Living in Coventry
I think it’s safe to say Coventry has a bit of a bad rep with Warwick students. When I was a first-year looking for houses, I had every second-year, group chat, and Facebook post telling us not to look at Coventry. I ignored it and decided to look in all the local areas to find something that fit me and my friends, since everyone wants something different out of their accommodation.
I ended up living in Coventry. I’ve been here about a month and I honestly love it so much! So I thought I would highlight some of the great things about Coventry that maybe aren’t talked about as much, since it helps to make a fully informed decision.
This is a HUGE benefit to living in Coventry, I have found it to be so much more convenient that other places. It’s close enough to campus (15-20 minute bus ride), you can walk straight into the city centre which has loads of shops in it, you can travel out of Coventry from the Rail Station or the Coach Station.
If convenience is important to you (basically, if you’re lazy like me and prefer the extra 20 minutes sleep on a morning, or want to be able to access shops, restaurants, pubs etc. really easily), Coventry is great for that.
(2) Student Vibe
I feel like Coventry has definitely got more of a student vibe… because it’s filled with Coventry and Warwick students! When walking around Coventry, you will always see students, shopping or eating or studying in cafes. It’s nice because it feels more like you’re on a city campus, but you also get the experience of going to Warwick campus for studying. It’s the best of both worlds!
(3) City Centre
Coventry City Centre is essentially the shops, restaurants and outlets within the Ring Road (the big yellow circle on the map that says Coventry inside!). There’s Lower Precinct Shopping Centre, and then in Upper Precinct, there is West Orchards Shopping Centre. Both of these have retail outlets and places to get food. In addition to this, there are loads of places to eat / shop right in the centre, Broadgate. My favourite places to go are Zizzi, Nandos, Wetherspoons (we have 3 in Coventry City Centre), Costa, Starbucks, Greggs!
There are also clubs of course, but most of these are closed / operating as bars during the COVID pandemic.
(4) Accommodation Options / Costs
Since Coventry is a university city, there are loads of options for places to live! There are tons of private uni accommodations (like the one I’m in), as well as houses if that’s what you’re looking for. It’s also often cheaper to live in Coventry since it’s not considered as ‘luxurious’ as Leamington Spa, for example.
For reference, I am in a studio flat (double bed, ensuite, private kitchen – 8 minutes walk from city centre) for £135 a week (43-week contract). Also, the private uni accommodation feels really safe since it’s gated access (one of the reasons students say not to live in Coventry is the higher crime rates since it’s a big city) and it adds to the student vibe and you have opportunity to make more friends!
As I mentioned already, it’s close to campus and you can take a quick bus to get there. You can also get a bus to Cannon Park if you specifically want ALDI since there isn’t one in the city centre.
When travel is not restricted, it’s really easy to get to other places from Coventry. I go home (Milton Keynes) on either train or coach for £7-15 depending on days / time. You can get into London quickly and for cheap too (off-peak ticket is around £7). You can get to Birmingham via train or coach too. I’ve even taken coaches from Coventry straight to London Heathrow Airport to catch a flight. It’s super convenient!