Hull is packed full of hidden gems; it’s definitely one of those cities that without the proper guidance you might miss a lot of what it has to offer. For this reason, the first thing I chose to do as soon as I arrived in the city was to go on a guided walk of the old town with one of it’s most highly recommended tour guides, Paul Schofield, who has been doing guided walks of Hull and Beverly for 29 years.
We met the group in Queen Victoria Square and Paul started the tour by explaining how Hull got it’s name and a little bit about the bombing in WWII. He said that the damage done to the city wasn’t really reported as they didn’t want journalists coming to Hull and seeing how badly hit it was as it would be so bad for moral. Having said that, I was surprised how many stunning old buildings Hull has, both on a grand scale like in the pictures below and also the more low key ones in the Old Town.
Hull has a very unique trail on it’s pavements ‘The Fish Trail’, an A- Z of fish which creates a tour of the historic Old Town. The trail is free of charge of course and offers a perfect way to explore Hull without a map, yet still encompassing many of the best sights.
Paul’s tour passes by a lot of pubs, which Hull has many of! Some of the buildings are fantastically British and kooky, the kind of place that Americans go crazy over. On top of the pubs I noticed a large number of cool looking cafes and vintage shops en-route, that would not be out of place in Shoreditch or indeed Brooklyn. That sounds like an exaggeration but it’s true!
Hull’s Capital of Culture status also means that it’s benefited from some wonderful art installations around the city, juxtaposed with old buildings such as Hull Minster with it’s newly elevated status.
Paul’s tour was relaxed and fun. He’s a fountain of knowledge of course, but it’s his passion and humour that make the tour and it really set me up for exploring over the next couple of days.