Why Hull is one of the most underrated cities to visit in the UK

Seafaring is as synonymous with Hull as gravy is on a Hullian’s chippy tea, but there’s more to this vibrant city than its fishing ports. From one of the country’s trendiest neighbourhoods around Humber Street, to the historic cobbles of the old town and the edge-of-the-world-like wilderness of Spurn Point, there are few places that can offer such a broad range of experiences than this former European City of Culture.

Hull offers a unique experience where city and coast collide and will leave you asking why you haven’t been sooner. Keep reading to discover all of Hull’s must-see attractions!

Albert Avenue Pools

The Humber Estuary and Hull Marina aren’t exactly ideal spots for wild swimming, but if outdoor swimming is what you crave then fear not. Lidos were once the hallmark of British coastal resorts but while many towns have filled them in in favour of modern alternatives, Hull City Council is revamping theirs to the tune of £2.8m. Set to reopen this summer after a 30-year closure, Albert Avenue Baths in West Hull will be heated and include a splash park for little ones. There’ll be sun loungers and grassy areas for picnics making it the perfect place to pitch up with for the day.

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Spurn Point Nature Reserve

Spurn Point Nature Reserve HullIf a safari holiday is on your bucket list then you might be ticking it off sooner than you think. Located at the mouth of the Humber, Spurn Point is a three-mile-long and, at points, only 50- metre-wide tidal island. Wild, untamed and teeming with nature, you can explore the island by hopping aboard a unimog for the Spurn Safari experience. Accompanied by a marine expert, you’ll keep your eyes peeled for harbour porpoises and bobbing seals. You can also explore the island solo, and entry is completely free of charge! Just start your adventure at the Spurn Point Discovery Centre and gather all the information you need to cross over into Yorkshire’s own Land’s End.

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The Deep

The Deep HullThis marine conservation centre is much more than an aquarium. Situated on Sammy’s Point where Hull Castle once presided, the imposing £52m building is a sight to see in its own right – and that’s before you take in the 3,000 species it houses. Exhibits include a Tropical Lagoon of Light with brightly-coloured tropical fish and rays, an Amazonian flooded forest, a 10-metre-deep Endless Ocean, Europe’s deepest viewing tunnel, and a glass lift through a tank that’s home to sharks and Europe’s only green sawfish. There are also daily feedings for visitors to watch, all while safe in the knowledge that education and conservation are at the heart of everything The Deep does.

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Hull Minster

Hull MinsterHull’s history dates back long before the trawling industry and war-time bombings, and 700 years of it can be found within the Grade I listed Hull Minster. The Anglican Holy Trinity Church is one of England’s finest examples of Perpendicular Gothic architecture and its stone walls have plenty of stories to tell. Since construction began in 1285 AD it’s played its part in the English Revolution, seen the rise and falls of Kings, Queens and Governments and stood proud throughout wars, decline and regeneration. The crowning jewel in the UK’s largest medieval ‘town church’ is its Grand Organ – made up of over 4,000 pipes. You can learn about all this and more through one-hour guided tours and exhibitions and the Minster also hosts cultural events such as live music and art. Entry is completely free of charge, though it’s recommended to book in advance to secure your spot!

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Humber Bridge

Humber BridgeA true feat in engineering, The Humber Bridge is evocative of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and, in fact, it’s longer. Spanning 2.22km, the single span suspension bridge was first conceived in 1927 at an estimated cost of £1.7m but work didn’t begin until the late 1970s. By the time it was completed in 1981 it cost £151m but it was worth every penny to drivers who, until then, had to make a detour of up to 128km around the river. It took eight years to build through some of the worst UK weather conditions and up to 1,000 construction workers worked on it at any one time. Their efforts have since been rewarded with a Grade I listed status and nothing says you’ve arrived in Hull like crossing it!

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Hull’s Old Town

Visit Hull Old TownWhen Charles I arrived in Hull to seize its arsenal in 1642 he was refused entry at Beverley Gate. Two minutes away and over 200 years later in the Hepworth Arcade, Mr Marks and Mr Spencer opened a penny bizarre. To walk over the cobbled street in the historic treasure that is Hull’s Old Town is to wander through the centuries of history that are evident in its layers of architecture. Here you’ll find a number of free museums including the Streetlife Museum of Transport, where you can take a carriage ride into the past, and Hull and East Riding Museum of Archaeology, where you’ll find a life-size woolly mammoth.

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Ferens Art Gallery

Ferens Art GalleryWith one of the finest regional art collections in the country and one of the most complete overviews of British and historical portraiture, the Ferens holds 300,000 artworks behind its grand, marble column-framed doors. Highlights include masterpieces by Lorenzetti, Frans Hals, Antonio Canaletto, Frederic Lord Leighton, Stanley Spencer, Helen Chadwick and Gillian Wearing and accessing this high culture is completely free. But the Ferens doesn’t just display classical art. Its annual Open Exhibition (from 21st July 2023) has celebrated the creativity of local amateur and professional artists since 1967.

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