Hull is a fantastic place to come to and explore. There is so many fantastic shops, architecture and street performers that make it the city what it is. It’s no wonder how we got City of Culture in 2017!
Following your replies to what your favourite things in Hull are from our social media, we’ve collected a list of some of the greatest things to check out now that everything is gradually opening back up again.
Hull (& East Yorkshire’s!) Iconic Landmarks
The landmarks in our region is something that our readers mentioned several times. Hull (and East Yorkshire!) has some iconic structures to enjoy; the Humber Bridge top of the list for it’s signal to everyone traveling that they’re arriving home.
Before the Humber Bridge, locals from Hull and Grimsby had been campaigning for 100 years in order to create a passage across the Humber Estuary in order to reduce the route and increase trade. Permission for a suspension bridge became official in 1959 under the Humber Bridge Act, although construction didn’t begin until 1972. The formal opening of the bridge was performed on the 17 June 1981 by Her Majesty the Queen, and ever since traffic first crossed on the 24 June of that year, the Humber Bridge has been busy.
The bridge is open everyday all day and carries more than 10 million vehicles a year. It is a beautiful bridge to both look at from the banks or when you’re across- unless your scared of heights, of course, as the concrete towers are 510 feet tall and there’s enough wire to wrap around the moon six times! Either way, it is an impressive piece of infrastructure and, although not technically in Hull, it’s a huge part of our living here.
Places like Trinity Market are also iconic landmarks.
Trinity Market was Hull’s second market hall and when it was opened in 1904 it was mainly for selling fruits, flowers and vegetables. Unfortunately in the Second World War the first market was bombed, but this meant that Trinity Market could be extended and grew from its 74 stalls in 1928 to 98 in 1962! Following the re-purposing of Old Town in 2017, Trinity Market was refurbished to have lots more open space and light. It is now the home of street food in the city, has lots of shapes for unique items and the essentials, hosts live events, and is connected to the Hepworth Arcade. All in all, a perfect place to go shopping!
Murdoch’s Connection, or the Castle Street footbridge, was only completed earlier this year, but it’s already become an iconic landmark in Hull.
The uniquely shaped bridge connects the city together from Princes Quay waterfront, to the marina and the fruit market. The name of the bridge also links to Hull’s history when it was decided by pupils from Hull schools who named it after Dr Mary Murdoch, Hull’s first female GP. She also founded Hull Women’s Suffrage Society in 1904. More relevantly, she was the first woman in Hull to own a car, so it’s only fitting to have a bridge named after her. Although there wasn’t an opening ceremony because of the pandemic, you will now be able to cross over it for the first time.
Other landmarks in Hull include Hull Minster which up until 2017, was called the Holy Trinity Church and was the largest parish church in the UK until it became a minster. It’s a beautiful building and the recent refurbishment has highlighted it’s fine architecture even further.
Many of you mentioned Hull’s theatres in your responses. Hull itself has two dedicated theatres; Hull New Theatre and Hull Truck Theatre which both have their own stories to tell. But the combination of the two offers Hull’s residents and visitors a fantastic choice of theatre shows for everyone.
Hull Truck Theatre focuses on incredible, unique stories that are diverse and usually independent.
“We tell inspiring stories dug from the heart of our city, alongside tales from the wider world, that reflect the diverse range of communities and creative voices that populate our nation. We produce exceptional drama made here in Hull, often showcasing new talent, and continuing the momentum of Hull UK City of Culture 2017. We are ambitious and bold, committed to our core values of Inclusion, Innovation and Integrity.”
That is how Mark Babych, the Artistic Director, describes Hull Truck and their mission. With brilliant facilities and widely acclaimed shows, you should always check out what is being performed at Hull Truck Theatre whenever you’re in Hull.
While Hull Truck focuses on their remit, Hull New Theatre which is owned and operated by Hull City Council, brings incredible theatre tours to Hull, often from London’s West End. On the back of City of Culture, the theatre had a £16m refurbishment which not only gave it a modern facelift, but more importantly gave it a taller fly-tower at the rear which enabled more nationwide theatre tours to come to Hull.
Hull New Theatre came to being when Peppino Santangelo came to Hull in 1924 to join the Hull Repertory Company from Little Theatre in Kingston Square. When they were struggling, Santangelo made a deal to swap Little Theatre with the Assembly Rooms next door, which was famous for the great Victorian writers, such as Charles Dickens, that did readings there. Hull New Theatre opened on 16 October 1939 with Noel Gay’s ‘Me and My Girl’ and not even the Second World War could stop it. Santangelo said in 1939, “I have made plans for your future entertainment, always bearing in mind that we are at war and that laughter and not tears should be the dominant feature.” The same could be said of the current situation and Hull New Theatre has already scheduled shows for this summer as a celebratory end of lockdown restrictions that you should keep an eye out for.
On everyone’s list… The ‘jewel in the crown’ (or even three crowns!) for Hull has to be the marina area which has become the place to be for an evening city centre stroll, or a nice place to dine out.
The Marina is a wonderful place to visit because it makes for a very scenic walk next to all of the boats in the docks. As a city founded on fishing, the maritime and boating industries have a historical significance in Hull. Furthermore, it is surrounded by many bars, restaurants, shops, and a fruit market that can give you the chance to pause and have a break to admire the Marina as you take your time exploring Hull.
