Historic Hull

Hull Marina Photo

A vibrant waterfront city with a proud maritime heritage, Hull has been a key port since the Middle Ages.

Edward I may have named it Kyngestone-upon-Hull, but that didn’t stop the city becoming the cradle of the Civil War in 1642, when pro-Parliament dignitaries met in the Plotting Room of what is now Ye Olde White Harte to bar Charles I from entering Hull.

The Old Town bears witness to the city’s medieval and Georgian heritage, with its original cobbled streets, narrow lanes and intriguing staiths – alleyways that seem to appear out of nowhere. Nowadays, the area is home to the Museums Quarter, which includes the birthplace of anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce.

The city flourished and grew in Victorian times, when it became known as a whaling and then - with the advent of steam - a fishing port. Hull remains England’s biggest port, after Liverpool and London.

During the Second World War, Hull suffered some of Britain’s heaviest wartime bombing – so much so that its name was not given in news reports, for fear of damaging national morale.

The city has many famous sons, daughters and associates, among them the aviator Amy Johnson, film producer J Arthur Rank, actors Tom Courtenay, Ian Carmichael, John Alderton and Maureen Lipman and mathematician John Venn.

Its strong literary connections have led Peter Porter to call Hull “the most poetic city in England”, citing poets Andrew Marvell, Philip Larkin, Andrew Motion and Stevie Smith, along with playwrights John Godber and Alan Plater.

The Avenues

A great base for exploring the historic city of Hull, its beautiful surrounding countryside and the stunning East Yorkshire coast.

Close to the city centre, yet a mere stone’s throw from the vibrant nightspots along Princes and Newland Avenues, the Avenues are ideally located for discovering all this exciting corner of England has to offer.

From here, you can walk to the world-class University, museums, theatres and Ferens Art Gallery, as well as the first-class sporting facilities of the KC Stadium and the many shopping opportunities this great Yorkshire city offers.

The conservation area, with its long, tree-lined Victorian boulevards, dates back to 1875, and boasts an astonishing variety of classic Victorian and Edwardian architecture, of which 109 Westbourne is a fine early example.

It’s a fascinating mix, and the long gardens bestowed on the houses have created a verdant haven for urban wildlife including squirrels, foxes, hedgehogs, woodpeckers and even a pair of falcons, according to local lore.

If you’re staying in July, take advantage of the opportunity to visit one of the largest urban open-garden events in the UK, as more than 50 local gardens go on display to help raise funds for charity. With pop-up cafes, entertainment ranging from street theatre to live music, and even a small-gauge railway, these are always thoroughly enjoyable weekends.

Notable houses in the Avenues include a group of eight Queen Anne-style buildings by renowned architect George Gilbert Scott Junior, while among the area’s many well-known former residents are Amy Johnson, Dorothy L Sayers, Ian Carmichael and Anthony Minghella. The poet Philip Larkin famously lived in nearby Pearson Park.

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