A Fam Trip to Coventry

Photo © Stuart Render

Tour operator and organiser Harry Shaw Group Travel held a Familiarisation Trip to Coventry – UK City of Culture in June – one of the first after lockdown. This was hailed as a great success by all involved.

The three-day trip from 21st to 23rd June, staying at Coombe Abbey Hotel, gave GTOs the opportunity to discover how the city has prepared for its year in the UK City of Culture spotlight, and that Coventry has far more to offer beyond its rightly famed Cathedrals and Transport Museum.

A full itinerary saw GTOs enjoy special access to two pre-opening ‘hard-hat’ tours, one to The Charterhouse, a 14th-century former Carthusian monastery that’s due to open at the end of the year after a major renovation. Groups will be able to see the building’s fascinating timeline. The highlight of a visit looks set to be three original 14th-century wall paintings, one of which depicts the crucifixion.

The other tour was to another of Coventry’s hidden gems St Mary’s Guildhall. Built in 1342, the building boasts a truly impressive Guild Hall. Currently undergoing renovation and restoration, it looks set to be as popular as the cathedral when it opens – one not to be missed!

Under the watchful eye of Blue Badge tour guide Roger Bailey throughout, the group also had the opportunity to visit the imposing Coventry Cathedral which included an impromptu welcome from the Dean of Coventry!

Coventry Transport Museum is probably the second most visited of all of Coventry’s attractions. The first modern bicycle was made in Coventry, with the city becoming the manufacturing hub for motor car production.

Photo © Stuart Render

The group’s last visit was to the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, where the Turner Prize 2021 will exhibit the competition’s four shortlisted artists from 29th September to 12th January 2022.

Our group stayed on the outskirts of Coventry at the impressive Coombe Abbey Hotel, a 12th-century building with 121 ‘bedchambers’.

On the first evening of the fam trip, dinner was hosted by the Telegraph Hotel in the city centre. Opened in April this year, this contemporary 88-room hotel is in the building formerly known as Coventry Evening Telegraph, a great alternative centrally located hotel from where to explore the city on foot.

Ian Pearson, of Harry Shaw Group Travel, is pleased at how the trip went.

“We were delighted with the support given to the trip by the GTOs who attended and extremely grateful to Visit Coventry and all those who helped to showcase that Coventry can be more than just a day trip! I’ve already had several GTOs wanting to discuss prices and itineraries for a visit.”

For more information about taking a group to Coventry, please contact Ian Pearson at Harry Shaw Group Travel (ABTA protected) – ian@harryshaw.co.uk

Grounds of Coombe Abbey Hotel. Photo © Stuart Render

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