Hull has experienced somewhat of a renaissance of late, having been awarded the title of UK Capital of Culture for 2017. The year saw hundreds of cultural events taking place in the city’s new cultural quarter – the recently regenerated Fruit Market. The legacy of which has continued to encourage new investment and see the area transformed into an urban village filled with restaurants, bars, galleries, and bustling outdoor space.
Check out our guide to the best things to do in Hull, from the newly developed cultural quarter to the nearby historic Old Town.
What was once the epicentre of fruit and veg trade in Hull is now the focal point for Hull’s cultural regeneration. The Fruit Market area is a waterside district, intertwined by cobbled streets that are lined with bars, restaurants, art galleries and studio spaces, as well as retailers and local businesses.
The area, previously occupied by derelict warehouses, has seen recent office and residential development, thanks to an £80m redevelopment programme. This has helped to bring a continuous stream of custom to local businesses. The Fruit Market also boasts a plethora of traditional pubs and microbreweries, al fresco refreshments and live music, all centred around Humber Street.
Humber Street Distillery Co.
One of our favourite places to drink in the regenerated Fruit Market is Humber Street Distillery Co. This gin bar and distillery is one of the standout venues in Humber Street, offering up over 100 varieties of gin, as well as some lesser known spirits, local craft beers, and cocktails.
The owners of Humber Street Distillery have teamed up with Jamie Baxter, the renowned gin distiller who opened the City of London Distillery in 2012, to refine their craft. This led them to launch their very own Hull Dry Gin, which can only be bought at a handful of locations – and of course, at the distillery itself.
The distillery is one of only a few such ventures in the UK and is one of the many reasons to visit the waterfront Fruit Market.
Just a stone’s throw from the Fruit Market you’ll find The Deep – an aquarium that operates as an education and conservation charity. The stunning glass and aluminium building protrudes from the water’s edge overlooking the point at which the Humber and the River Hull meet.
Here, you can see over 5,000 underwater creatures, learn about the organisation’s pioneering marine conservation work or take one of their many tour offerings – from prehistoric underwater worlds to the flooded Amazon and the Kingdom of Ice.
Plus, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday’s you can even dine amongst aquatic life at the Two Rivers Restaurant, serving an a la carte menu focused on local, sustainable dishes.
Hull’s Old Town
Further north from the Humber estuary lies the historic Hull Old Town. Here you’ll find some of the finest examples of Edwardian and Georgian architecture in Yorkshire lining the cobbled streets below.
The Old Town hosts plenty of independent bars, restaurants and coffee shops, plus a number of traditional real ale pubs. The area also boasts several free museums including the Streetlife Museum of Transport, where you can step into a replica of a street from the early 20th century, board one of the city’s old trams and gain an insight into the Hull’s fascinating past.
You can also walk through the Hepworth Arcade, a beautiful covered passageway filled with fascinating shops and independent food outlets – perfect if you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary. It’s also the place where Mr. Marks and Mr. Spencer opened one of their first penny bazaars!
Ye Old White Harte
One of the most popular pubs amongst local in Hull’s historic Old Town is Ye Olde White Harte on Silver Street. Built in the 16th century, the pub has a fascinating history, and is rumoured to be the place where the decision was taken to refuse King Charles I entry into Hull, sparking the English Civil War.
The pub was almost destroyed by fire in the 19th century, but still retains most of its original features and has managed to remain relatively untouched over the years – think oak panelled walls and inglenook fireplaces.
The pub offers a selection of real ales, wines and spirits, and the newly re-opened kitchen serves home-cooked traditional food, including delicious Sunday carveries.
Although certainly not an exhaustive list of things to do in Hull, our guide is a great start to your itinerary for a Hull city break. If you’re still looking for somewhere to stay, our Village hotel in Hull has everything you need in one place, including a pub and grill, gym and spa.