Hull, Pleasantly Surprised

The Deep
The Deep

We had booked to go to Hull earlier in the year but had to put it off due to Minnie’s thyroid going wrong and we didn’t want to leave her, so July became October and we were worrying about poor weather. So we were not really expecting much and planning on going on long walks in a northern industrial town in the grey and rain.

Amazingly all three days we were there the weather was really nice, especially the Thursday it was bright sunshine all day, shining off a beautifully calm Humber.

On our way to the hotel we popped in to Wrecking Ball Music and Books for lunch and a drink, pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful curation of books on display, lots of poetry, plays, and short stories. Lunch was filling and reasonably priced in a nice atmosphere.

The hotel wasn’t far from the railway station, about 20 minutes walk in the direction of The Deep and is near the old part of the town and the Museum Quarter.

Hull Old Town
Hull Old Town

It was nice to be able to drop the cases off and go for a walk in the old part of town where there is a lot of filming done due to it being able to look like Victorian(ish) London, some Enola Holmes 2 was filmed there and they were setting up the makeup tents for The Crown as we were staying there.

The Land of Green Ginger and the streets to the east of there were a compact little warren which is seen as the old town part of Hull and eventually we our way to the Museum Quarter where we visited the Streetlife Museum of Transport. This is really higgledy and we were harassed by the voices of the exhibits as you passed them, but were a bit disappointed that we couldn’t visit Wilberforce House due to a new heating system being installed.

We also found some of the more imposing buildings of the town during this walk, the courts, the central theatre, and lots of the central buildings had a definite feel of MONEY from a bygone era and were stunning.


One of our favourite places Trinity Market is right next to Hull Minster and is full of lovely food stalls amongst other things, I was a wee bit miffed I hadn’t found this first but planned to return for a meal or two. Hull Minster is absolutely full of light which was shining through the windows designed by Walter Crane.

We then went on to Ferens Art Gallery to have a little look around and again were impressed by the range of the collection, especially that of contemporary art by women and some of the more recent works.

In the evening we went for a walk into town once more and looked around getting our bearings for the next day, eventually heading down to the quays and Humber Street, ending up having cicceti-style Italian for dinner, tasty.

On our full day on the Thursday we once more went for a wander along the quayside exploring various marinas and such, avoiding a couple of school groups, and being very impressed with the amount of history and heritage that was signposted throughout.

We were then wondering what to do for the day and gradually walked out to an area of the town known as The Avenues, an area in the north of the town going toward the university, it’s full of tree lined avenues (see what they did there).

To get there we walked along Spring Bank which was full of shops from everywhere, everything from stained glass to the latest phone could be bought on that road, but the vast majority of shops were food shops selling food from so many different places including North Africa, the Middle East, Poland, and South Asia. What was also really interesting were the murals and paintings on the gable ends of a lot of the houses and shops, bright and cheerful, they also seemed to pop up on utility boxes, really cheering the area up.

Hull Minster
Hull Minster
There’s such a diversity of architecture all through the area, with little nooks of houses running perpendicular to the street, Shanna is sure she found a place she stayed at when she was child.

Some of the house entrances had what looked like original tiling in the little front vestibules, a really nice architectural touch. We then got to Newland Avenue where all the shops and food places were and it was busy, but in a really good way, like Dalston on a Sunday, a really nice and vibrant feel to it.

Then we popped back into town and to Trinity Market for lunch and this was a difficult experience as there was so much to choose from, I eventually settled for an arancini from Alessandro’s Italian Bakery and Shanna chose a falafel wrap from Falafia.

We’d got up really early and still had loads of time so decided to pop out to Beverley to see what was there, 15 minutes by train later and we were off looking at a lovely little town, another Minster, and nice market area before popping back to Hull for the evening.

In the evening we went to see some live music at Trinity Market once more, this was called Trinity Live and showcases local musicians every Thursday night. We only really stayed to have a bite to eat and listen to one of the acts, but it was great seeing such a vibrant music scene, finishing the evening off with a walk back to the hotel along the quayside.

On our last day we had decided to go to The Deep in the morning, but before getting there we had a little of a stretch along through the area to the east of The Deep. Now an area of housing it used to be docks, still having a few basins and such, but it did have loads of boards explaining the history of the area.

The visit to The Deep was great fun, even at opening time there were a lot of families with young children eager to get in and look around, as were we by that time. Really interesting, especially the shark tank (I did find the Moray Eel), but with a good educational lean and working with various groups to conserve and repopulate through breeding programmes endangered species.

Lunch once more at Trinity Market, I did say we really liked this place, it was a shining example of what could be done with older covered Victorian markets to make them part of the community, nothing was too expensive and everything was bright and open.

Finishing off with a drink in Wrecking Ball Music and Books to finish where we started before getting the train home.

Wrecking Ball Music and Books
Wrecking Ball Music and Books

We missed out on chip spice, the annual fair, and even the Hull Pattie, so we still have those to look forward to. There is still so much more to do and visit, other museums, parks, theatre, a top notch comedy club, some of the small traditional pubs looked great, and that the places we had visited will always offer a reason to revisit that we would love to go back in the near future.

What struck us about Hull in general though was how compact a city it actually was, even when we stretched out, it made it easy to visit everywhere you wanted to and not feel as though you were limited to one area of the city. It also had what felt like a good public transport system, regular, clean, and not expensive.

We were also very impressed with how clean a city it was, and we mean really clean, almost shiny, a refreshing change.

The other thing, and best thing, was how friendly everyone we met was. Everyone was pleasant and helpful, just warm, lovely people.

More photos can be found on my Twitter.

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