Rewriting its past in a swath of regeneration, Hull is hitting headlines for all the right reasons.
Things have been happening in Hull and today it’s a million miles from its reputation as a tired and austere fishing port. The city is, in fact, embracing its 21st-century status both as the UK 2017 City of Culture and as an appointed Green Port developing renewable energy and manufacturing.
What to expect living in Hull
The small city (officially known as Kingston-upon-Hull) sits on the north side of the Humber in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
Pedestrian-friendly streets, big brands and independent shopping centres – plus a marina and cruise-liner terminal to draw in the sea-loving, cosmopolitan set – are either planned, in development or completed.
The city has two top-flight rugby teams, one playing rugby union on, the other playing rugby league plus Hull City Tigers football club, which was promoted to the Premier League for the 2016/17 season.
Artlink is a thriving arts centre in Hull, credited with nurturing the city’s culture. Poets Philip Larkin, Roger McGough and former poet laureate Andrew Motion have city connections. And musicians including Everything But the Girl, Fine Young Cannibals and The Beautiful South, all have their roots in Hull.
International engineering and technology company Siemens, together with local councils and Associated British Ports, has begun to develop Green Port at the site of the old Alexandra Dock, which will focus on renewable energy.
All that investment and rejuvenation are having an effect. In fact, just to prove it’s on the up, Hull was rated eighth in the Rough Guides Top 10 cities to visit in 2016.
While the rise has slowed of late, house prices have climbed in the past five years. But the average is still an affordable £120,000, according to Zoopla data. You can check the most recent Hull house prices here.
Where to start your property search
If you’re feeling like you could be sold, where do you start your property search in Hull? Here’s a snapshot:
The Avenues: For tree-lined streets of Victorian, Edwardian and early 20th-century properties, look at The Avenues which is focused around Newland and Princes Avenues. You’ll also find cool independent cafés here such as Duke’s, as well as Spanish tapas bar El Toro and Italian ristorantes Da Gianni and Lucca.
Independent and boho shops, including artisan bakers and specialist cafés such as The English Muse, NeedlePoint and Fudge (which run creative workshops, sewing groups and book clubs) have also sprung up in the area.
Of course, it’s still possible to get traditional battered cod and mushy peas in Hull, but for posh nosh look no further than The Avenue’s Fish and Chip Kitchen where you’ll find twice-cooked chips and homemade tartare sauce on the side.
The area also has well-regarded schools and Pearson Park close by. It’s close to Hull railway station (a mile away) and only two miles from both the city centre and the University of Hull.
Humber waterfront: Humber waterfront has an urban buzz with converted buildings, new penthouses and studio flats sitting close to Georgian merchant houses, chic shops, restaurants and cafés. Restaurants like 1884 Dock Street Kitchen are a good benchmark of growing affluence in the area.
Suburbs: The western suburbs of Hull, bordered by the A164, are popular thanks to their proximity to the market town of Beverley, the Humber Bridge and Hull. These include Hessle, Kirk Ella and West Ella.
Willerby has mixed housing from Victorian terraces and 1930s semis to modern flats as well as great shops (including a Waitrose supermarket). Students tend to favour Cottingham, which has its own train station.
Getting around and about Hull
Car: The A15 runs between the Humber Bridge and Lincoln, while the A164 runs north to Beverley. The A63 east-west links Hull to the M62 which in turn connects to the A1(M) and the M1.
Sea: P&O Ferries sail from Hull Ferry Terminal to Rotterdam and Zeebrugge. The Marina offers berths for all kinds of craft.
Air: The city of Hull has its own airport at Humberside, which is around a 30-minute drive away. Robin Hood Airport, Doncaster is around 45 minutes away, while Leeds Bradford and Manchester are around a one- and two-hour drive respectively.
Things to do in Hull
With so much going on in Hull as a result of its rejuvenation it’s worth looking out for updates about new events and changes to schedules as well as taking in old favourites such as the zoo in East Park.
Visit The Deep – Hull’s award-winning marine conservation aquarium. The building was designed by architects Sir Terry Farrell and Partners and overlooks the Humber Estuary.
Take in a production at Hull Truck Theatre, founded as an independent theatre in 1971 and pivotal to Hull’s 2017 City of Culture bid. Hull New Theatre, run by Hull City Council, is undergoing refurbishment ahead of 2017’s cultural events.
Attend the Freedom Festival – an urban festival of theatre, music, comedy and poetry celebrating Hull’s contribution to the cause of freedom. William Wilberforce, the Hull-born politician who lobbied for the abolition of the slave trade, is celebrated in the city’s museums quarter.
Ferens Art Gallery, named after art collector Thomas Ferens, has been named as the new home to the Turner Prize 2017. It also houses permanent and touring exhibitions.
Take a picnic to the suburb of Hessle to enjoy the 48 acres making up Humber Bridge country park, where you’ll find wildlife, woods and meadows.
Best kept secret in Hull
Marks & Spencer founders set up one of their first penny bazaars in Hepworth’s Arcade. It’s still home to lots of independent and one-off shops, including a joke shop.
4 reasons to live in Hull
Affordable house prices and diverse range of property
Growing industry and regeneration
City of Culture for 2017
Easy access to sea and European ports
Its own airport