Hull is one of the largest cities in Yorkshire. It forms the fourth metropolitan area in the region, after Leeds-Bradford, Sheffield and Middlesbrough. Although its harbour has greatly declined in importance in the last decades, Hull is one of Englands’ main port cities. It is located at the point where river Hull flows into the Humber estuary. The official name of the city is Kingston upon Hull but it is amost never used, even by local authorities.
Hull suffers from a bad reputation among English people. They see it as a grim and decaying port city, and as a remote place experiencing all sorts of social issues. Hull is also sadly known as the second most bombed city in England during the Blitz (the first being London).
Hull is however a place of history and cultural heritage. It was founded in the Middle Ages and it remained for a very long time a thriving trading place, open towards Northern Europe and the colonies. Defoe made it the starting place of his Robinson Crusoe, and it is the birthplace of William Wilberforce, who ended slave trade in the British Empire. While most of the medieval cities in England such as York and Canterbury faded in the industrial revolution, being outgrown by new cities like Leeds and Manchester, Hull has always retained the same importance it had in the Middle Ages.
While the red telephone box is one of the best symbols of England, foreign tourists in Hull will struggle to find one. Indeed, the phone boxes in Hull are cream, because the area has always had its separate phone operator, called KCOM. Until 2007, the company, then named Kingston Communications, was even directly managed by the city council.
Visitors coming by train or car cannot miss the colossal Humber Bridge. It crosses the estuary a few miles upstream from Hull, and it was completed in 1982. It was then the longest suspension bridge in the world and it is now the eight (as of 2019). It is around 1.3 mi long and each column is 510 feet tall. Because of winds, the bridge can bend more than 10 feet.
See the Visit Hull page.
See the Museums in Hull page.
Hull is served by two bus companies, EYMS and Stagecoach. Each one has its own fare system, and tickets are directly bought from the driver. However, both companies have mobile apps where you can buy tickets and passes. If you stay for several days it can be worth buying the Hull Card, which is a weekly pass that works with both companies (£14.90 a week). For planning journeys, you can use the Yorkshire Travel website. The central train station, called ‘Paragon’, and the bus station are in the same building.
In comparison to its size, Hull organises many events throughout the year. It was especially proud of its title as ‘UK City of Culture 2017’, which will probably remain in people’s memory for a long time. Quite similar to the ‘European Capital of Culture’, the title is awarded every four years to a British city whose efforts in terms of culture are considered as outstanding.
Among the various events, there are the Freedom Festival in the summer -street performances, music, theatre, dance; the October Hull Fair which is one the largest funfairs in the UK, and the Jazz Festival and the Hull Comedy Festival which are both held in November. In October, there are also the Horror Fest and the Humber Mouth literary festival. In September, music lovers can attend the Trinity Festival in the Old Town.