Cloisters Café, which is on the site of the new and old cathedrals.
Blue Badge Guided Tours
If you really want to explore this city, then this is a great way to see it.
Although Coventry is a modern city, it has an ancient heart and as well as learning about Lady Godiva you will get an insight into its medieval past and see a 15th-century Domesday painting during the Blue Badge Guided Tours.
There are walking tours available and for those with mobility problems, there are coach tours on offer as well.
These private tours need to be pre-booked as Roger Bailey, a full-time tour guide, does not offer public guided tours.
Look around Arbury Hall
Arbury Hall and Gardens has been the seat of the Newdigate family for over 400 years with the beautiful Elizabethan house becoming one of the finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture in the country.
There are lots of private group tours on offer from April to September and visitors can explore the mansion house and the landscaped gardens and parkland. You’ll be able to see the splendour of the stunning fan vaulted ceilings, the historic rooms and can stop-off for some refreshments at The Stable Tea Rooms.
The gardens at Arbury Estate, especially the ones in close vicinity of the hall, are accessible in a wheelchair and the ground floor of the hall is also accessible to visitors with mobility problems as there are ramps at the entrance allowing access.
Explore an iconic microbrewery in Coventry
The Twisted Barrel Ale is a microbrewery based in the Creative Quarter of Coventry, FarGo Village. They brew a wide range of beers on site, and also stock local Hogans cider, wine spirits, soft drinks, cocktails, alcohol and gluten-free beers and ciders and more.
Ritchie Bosworth from Twisted Barrell talks about the accessibility of the attraction, “Twisted Barrel is fully accessible for anyone with mobility problems. We have a ramped entrance, wide gangways, large disabled toilet and ambulant toilet too for anyone with mobility issues.”
Twisted Barrel Ale is open Wednesday to Sunday from 2-10pm, with extended hours on Friday/Saturday from 12-12.
Visit a book farm
With more than 75,000 books, Astley Book Farm is a haven for literature lovers and is a great attraction to head to for those of you with grandchildren.
There are rare and out-of-print books, fiction and non-fiction as well as children's books you can read. New books are added daily so if you have visited before you can guarantee there will be new publications you can browse through.
There is a coffee shop on site that is home to a log burner so visitors can enjoy ground cappuccinos and cream teas while cosying up to the fire.
The book farm is accessible to visitors with mobility problems and inside wheelchair users will be able to move around freely.
Astley Book Farm is just 8 miles from Coventry and is open every day from 10am-5pm.
To discover more great accessible breaks, make sure to take a look at other weekend guides, including an accessible weekend break in Sheffield.
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.