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Coventry Derby Train

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About Coventry

The city of Coventry is in the county of the West Midlands in England and is the 10th largest city in England and the 13th largest in the United Kingdom. The city is roughly 100 miles to the north west of London and 20 miles to the south east of Birmingham. It is also the furthest from the coast than any other city in the United Kingdom.

One of Coventry's landmarks, its cathedral buildings which were built in 1962, is one of the newest in the UK following the destruction of the 14th century cathedral of Saint Michael by the German Luftwaffe in 1940. The spire of the ruined cathedral forms one of the "three spires" which have dominated the city skyline since the 14th century, the others being those of Christ Church (of which only the spire survives) and Holy Trinity Church (which is still in use).

The city has two universities: Coventry University which is located on a modern city centre campus, and the University of Warwick which is located around 4 miles to the south of the city. The University of Warwick is a member of the Russell Group of universities and is one of only five universities that has never been ranked outside of the top ten universities in the UK in terms of teaching excellence and research.

About Derby

The Derby Playhouse, located in the East Midlands city of Derby, has received critical acclaim in the national press for the productions it hosts, particularly for its staging of shows by Stephen Sondheim. The theatre closed its doors in 2008 following a period of financial instability but was later purchased by Derby University and renamed the Derby Theatre. The theatre along with the Assembly Rooms and the Guildhall Theatre are the main venues in the city.

Markeaton Park is Derby's most used leisure facility and is the venue for the city council's annual Guy Fawkes Night firework display and contains its own light railway. Other major parks in the city include Allestree Park, Darley Park, Chaddesden Park, Alvaston Park, Normanton Park and Osmaston Park.

The Friar Gate area of the city contains clubs and bars, making it the centre of Derby's nightlife. Derby is also well provided with pubs and is renowned for its large amount of real ale outlets.

As home to Lombe's Mill, the first factory in the world, Derby is considered a birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. With the arrival of the railways in the 19th century, and due to its strategic central location, the city grew to become a foremost centre of the British rail industry.