Selected as the UK City of Culture for 2017, Hull is definitely a place to visit if your interested in experiencing the English way of life. Yorkshire itself has a quite robust and distinctive culture which is perhaps the most well known English culture outside of England.
Famous for terriers, puddings, and Jeremy Clarkson, Yorkshire has a rich and fascinating history. Nowhere in Yorkshire could have quite such a fascinating history as the city of Hull.
Originally just a small outpost town selling wool to passing ships, Hull (then known as Wyke) was purchased by King Edward I in 1293 apparently on a whim while hunting rabbits in the area, and the present city was established by royal charter in 1299.
It proved to be a wise purchase, as it served the king as a base during the First Scottish War of Independence. It’s excellent position on a naturally protective estuary opening directly onto the Atlantic would later be a major factor in helping England gain great economic power.
Less positively, the same feature was a key reason for why Hull was chosen as a principle target by the Germans during World War II. Despite the city sustaining 95% building damage as a result of the air raids, amazingly only about 1200 people were killed.
The story of Hull is an important link in the story of England, and if you enjoy learning about history while you’re travelling, Hull definitely deserves a place on your itinerary.
The group travel advantage
Travelling as a group is a good way to get more out of your journey. It’s a more interesting and fun way to travel for one thing, but it also makes it possible to save a lot of money through group discounts.
You can start with your transport, as minibus hire or coach hire in Hull will be much more economical than each person in a group travelling individually. The fuel costs are lower, everybody arrives at the same time, and any tolls or parking fees will be heavily reduced.
Hotels also usually offer substantial discounts for groups, provided you book well in advance and remember to ask for group rates when making the reservation.
For this to work satisfactorily, you should know what the standard rate for rooms at that hotel is. You can then calculate the amount of discount you’re being offered, and if it’s too low you can question it.
Restaurants don’t normally offer group discounts unless your group is large enough to entirely fill out the restaurant (in which case you will usually get catering rates, which should be lower than the regular menu prices, but with less choices).
The one advantage for smaller groups is restaurants are likely to give priority to group reservations over individual reservations, so you’re more likely to get into the place you want to eat at.
Where to go
Hull is a big city nowadays, so there are plenty of places to go and things to do. You can make decisions based on the interests of your group and the kinds of activities or excursions that are likely to appeal to them.
Suggested visits include:
– Barton, a village about 18km (11 miles) south of Hull, with it’s Anglo-Saxon church (now over 1000 years old), Baysgarth House Museum, Wilderspin School Museum, and the oldest house in North Lincolnshire at 51 Fleetgate. To get there, you’ll need to cross the Humber Bridge, the world’s second-longest suspension bridge.
– Trinity House, a still functioning naval academy, that has been in service since 1456. The building itself is even older, constructed in 1369 as a hospice for sick and needy sailors. This is a very popular attraction, and if you want a tour inside you will need to book months in advance.
– Wilberforce House, the birthplace of William Wilberforce, now converted to function as a museum. Wilberforce played a key role in the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade, and therefore indirectly played a role in shaping history on two continents.
– Hull Maritime Museum, telling the complete story of Hull’s seafaring history. It’s located in the so-called Museum Quarter, on Queen Victoria Square.
– The Streetlife Museum of Transport is far more interactive than your regular museum, with a number of interesting activities available.
– Holy Trinity Church, now rebranded as “Hull Minster”. Nobody knows the exact date of it’s construction, but the consensus suggests around AD 1300. The first recorded vicar in residence was Robert de Marton in 1326.
– The Deep, appropriately named since it’s the deepest submarine aquarium in Europe (depth of 5.5 fathoms, or about 33 feet). While it’s not in the least bit historic, it is a fascinating glimpse of life beneath the ocean, and well worth visiting.