Coventry’s Hidden Gems
During the lockdown, we are very much missing welcoming visitors to our little medieval house and sharing its history. Our visitors often describe the house as a “hidden gem”, which they are delighted to discover, sometimes having passed close by for years without realising what is inside.
We are also missing enjoying the other wonderful places to explore and enjoy in Coventry. Whilst we are in lockdown, we thought we would highlight some of these great places – celebrate memories and look forward to at some point being able to visit again.
To begin with, we’ve chosen five other places we think of as being or containing ‘hidden gems’:
- Lanchester Interactive Archive. This fascinating space presents the legacy of engineering genius Frederick Lanchester. Delve into the archive and see blueprints, sketchbooks, notes and correspondence. You can use augmented reality steering wheels to bring it all to life and even sit in a Lanchester car! The archive is inside Frederick Lanchester Library on Gosford Street, so when it is possible to visit again, you’ll need to sign it at their reception desk first, you can find full details here. In the meantime, there is plenty to look at online.
- Quarry Gardens, Russell’s Garden Centre. There’s already lots to enjoy on site including a truly great cafe, light railway, and the garden centre itself, but it is easy to miss the entrance to the Quarry Gardens, a beautiful landscaped area, river walk and maze. A true secret garden, at the moment you can visit it virtually with this walkthrough video:
- ‘Doom’ Painting, Holy Trinity Church. A building with an impressive history, dating back to the twelfth century, if you have never had the chance to visit, it’s definitely one for the must-do list. The guides are friendly and extremely knowledgeable, there is a children’s trail and lots of interesting details, including the astonishing ‘Coventry Doom‘ which was painted before The Weaver’s House was built! The years had taken their toll on the painting, but it was spectacularly restored in 2004. Whilst the church is closed, you can take a 360 tour here.
- St John’s Church, Spon Street. We’ve looked in detail before at some of the many intriguing features of this historic church. It repays a return visit as you are certain to notice something new each time, and be certain to ask one of the guides to point out some of the details such as a window that looks onto a blank wall and a door covered with ‘Green Men’. Definitely one to visit after the lockdown, as hidden away from view is a newer built area which houses the tearoom, open on selected days. It’s easy to forget that you are right in the heart of the city centre, when this is the view:
- Sculpture Trail, University of Warwick campus. More ‘hidden in plain sight’ this one, as the sculptures are dotted all around the campus landscape. Whether you wander randomly or pick up a trail map to follow and find out more about each artwork, there is plenty to explore when the campus reopens to visitors. You can find out more about the sculptures here.
So, there’s our first batch of hidden gems! We would love to hear about your hidden gems for when we can go exploring again. Please share your ideas with us.