In 2017, Hull will be welcoming thousands of visitors as it becomes the UK’s City of Culture. The previous holder was Derry in Northern Ireland. If Hull follows suit, it too will be flooded with crowds, so take the opportunity to visit this historical city now before it gets too busy.
Nestled on the mouth of the River Humber, and at the end of the M62, Hull is famous for its suspension bridge (seventh longest of its type in the world), ferry trips to Rotterdam, the great poet Phillip Larkin and the modern Deep Submarium.
Hull has a rich history of shipping, docks, and fishing. The city was the most heavily bombed in the UK during World War II, yet has maintained a beautiful Old Town, and is surrounded by water, with marinas, boats docks and a central garden.
Here’s our budge guide on how to explore Hull with all the family.
The Old Town
Within a few square miles, you’ll find a rich mix of architecture through the times, including Edwardian, Georgian, Victorian, and contemporary. There’s the fantastic award winning Swing Bridge which moves across the river as pedestrians stand on it, connecting the old town to the marina and the Deep Submarium.
Try out the Hull Heritage walk, which you can download on your smartphone or MP3 player – you can even print it out, if you’d prefer. It will guide you around some of the city’s most important landmarks and give you a true flavour of its history. Explore the Old Town, docks and riverside quays.
Seven Seas Fish trail
For a more fun and artistic trail, your family will enjoy the Seven Seas Fish Trail. Set amongst the Old Town, there are 41 sculptures of fish to find. The fish are life size but with a twist. Be sure to look out for the “plaice” in the market area, “electric eel” outside the substation and the “tiny anchovy”, to name but a few.
The trail comes with a leaflet available from the Tourist Information Centre. If you complete the trail, the Tourist Centre will give you a free certificate and enter you into a prize draw, where you can win monthly goodies by Seven Seas.
The Marina is home to colourful boats, quirky cobbled streets and the fantastic retro Fruit Market. The area is undergoing dramatic change with lots of individual shops, creative spaces, galleries and events. Children will love Dinostar an interactive dinosaur exhibition. Entry costs £3.00 for adults and £1.50 for children.
Hull and East Riding Museum
The Hull and East Riding Museum is definitely one the kids will love. There is a full-sized whale skeleton and lots of fossils to touch and explore. Enjoy a very realistic walk through an Iron Age village, and a Roman bathhouse with stunning mosaics. The journey of man from the Stone Age through to the Romans and Vikings will be of interest to all. Entry is free.
This is a superb treat and Hull’s icing on the cake. Sat at the end of a pier and overlooking the mouth of the Humber estuary, the Deep is an experience not to be missed. It’s regarded as one of the best aquariums in the world and holds 3,500 fish with sharks and stingrays. Enjoy the walk through tunnel and take a ride through the glass lift through the 10-metre tank. A family of 4 ticket, including 2 adults can be bought online at £35.55 or £39.50 on the day.
Fancy a day out in a city steeped in history? Check out our guide to affordable days out in York.