Dominated today by its twin spires and identikit tower blocks, Coventry was once a bustling hub for the production of cloth, clocks, bicycles, automobiles and munitions. It was this last industry that drew the German Luftwaffe in WWII: on the night of 14 November 1940, the city was so badly blitzed that the Nazis coined a new verb, 'coventrieren', meaning 'to flatten'. Postwar planners filled in the gaps with dull concrete developments, and the city faced a further setback with the collapse of the British motor industry in the 1980s.
A handful of medieval streets escaped the bombers, offering a taste of old Coventry. Must-sees are the outstanding motoring museum (especially if you have kids in tow), and the dramatic modernist cathedral, rising alongside the sublime ruins of its bombed-out predecessor.