Hull’s Big Events
Pre-pandemic life brought us so many big events to look forward to each year; Humber Street Sesh, Freedom Festival, and Hull Fair were just some of the big events that our readers mentioned.
Hull Fair is one of Europe’s largest travelling funfairs, and is not only one of Hull’s biggest traditions but also one of its oldest. The first charter to allow a Fair to be held in Hull was passed in 1278, and it was held 9 March to 23 March. The official date of Hull Fair now starts on 11 October, or the Friday nearest to it, and this became official in 1751 after the calendar change made people think they were going to lose out on their eleven day festivities. The locals went to the streets of Hull, demanding the Fair go one with a cry of “Give us back our eleven days!” Suffice to say, the Hull Fair is still very near and dear to our hearts, even after centuries.
Unlike in the 18th and 19th centuries, Hull Fair has moved from puppet shows and jugglers and live animal acts to new rides and rollercoasters, as well as old favourites such as the carousel and the Ferris wheel. There’s lots of stalls with sweets and snacks (you can’t go to Hull Fair without getting a toffee apple or brandy snap) that make the evening much more fun. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, Hull Fair was cancelled last year but we’re all hoping that everything will be safe enough for it to go ahead in October this year.
The Freedom Festival is a festival that celebrates international art and takes all these different types of arts with different cultural influences and brings it to the streets, in order to be enjoyed and celebrated together. This festival was founded in Hull because of our love fore art and culture, as well as our historical links with the abolitionist movement, activism and community. It was cancelled last year but the organisation has still been celebrating during lockdown with ‘Freedom at home’. They have also announced that the festival will be going ahead this year, which is something for all of us to look forward to.
Humber Street Sesh started out in 2001 when Mark Page (aka Mak) wanted to create a place for local musicians to play. The Sesh has grown significantly since then, becoming a huge night that celebrates both merging bands from all over the UK to the local acts that its built on. It ahs become a centre for celebrating Hull’s talented artists and gets huge audiences every year. If you love music and want to hear something new, then this is the place to be.
Tribfest is the summer’s biggest music festival for tribute bands in the world, and was voted Best Entertainment and Leisure Venue in East Yorkshire 2018-2020. This is the 14th year of the annual show and will surely create a fantastic line up for you this year, featuring a wide range of bands and music genres. For the weekend, you will have access to a lot of catering and retail to keep you busy, and it won’t get too overcrowded! You can buy your ticket today and be a part of one of the widely acclaimed local festivals.
Pattie and Chips
Without doubt, this has to be Hull’s most iconic dish. Pattie and Chips (with Chip Spice!) becomes a quick favourite amongst visitors to the city and is certainly a favourite amongst our readers.
Since Hull is a fishing town, there is no short supply of fish and chip shops. However, there is a particular item on the menu that is extremely popular. A Hull pattie is mashed potato and sage that is battered and deep fried and can be served alongside your chips and/or mushy peas in a bread bun as a ‘pattie buttie’. Historically, they have been favoured over fishcakes in Yorkshire because they are cheaper, but now they are a regional favourite. Any chippy in the city will sell one so make sure you check it out whenever you’re next in Hull.
Hull is special in our significant place in English history: we have survived medieval wars and bombing from the Blitz, William Wilberforce was a leader who fought against slavery, and we are the home of the famous poets Larkin and Marvell. Not to mention, the local history of trawlers and the trawler women, which is commemorated in these fantastic pieces of art that shows how proud Hull is of its history. You will learn a lot coming to Hull.
Hull’s Astounding Architecture
Hull is very special in its design and architecture. There are some fantastic older buildings in Old Town that have been preserved, historically significant places such as the Hull Minster, and the very impressive Maritime Museum, and that is just the tip of the iceberg! We also have more modern designs like the distinctive shape of the Deep which has been a centre of local pride. Furthermore, there was lots of refurbishments and changes in 2017 when Hull was City of Culture that makes the city’s design all the more unique.
Pubs & Restaurants
One thing we’ve missed the host in the pandemic has been our excellent independent pubs and restaurants, and that’s certainly something you mentioned in our recent social media poll.
One thing that makes Hull so unique, is our love for local independent businesses – especially Hull’s pubs, bars and restaurants which we do have an amazing array of.
Look back 15 years, and it wasn’t much, but now the city is booming with a fantastic choice of food including Greek and Turkish, Oriental and American grill. Mix that in with some independent breweries and local pubs, and there’s really not much more you can ask for.
Always a Short Drive from a Beautiful Beach
Hull is surrounded by gorgeous East Yorkshire countryside and all the way along the coast are some stunning beaches.
Now that it’s getting warmer and we’re close to summer, we will be starting to go out to the beach in order to enjoy the sunshine. There are lots of wonderful beaches in East Yorkshire that you will want to visit. Check our these stunning beaches as this year we will actually be able to enjoy summer outside with others again!
What makes a city? The people who live there, of course! Hull is full of wonderful, vibrant people who with their working class roots, keep and all of the shops, attractions and events we love running. They are the heart of Hull and are often described by visitors as ‘friendly’ and ‘down to earth’. Not to mention, our brilliantly unique accents and dialect!
… And So Much More!
What do you think?