Planning your visit
Address: Coventry Canal Basin, St Nicholas Street, Coventry CV1 4LY View on Google map
Toilets: There are public toilets a short walk from the basin
Coventry Canal Basin has plenty to offer for a family day out, from waterside wildlife to relaxing walks and historic canal architecture. Situated in the heart of the city, it marks the start of the Coventry Canal.
The great canal engineer, James Brindley, designed the Coventry Canal in 1768. The work on the canal started in Longford and worked in both directions, reaching the basin in 1769.
The basin has witnessed many fascinating changes over the years. It used to serve as an important industrial hub for the North Warwickshire collieries. Goods were loaded and unloaded here and then bound towards the Midlands via the Trent & Mersey Canal, or the Oxford Canal towards London. But as the use of the canal for transportation of goods declined throughout the 20th century, mainly due to the closure of the collieries, by the 1950s the basin had fallen into dereliction.
The City Council was considering closing and draining the canal but in 1957 the Coventry Canal Society was established with the aim of saving the canal and promoting its use and maintenance. The society’s efforts over the last 60 years, in partnership with the City Council, British Waterways, and Canal & River Trust, has seen the canal become an important leisure and environmental resource for Coventry.
Days out in Coventry
No longer filled with the hustle and bustle of the industrial era, the basin is a place where you can relax, have a drink and enjoy a view of the remnants of the past such as the historic Draper’s Field Bridge. Or you can walk along the lush five and a half mile canal stretch, enjoying the local wildlife and unwinding by water.
Places to eat:
Look out for the resident ducks and swans - just make sure you feed them something healthy.
By car - there's pay and display parking on the road close to the basin.