5 reasons why you should move to Hull
- Credit: Archant
Neighbourhood know-how, places and people
The city of Kingston upon Hull, to give its full title, sits on the tidal Humber Estuary. It's very exposed to the elements, and, along with Hell and Halifax, it's had a bad rap in the past, but trust me, give the place another chance - the regeneration it's undergone in recent years, especially since its year as City of Culture in 2017, could just make it your new favourite place.
Like most major cities these days, Hull is well served by rail and road. You can hop on a train at King's Cross and be in the city centre fewer than three hours later. Or travel from Yorkshire's other great cities in less time than it takes to watch a short movie on Netflix - furthest away is Bradford, about 90 minutes by rail. By road from the west, take the M62/A63; from the south, the A1 then A15 will bring you into the city via the spectacular Humber Bridge; and from the north, head straight down the A1. (If you're coming from the East, you're probably on a boat.) And if you're feeling really energetic, Hull marks the start of several national bike routes.
Bag a property
With terraced houses selling at around £110,000, semis averaging £155,000 and detached properties going for around £260,000, Hull is still remarkably affordable - at time of writing, there's a one-bedroom flat listed in the lovely Old Town for just £75,000.
But the city's very much on the up, so it seems reasonable to assume that those averages will start to rise: properties in the Fruit Market cultural quarter, where the vibrant Humber Street, named best street in the UK in the 2017 Academy of Urbanism's annual awards, range from around £170,000 to £280,000 (still a bargain!).
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Hull is a compact city, so great for exploring on foot. Start at the doors of the medieval Minster, and walk across Trinity Square and up the gorgeous pastel-hued Georgian terrace that is Prince Street. It's an easy stroll to Queen Victoria Square, home to Hull City Hall, the Ferens Art Gallery and the Hull Maritime Museum (although the latter is currently closed as it undergoes refurbishment), and the joyous dancing fountains.
Or head in the opposite direction and you're five minutes from the Marina and the Museums Quarter, which includes Wilberforce House and the Hull and East Riding Museum. A little further afield, and you'll find glorious Pearson Park, currently undergoing a £4m restoration, and much-loved by Philip Larkin - it's included in a trail encompassing some of his favourite places. Another popular and long-established trail celebrates Hull's history as a fishing port - the fish trail will take you to some of the city's best-known landmarks including, of course, The Deep.
Café & cocktails
At a time when the future of the traditional English pub seems very uncertain, Hull seems spectacularly blessed with them: The Minerva, overlooking the Marina, is cheeringly old school. There are plenty of modern bars, too, plus a a handful of smart microbreweries - Atom Brewing Co, alongside Hull Minster, looks cosy and has an intriguing menu, but try the Bricknell Brewery and Gene Pool, too.
The recently refurbished Trinity Market adopts the modern model of communal tables and lots of vibrant food stalls including brilliant burgers and poutine at Shoot the Bull; pizza cones (yes, they're a thing) at Cone Queen; great value Italian at Alessandro's, and excellent cake and coffee at Caffeinated.
Nudging up to Trinity Market, the Hepworth Arcade is a little gem and a must for lovers of offbeat independent shops, including the Aladdin's cave of comedy that is Dinsdale's joke shop, celebrating 90 years in the business this year; specialist audio suppliers A. Fanthorpe, and clothes shop Beasley's with its offshoot hat shop opposite.
Head to spacious Humber Street for vintage clothing at the Poorboy Boutique; gorgeous handmade jewellery - and some intriguing workshops - at Oresome Gallery, and homewares at Plant and Paint.