Concrete Centre, Lacking in Nightlife; TOURIST GUIDE: Few Features Escape Criticism in Verdict on Coventry RESIDENTS TAKE A KINDER VIEW .

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Byline: By Emma Stone

THE heart of Coventry has been branded a nondescript concrete centre, doomed by postwar planning, in the latest travel guide produced by Lonely Planet.

The scathing description features in a tourist guide of Great Britain released this week.

The city's "stark concrete" ring road also comes in for criticism in the guide, which is aimed at international tourists visiting the UK.

Once past describing the 1950s architecture of the city and its demise following the Blitz, the book goes on to highlight the new cathedral as the city centre's saving grace.

It also heaps praise on the "absorbing" transport museum and the "small but well-presented" Priory Visitor Centre.

Describing the city's nightlife, only two bars make it into the guide - Browns and cafe bar, Inspire.

Mick McLaughlin, of city centre management company CV One, defended the city.

He said: "Where else in the UK can you find a mix of medieval streets, unique history and multi-award winning postmodern architecture?"

He added: "Coventry is in the process of an extremely exciting phase of pounds 8billion regeneration which will ensure that we move forward to reach our vision of a world-class city."

He cited the forthcoming arrival of the five-star Radisson Edwardian Hotel in Belgrade Plaza, and the first city centrebased Ikea.

Both Warwick and Kenilworth fared better in the Lonely Planet tour guide, being praised for their historic castles and vivid histories. …