[press trip] Hull is my home so when Visit Hull and East Yorkshire asked me to be a tourist in my own town I thought surely I’d seen all the sites, sampled all the food and walked every cobble of the old town. Turns out I was wrong. Very wrong!
As a parent, it can be hard to get away with your mates or drop everything for a date night and leave the little ones at home. That’s why a staycation city break is a great option. Just one night away staying in the centre of Hull means you can cram in loads of activities as there’s so much to do all within walking distance.
I met up with a bunch of other lovely bloggers from all over the UK and set out on a walking tour led by the lovely Paul Schofield.
At just £4 a head (no need to book, just turn up – see website for details), Paul will walk you around Hull’s Old Town, pointing out the city’s beautiful architecture, sharing anecdotes of times gone by and ensuring you stop to take plenty of Insta-friendly photos too.
It was on this walking tour that I realised there was so much to my city which I didn’t know about. We took a wander into Zebedee’s yard which was once home to maritime school Trinity House, the school my grandad went to. Since the school’s demolition, this has now become a multi-use live music and event space.
In there is a beautiful monument to passed away seamen. I was so moved by this stunning sculpture and felt a strange sense of guilt for not knowing about its existence.
When live music events are on in Zebedee’s yard, the stage conceals this end of the yard and therefore has stood unknowing to many during these concerts. It was lovely to see something new to me in my own town.
We then ventured further through the old town and I was reminded of the historical importance of Hull when Paul pointed out England’s smallest window down Land of Green Ginger.
All these sites, are easily taken for granted whilst popping into highstreet shops or walking through town to see a show. It was a poignant reminder to look up and imagine times gone passed of generations of workers and artists who walked the self same pavements.
I also visited some of the most beautiful pubs in Hull city centre including the Ye Olde White Hart. It was wonderful to see so many old buildings so well looked after and still in business.
After a lengthy explore of Hull’s old town we landed upon Trinity Market which is already one of my favourite stops for lunch. It’s a foodie’s paradise, with a huge choice of eateries. There’s burrito’s, curries and greek kebabs which all come with my recommendation.
You cannot visit Trinity Market without stopping for a salted caramel brownie from Cocoa Chocolatier too. Their motto is “Life is Short, Make it Sweet” and my word they deliver that!
Their brownies need to be washed down by a coffee from Caffeinated for the perfect pairing.
We then had the pleasure of visiting the Michelangelo exhibition being hosted by Hull Minster which is on until 18th November 2019. Ticket are free and available here.
This truly special exhibition is a display of high definition photographs of the paintings in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. These have been printed onto large pieces of fabric so it can tour around the world. It was great to see so many people visiting the exhibition. I love that the tickets have been made free in Hull, making it accessible for all.
Hotham Gin School
Later in the afternoon we visited Hull’s Gin School located in Hepworth’s arcade. Emma and Simon talked us through the history of gin and why different flavours go together. They regularly hold different themed private parties for gin tasting. We were there for a full afternoon and tried a number of different flavours of gin which was a really fun experience.
We were then taught how to make our very own gin! If I’m honest, after three large glasses of gin and tonic I don’t recall any of the instructions at all haha but I suspect this is a clever tactic on behalf of Emma and Simon just so we have to go back to buy more.
Making my own gin felt very satisfying though and I was so proud of what we created. These experience afternoons would be a lovely gift for someone’s birthday or even as a classy hen do. The only rule is don’t drink any alcohol beforehand.
After all the drinking and gin making it was time to head down Humber Street to Ambiente Tapas. Here the food was incredibly tasty!
We tasted a huge selection of food the the prawns were possibly my favourite but its such a close call with the paella. The amount of food was incredible and such good value.
The waiting staff were extremely attentive and keen to check in on us regularly for extra bread and oil. They were also remarkably keen to point out any non-vegetarian or non-dairy free meals much to the reassurance of those in the group with dietary and allergy requirements.
After being filled to the brim with amazing food, we headed back to DoubleTree Hilton. This is a chain I’ve stayed in before as they offer a really good public sector discount so can make a mini break really affordable. However I’ve never just booked one of their hotels in Hull for a break so it was great to try it out.
What we learnt was that this is definitely a party hotel! The DoubleTree Hilton Hull has its own rooftop terrace and frequent nights on a particular theme. The night we were staying they were hosting some body building championships! It was great to wake up already in Hull City Centre so we could crack on with our day straight away.
We headed off to The Deep, which although I’ve been to before with my children, it was totally different to go without the boys in tow. You can read my full review here.
Being there just as a group of adults was lovely though and I got to read the exhibitions properly without being rushed around! It was particularly nice to stand for as long as I wanted watching the mesmerising jelly fish.
The Lion And Key
You couldn’t have a bloggers’ trip to Hull without a fish and chip lunch and lots of mobile phone photos being taken! We had a lovely trip to The Lion and Key in Hull’s old town, again somewhere I had never been before so was a real treat. The menu was really impressive and everyone ordered something different. I did go for the classic fish supper though and had zero regrets!
This lunch rounded off a fabulous (and very jammed packed) weekend for us and I couldn’t have asked for better company. I was so proud of my home town and even though it chucked it down on the Sunday we really did see some of the best sights during our big walk around!
It had never occurred to me to take a weekend as a tourist in my own town but it is simply the best staycation you can take!
Hull is one of the most special places in England. After receiving so much investment as a result of winning City of Culture status, there are so many free things to see and do. It’s almost all within walking distance too and if not, then the public transport is also brilliant. Taking a trip out with an official tour guide was a great start but now I’m ready to turn up again and just wander and see where the streets take me and uncover more of hidden Hull.
If you want to read more reviews on Hull then check out these posts by the other amazing ladies.
Nicola from MummytoDex
Gemma from Family On The Go
Vicki from TippyTupps
Rachel from Out and About Mummy
Disclosure – this post was written in collaboration with Visit Hull and East Yorkshire but all views are my own.