161km (100 miles) NW of London; 32km (20 miles) NE of Stratford-upon-Avon; 29km (18 miles) SE of Birmingham; 84km (52 miles) SW of Nottingham
Coventry has long been noted in legend as the ancient market town through which Lady Godiva took her famous ride in the buff. A real Lady Godiva actually existed in the 11th century and was the wife of Leofric, earl of Mercia, one of England's most powerful noblemen. She was a benefactor to the poor and urged her husband to reduce their tax burden, which he agreed to do at a price. He made her a bet. If she'd ride naked through Coventry market at midday, he would in return abolish all local taxes save those on horses. On the appointed day, she rode naked through the market, unashamed of her nudity, and the taxes were duly removed. As such, she rode into legend, and that's the naked truth. The myth goes that a Coventry tailor was struck blind after looking at Lady Godiva, giving rise to the term "Peeping Tom."
Coventry today is a Midlands industrial city. The city was partially destroyed by German bombers during World War II, but the restoration is miraculous.
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