As a freelance copywriter based in Hull I’m proud of my city. I live and work here and, despite having clients all around the country, Hull is, and always will be, my base.
The place isn’t always seen in the best light and gets put down a lot, usually by people who have never actually visited the city, but this year there will thousands upon thousands of new visitors as Hull becomes the 2017 City of Culture.
Back on the map
“You’re only here for the culture.” It’s a familiar chant directed at away fans during Hull City home games and a nice example of the self-depreciating humour of East Yorkshire folk.
It is fair to say the City of Culture celebrations have put Hull firmly back on the map. The map it seems to have been airbrushed out of previously, unless it was for derogatory stories from tabloids or websites looking for cheap headlines.
Now, Hull is finally getting some richly deserved positive press and is getting the sort of recognition usually reserved for Leeds, Manchester or any of the other northern power houses.
City of Culture 2017
The yearlong celebrations in Hull will feature so many different events with something for everyone. From the Turner Prize to Paul Heaton to a circus in a cemetery.
There is so much happening it’s impossible to list it all; though the Hull City of Culture 2017 website makes a pretty good stab at it.
But, City of Culture or not, there is always plenty to see and do in Hull. If you are coming to the city to catch one of the events, maybe a performance at one of our two fantastic theatres, a gig at the newly built arena or one of the many art exhibitions, don’t forget about the rest of the gems Hull has to offer.
The city is packed with must see places and things to do while you are visiting. I’ve picked out just a few attractions you definitely must see if you are at a bit of a loose end between City of Culture events:
Also known as the Whaling Museum it will be home to a bizarre exhibition during 2017. Hosted by comedian Bill Bailey the Cabinet of Curiosities promises to be a strange but fascinating experience, but the rest of the museum has so much to offer too.
Hull was once the greatest deep sea fishing port in the country but weak politicians and European quotas had killed off the industry by the 1980s. By the way, if you wander just down river from the Deep, you can explore an old trawler and see exactly what was like to sail on a fishing boat.
But, back to the Maritime Museum. The many and varied exhibits do a brilliant job of preserving Hull’s wonderful heritage and there are some amazing and provocative artefacts detailing Hull’s fishing and whaling history.
Ferens Art Gallery
Just across the road from the Maritime Museum is Ferens Art Gallery. Venue for the 2017 Turner Prize the gallery has been extensively revamped for the City of Culture celebrations.
Even if you ordinarily don’t have much time for past masters or modern art, the Ferens is well worth a visit. Some of the art works are jaw-dropping whilst others are simply puzzling. But all are worth seeing.
Away from the art, the cafe is a bit of a well-kept local secret and a lovely venue for a coffee or light lunch. The gift shop is also worth a visit to pick up an arty souvenir or two.
William Wilberforce and a tram
There are some great museums in Hull and one thing our often inept council has got right is to retain free admission for all. Check out the Streetlife Museum and you really shouldn’t miss Wilberforce House.
Fresh from a makeover, the anti-slavery campaigner’s old home is both a sobering but inspiring story of how Wilberforce took the lead in abolishing the slave trade. It’s a fascinating retelling of a story which needs to be told.
Some of the exhibits will bring a chill to your spine, but the heroics of Wilberforce and his allies in ridding us of slavery is told in an educational and incredibly interesting way.
Tucked away on the old high street and backing onto the River Hull, it is just a short walk from Wilberforce House to the Streetlife Museum.
This is my favourite of the museums in Hull. It is packed with amazing cars, motorcycles and bicycles. There is even a Hull tram complete with authentic audio. The row of old shops is fascinating and the museum is a great place to while away a couple of hours.
If you do visit, make sure you take the ride in the stagecoach simulator before popping next door to the East Riding museum and its wonderful Iron Age village.
Probably the most high-profile of the visitor attractions in Hull, The Deep is one of the best aquariums in the country. Endless oceans, the kingdom of Ice (cute penguins), and Lagoon of Light are three of the attractions within the Deep.
The building houses with thousands of species of marine life and its walkthrough glass tunnels provide a truly awesome experience.
But, it’s not just about marine life. The building also houses The Two Rivers Restaurant. It is an incredible place to eat with spectacular views over the Rivers Humber and Hull.
Granted Minister status to celebrate 2017, the former largest parish church in the country is a beautiful building.
Sat in the refurbished Trinity Square and surrounded by arty cafes and historic pubs, regular food festivals are held around the Minister on the site of the old outdoor market. The new indoor market is just around the corner, next to the famous Bob Carver fish and chip shop.
If you visit Holy Trinity, and the staircase is open, take the old stairs to the roof. It’s a hell of a squeeze and an absolutely knackering climb, but once you reach the roof the view is amazing.
What else will you find in Hull?
There is so much to see and so much going on, it is impossible to describe everything. Check out the City of Culture and Visit Hull websites for more information about attractions and special events.
But, I’ve given you a taster here. Also, don’t forget there are also plenty of cool shops, amazing old pubs and loads of restaurants and cafes to choose from. There is always an art or music event going on though sometimes you have to dig deep to find them.
A great base for exploring
Back in the day, Hull used to market itself, though not very successfully, as the gateway to Europe. But, it truly is.
The ferries regularly sail for the continent and Humberside airport is just over the bridge. But, Hill is also a brilliant base from which to explore the rest of Yorkshire.
York, Leeds, the Dales, the Wolds and the Pennines are all within easy reach as are all the seaside towns on the east coast. Or, head south over the Humber Bridge into Lincolnshire.
One final thing you can find in Hull
Me. Why not combine business with pleasure when you visit our great city? Meet me for a coffee, or hot chocolate for me, and talk copywriting and business.
Take the opportunity to kick start the marketing campaign you’re planning or revamp the content on your website. Whatever your copywriting needs it would be great to work together.
You can call me on 07722 431483 or drop me an email.
Hope to see you soon but in the meantime don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter.