As we were within 30 miles we knew that we had to visit Hull, it being the European City of Culture for 2017. Our expectations weren’t great but we wanted to go anyway.
Before Hull though we decided to visit Beverley, for which our expectations were higher. And it was nearer to where we were staying of course!
We parked on the road by the police station and 1st impressions were great as we walked into town. Lovely, big houses lined the route + some very unusual smaller properties. Approaching the town centre we found the only remaining town gate, North Bar (which is Grade I listed) – the streets leading up to and from it are called North Bar Without and North Bar Within…
There were originally many more gates, bars and ditches protecting the town, but all that are left nowadays are some wonderful street names – Newbegingate, Lairgate and Keldgate . There is also Flemingate, now a regenerated area of shops, cinemas, bars and restaurants.
It was market day so there was a lot going on in the town centre. As well as the minster itself there is another beautiful church, St Marys . I’m sorry but it’s impossible to write about Beverley or Hull without mentioning a church! I’ll keep it short and just show you via photos 🙂
When we made it to the Minster itself we couldn’t actually go in straight away as there was a wedding in progress. Once we were able to go in we could see what an amazing venue this was for such an occasion!
A little more wandering and we found the guildhall and some almshouses and also the bandstand became more visible as the market packed up!
The following day, Sunday, we headed back out to Hull. With low expectations we were very, very pleasantly surprised by what awaited us.
We found our way to Princes Quay Shopping Centre to park – which cost us just £2 to park for about 4 hours (I think this was just because it was Sunday, but we were still happy with it!) The shopping centre itself was very good and included restaurants that were open into the evening, so no problem with the car park closing…)
We emerged into Queen Victoria Square, dominated by a statue of Queen Victoria, but also with spouting pavement fountains being enjoyed by children and parents alike. The remains of Beverley Gate are to be found here (where King Charles I was refused entry to the city in 1642, one of the first acts in the civil war).
Here we visited the Maritime Museum, one of the many free museums in the city, and an interesting wander through seafaring history, with tales of the cod wars, skeletons of whales and including an exhibit put together by Bill Bailey – his ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’.
From here we made our way to the Minster Square where we had a spot of lunch before having a quick look around the minster. We also found a lovely little cobbled street and the old grammar school which boasts a couple of famous scholars from history, including William Wilberforce. It is a museum, but wasn’t open when we visited.
After visiting the minster (those pools of water were another decorative addition – they’re not just puddles!), we headed out to the regenerated harbour, lined as it is with pubs, bars and restaurants. There had been a festival the day before that apparently brought about 30,000 people into the city – we were happy that we chose Sunday to visit! The marina is lovely. We also found an historic gentleman’s convenience (just gentleman’s, no ladies…) in the middle of the road behind the minster… Astride these toilets is a statue commemorating ‘King Billy’.
Now, in our busy afternoon, we found Ye Olde White Hart, hidden away as it was down a little alleyway with plaques in the pavements at both the front and back entrances. This pub is an absolute delight with an awful lot of history – you are invited to browse before you’ve even ordered a drink (and the barmaid has a few stories to tell as well 🙂 ).
There is a skull in a case in the corner of one of the bars and two plotting rooms upstairs (the plotting in question being to do with the civil war). I’m so glad we stopped for a drink rather than just having a quick look!
On our way back to the car we found two more little delights, one of which was the smallest window in the world, located in the George Hotel on The Land of Green Ginger (that’s the street name..) – from here the porter looked out for carriages arriving. Even though the sign telling you about it was right next to it, we still couldn’t see it and were very confused! However, Calv was not leaving until he’d found it, and so he did 🙂
We also found the Hepworth shopping arcade now filled with an eclectic mix of shops, but also where the first Marks & Spencer’s penny stall was established 🙂
We had a lovely time in Hull and would definitely visit again. It looks like there is probably a really good nightlife there as well and so it would be a good spot for a weekend away – there’s plenty of places to stay along the riverside and beyond.
Before returning to the van we also went to Paull to try to visit Fort Paull, as Calv used to park there when he was driving. It was pretty disappointing, as it was somewhat different to how he remembered it and also very expensive to enter for what it was. Luckily we were too late to actually visit, but we did try to interact with the woman in the ticket office – unfortunately she wasn’t having any of it!!
We took the opportunity to walk around the outside and take in the views across the Humber, including spotting the bridge in the distance.
We loved our day in Hull and would urge anybody who has never thought of visiting to think again – Hull should be on everybody’s list of places to go 🙂