The West Midlands are such an exciting place to visit. Whether you’re a fan of nature or busy cities, there are amazing day trips from Coventry to suit every taste. Set out this weekend and discover something new – I’m sure you won’t regret it! So without further ado, here are 7 fun day trips from Coventry you need to go on.
This article is written by Faraway Lucy writer, Mitoshka Alkova.
1. Royal Leamington Spa
How long does it take to get there? 19-minute drive
Royal Leamington Spa needs no introduction. It is often described as ‘the best bits of London all in a 10-minute walk’ and this is no exaggeration. With wide boulevards covered in boutiques, tiny coffee shops and amazing restaurants, you can spend hours just picking where to dine after your shopping trip. If you’re in the mood for something exciting, visit Kayal which serves South Indian cuisine and the largest poppadoms you have ever seen!
Victoria Park in Royal Leamington Spa
Victoria Park is a sight to see. With its large ornate gates, you are transported into a peaceful retreat which looks like something from a Victorian picture book. With intricate flower displays all year round, a pond full of wildlife and large willow trees, a walk here is nothing short of romantic.
The small botanical garden is the perfect place for a zen retreat. Butterflies and large fish will take your breath away as you move through the jungle and notice all the colourful and strange plants from all over the world. Bring a book or notebook and find one of the hidden benches to really immerse yourself in the peace and silence.
If this wasn’t enough, you can take a canoe or small boat to enjoy the serenity of the River Avon. The boat hire is hidden just behind the playground which you can reach through the large bridge. Take a moment to stop here and notice the fish below!
Leamington Spa Gallery
The Leamington Spa Gallery hosts a lovely exhibition of art and local history. This is where you can also see what the Spa would have looked like, with its beautiful mosaic and benches. Give it a quick visit and enjoy some quiet time amongst some lovely art.
How long does it take to get there? 30-minute drive
If you’re in the mood for a big city experience, Birmingham will fully satisfy your needs. Enjoy hours in the busy Bullring Shopping Centre where you’ll find everything you could ever want, including delicious goodies such as fresh pretzels and overwhelmingly sweet churros! The busy shopping street is always covered in street performers. From musicians to magicians you’ll always have someone to entertain you.
Museums in Birmingham
But Birmingham isn’t just shopping! The Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is free and packed full of a large collection of fine art, ceramics, metalwork, jewellery, natural history, archaeology, ethnography, local history and industrial history. They also serve some of the best scones in the area in their beautiful café.
Hidden away in the Canal District, the contemporary Ikon Gallery is also worth a visit. Here you can find sculpture, photography and contemporary art. Check their website to see what exhibitions they have on before you visit.
Take long walks by the canal and even have lunch on a canal boat! In the Canal District, you’ll find independent pubs and restaurants that you can enjoy the view from. The National SEA LIFE Centre is also hidden here if you want to pay it a visit.
Just a short drive away you’ll discover Cadbury World, one of the most fun things to do in Birmingham. Learn about the origin of the cocoa bean, ride the Crunchie Rollercoaster, and immerse yourself in chocolate seas as you eye up the large pools of molten Dairy Milk. It’s a fun place for all ages and certainly the most delicious place in the West Midlands. If you visit on your birthday, you’ll even be handed two chocolates on your way in. You’re welcome!
How long does it take to get there? 25-minute drive
If you fancy travelling back in time, this is one of the best day trips from Coventry for you. The Tudor world of Stratford-upon-Avon is home to not only Shakespeare’s birthplace but also pubs, restaurants and countless buildings that seem stuck in time.
Shakespeare’s Birthplace and the Royal Shakespeare Company
At Shakespeare’s Birthplace, you’ll notice the large pen plaque right above Shakespeare’s doorstep. Take a moment to notice the low ceilings and windows as you enter the house of one of the greatest British poets and playwrights.
Stratford is also proud to be home to the Royal Shakespeare Company where you can catch amazing performances of Shakespeare’s masterpieces. You’ll also find Shakespeare’s house-tuned-museum here that will transport you to his world. Street performers and actors cover the streets in summer and will give you a taste of his genius.
Shopping in Stratford-upon-Avon
Directly opposite Shakespeare’s Birthplace, you’ll notice the smell of cinnamon. There’s a permanent Christmas shop here which is a fulltime winter wonderland! Take a peek into the crystal and snow-covered shop and stock up on Christmas essentials all year round.
If wizardry is your thing, you’ll discover countless potion and wizardry themed shops on the street home to Shakespeare’s house. From a dedicated Harry Potter shop to a narrow dark potion and crystal boutique, you can spend hours daydreaming about living in the magical world of Harry Potter.
Walks in Stratford-upon-Avon
Take a walk along the river Avon and be greeted by hungry swans and small boats. This is the perfect place to have a picnic or read on one of the hundreds of hidden benches. Whichever side of the Avon you pick to explore, the river won’t disappoint you with its beauty and peace.
You can even visit the Butterfly Farm here on a less sunny day which will soon see you covered in butterflies from all over the world. It’s the perfect place to visit for all ages and it will truly help you appreciate the magical world of nature!
How long does it take to get there? 10-minute drive
The small market town of Kennilworth is situated only 6 miles from Coventry, making it one of the shorter day trips from Coventry. A trip to Kenilworth is incomplete without a visit to Kenilworth Castle. A part of the English Heritage, the castle is an exciting medieval fortress with beautiful Elizabethan gardens. The ruins of the Castle are a great place to explore, with loads of tiny narrow paths.
Marvel at the scale of the Castle and take lots of photos of all the different shapes and colours of the stone. The Gardens are always elegantly displayed with flowers and a birdhouse which offer multiple hidden spots for talking and reading. Enjoy the cakes and entertainment at the barn too, where you can rest up before going back out to explore all over again!
Shopping in Kenilworth
Kenilworth also offers countless little boutiques and charity shops dotted around the centre. With cute coffee shops and tea rooms, you’ll never be far away from your next pit-stop. Explore multiple green areas where you can spend time with pets or simply relax before returning to busy city life.
How long does it take to get there? 15-minute drive
Visited by thousands of international tourists every year, Warwick Castle is another breathtaking castle and one of my favourite day trips from Coventry. The medieval castle was built by William the Conqueror in 1068 and is still perfectly preserved. Home to many Tussauds wax figures that exhibit what life was like back then, the castle fully takes you back in time. From the stables to the drawing-room, you will smell, hear and taste a world that is far from the life we lead today.
Enjoy the gardens, the River Avon and the spectacular views as you enjoy entertainment from the medieval battles or simply take a stroll and forget about the modern world. Just make sure you book tickets beforehand to avoid the queue!
A local secret is the tiny Mill garden down the side street of the castle. You won’t miss its steep slopes and picturesque thatched-roof houses on both sides. At the end of the street, you’ll find the little Mill garden owned by a small family. It’s definitely worth a visit.
Dining and walking in Warwick
Warwick Castle isn’t the only attraction in Warwick; the town is worth a visit in its own right! As you wander through the beautifully paved and coloured Warwick streets, you’ll notice the low ceiling cafes and pubs. Definitely visit one of the tea rooms to enjoy a classic cream tea and take in the architecture. There’s always a market somewhere so have a mooch around to see what you come across.
After having a bite to eat, I’d recommend visiting some of the town’s parks as not only do they provide a great spot to relax but they also boast amazing views of the River Avon and Warwick Castle from afar. If you’re visiting in summer, keep an eye out for the Outdoor Cinema Nights that happen here. You might be able to enjoy a classic movie with the castle in full view!
How long does it take to get there? 17-minute drive
Wanting to abandon civilization altogether? Hatton is the place for you. Park up and take a day-long stroll along the canal to completely detach from the world. You’ll find 21 locks on the Grand Union Canal, connecting Birmingham to London.
You can spend hours observing the canal boat owners navigate themselves from one lock to another and marvel at the stroke of genius that made this clever system. Everyone is so friendly here and will gladly have a conversation about their travels with you. You might even be lucky enough to offer them a helping hand and see firsthand how everything works!
Lunch in Hatton
Take your lunch break at the independent Hatton Locks Café and if you’re overwhelmed by choice go for the Ploughman’s lunch. You won’t regret it! Enjoy your nibbles by the canal and count how many canal boats pass through.
Hatton Adventure World
Hatton is the perfect relaxing getaway, but if you’re after something more exciting, Hatton Adventure World is just around the corner. You can meet animals, enjoy farm attractions or take a stroll through the Victorian-style shopping street with countless specialist shops and little boutiques! Anticipate animal feeding, playgrounds and all-day fun here.
How long does it take to get there? 36-minute
Even though it’s a little further away, Leicester is still one of the best day trips from Coventry. Home of the 2012 ‘King under the car park’ Richard III, there’s a lot to see here.
Leicester Cathedral is what the city is known for and it is absolutely stunning. You can spend hours walking around it, studying the intricate design and stonework. The Gothic style will take your breath away and is a sight to see at night time too. Take a tour inside and visit the burial place if you have time.
Want to visit the largest outdoor market in Europe? Leicester can check that off your bucket list! Leicester Market has sat in the town centre, near the clock tower, for over 700 years. With more than 270 stalls in summer, visit on a Saturday to find fruit, veg, clothes, jewellery and more. It’s the perfect place to immerse with the locals, spend time with friends and try some goodies.
If you’ve had enough of city life, this park offers the perfect getaway, with its miniature railway, café and boat hire! The river Soar is the perfect place to relax, and the romantic bridge is a great spot to take photos and pretend you’re from a different time. Bring a book and your pet for a perfect afternoon.
The National Space Centre
Visit the National Space Centre museum on a rainy day. Inside you’ll discover rockets, exhibition galleries and the largest planetarium in the UK! It’s also the only place in the world to house upright space rockets indoors. There is so much to see here, and you won’t notice the time pass as you learn more about space.
So there you have it: 7 amazing day trips from Coventry you need to go on. All of these places are pet friendly (though Birmingham might be a little busy for your dog’s liking!) so bring them along for a great day out!