Weekend Breaks: 48 Hours in Hull

Hull: How to spend in a weekend in the City of Culture

Hull (or Kingston-Upon-Hull as its officially known) is full of surprises. It was once voted the UK’s “ Crappest Town”, Hull stepped into the limelight in 2017 as the second UK City of Culture (a title that it will hold until 2021).

With travel time of just under 3 hours from London, and 2 hours from Manchester. Hull is a fantastic option for a quick weekend away.

Located on the banks of the mighty Humber, this once busy fishing port, has something for everyone, whether you’re into History, Art, Music, or Real Ale.

Disclaimer: Below are merely suggestions, feel free to wander around the city and get lost, discover your own hidden gems. One of the most wonderful things about Hull is the friendliness of the people, more often than not you’ll find yourself in a conversation with a complete stranger and leave with a new friend and a list of things to see and do.

1. Get inside info from the city’s volunteers

If you are arriving by train you’ll no doubt bump into the city’s famous and ever enthusiastic City of Culture Volunteers. Unmissable in their bright blue uniforms, they are your first port of call in everything about the city: directions, information about events happening, where to get a good cup of coffee, they know it all!

Volunteers greet visitors at the Information Hub at Paragon Interchange

2. Take a walking tour

A walking tour of the old town is the perfect way to get acquainted with the rich history of the City. All old town walking tours depart City Hall at 14:00 daily and last approximately 2 hours

Walking tours can be booked through Tour Hull or in person at Hull City Hall box office (Queen Victoria Square) and cost £4 per person.

TIP: If you can, get on a tour with guide Paul Schofield, he is incredibly entertaining and is a mine of knowledge about the city.

3. Visit the city’s museums and galleries

Get some culture in your life! Hull has a  wide variety of museums and galleries on offer within the city, and almost all of them are free!

These are handily located within walking distance of each other, and offer something for all ages and interests.

Maritime Museum

Martime Museum, Queen Victoria Square - an old victorian building former dock offices that now house the museum

Housed in the former Dock offices, the Martime Museum covers Hulls fishing industry, whaling, and general maritime history. Suitable for all ages.

TIP: Keep an eye out for the “mermaid” and polar bear!

Address: Queen Victoria Square

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 – 16:30, Sunday 11:00 – 16:00

Admission: Free

Streetlife Museum

Tram at the transport museum

A perennial favourite of locals and visitors alike, the Streetlife Museum is a bloody good time for all ages. Trains, Trams and Automobiles (and the odd bicycle thrown in for good measure)  – get your transport history fix here.

TIP: Check out the penny arcade on the ground floor, and don’t forget to have a buggy ride upstairs.

Address: Hull Museums Quarter, High Street

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 – 16:30, Sunday 11:00 – 16:00

Admission: Free

Wilberforce House Museum

Housed in William Wilberforce’s former home (fact: William Wilberforce was instrumental in ceasing the slave trade in the UK) this museum walks through the history of the slave trade in the UK, using artifacts and audio, the permanent exhibition is well laid out, detailed, and shocking.

TIP: bring tissues, this museum is very moving, you may get a wee bit emotional.

Address: Hull Museums Quarter, 22-25 High Street

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 – 16:30, Sunday 11:00 – 16:00

Admission: Free


The Ferens Gallery

The host of the Turner Prize in 2017. The permanent collection boasts works by Lorenzetti, Frans Hals, Antonio Canaletto, Frederick Leighton, David Hockney to name a few. The Ferens features 4 pieces from Spencer Tunicks ‘Sea of Hull’ project in the city in 2016.

Address: Queen Victoria Square / Carr Lane

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 – 16:30, Sunday 11:00 – 16:00

Admission: Free

Humber Street Gallery

The new kid on the block of Hulls galleries and museums, it opened in 2017 on trendy Humber Street. Offering an ever changing array of exhibitions exploring art, gender, technology, and everything in between. Definitely worth popping along and if the sun is out, head up to the rooftop bar for a glass on vino and the views of the Marina.

Address: 64 Humber Street

Opening Hours: Monday: Closed, Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 – 16:00

Admission: Free

4. Food! Glorious Food!

All the walking, visiting of galleries and museums, and a couple of nights on the town will have you hungry. Hull is certainly not short on options for eating, no matter what your tastes are.

The Pattie

Let’s begin with the local delicacy – the Pattie.  Mashed potato and sage, shaped into a hockey puck, battered and then deep fried. There is much debate about who makes the best pattie but head to Bob Carver on Trinity House Lane. Best had after a couple of pints, it will certainly soak up the booze.

The Old House by Shoot the Bull

Run by street food legends Shoot the Bull, they serve some of the city’s most exciting and tasty food. (I recommend the steak and the pork belly). The Old House is also renowned for their Sunday Roast – do yourself a favour….

TIP: Make a reservation in advance, it can get quite busy

TIP: If whisky is a bit of you, the Old House has the finest selection of single malt in the city.

Address: 5 Scale Lane

Opening Hours: Monday 16:30 – 21:30, Tuesday to Sunday 12:00 – 21:30

Website: https://www.shootthebull.co.uk/the-old-house/

Trinity Market

Recently refurbished, the food hall in Trinity Market is a definite must go to for a lesuirely Saturday lunch. On approach you will be able to smell all sorts of delicious things. The food hall has little of bit of what you fancy – Greek, Italian, Indian street food, savoury and sweet tarts, burgers, pizza in a cone, and very very generous bacon rolls to name few.

Grab a few bits and pieces from a range of stalls, and a couple of beers (or a gin) – and if its sunny, take it all outside to the square in front Hull Minster for lunch with a lovely view.

Address: Trinity House Lane

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 07:30 – 17:00, Sunday Closed

Thieving Harry’s

Outside Tieving Harry's in Hull, this building used to be a fruit merchant

Good tunes, good food and views over the Marina. Come for brunch or lunch. Named after a local fruit merchant, Harry’s is one of the first Humber Street businesses that began the regeneration of the Fruit Market area. Serving everything from French toast, a full Harry’s breakfast, to a gut busting reuben sandwich, a meal here will set you up for the rest of the day.

TIP: Get a window seat upstairs for wonderful views of the marina and the Humber.

Address: 73 Humber Street

Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 10:00 – 16:00, Friday 10:00 – late, Saturday 09:00 – late, Sunday 09:00 – 18:00


Smashed Avocado on toast with a poached egg , at Nibble Cafe

Do not miss for hangover busting brunches. From full English to pancakes to smashed av. Nibble will have something that will cure what ails ya.

TIP: Arrive at opening, after 11am on the weekends it can be a little difficult to get a table.

TIP: Pick up a wee treat for afters – their baked goods are off the charts.

Address: Queen Street (Opposite to C4DI)

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 07:30 – 16:00, Saturday and Sunday 09:00 – 15:00

5. Drink Up

Hull Ale Trail (and some of the best pubs in the city)

Are you a fan of real ale? Hull has the trail just for you…winding its way through the Old Town and beyond, the Hull real ale trail will take you to some of the most well known and charming pubs in the city.

Each stop offers a wide range of real ales and sessions ales that will please even the most discerning ale drinker.

More information about the trail can be found at: www.hullaletrail.co.uk

Ye Old White Harte

Sign for Ye Old White Harte pub in Hull

Stepping into this pub is like stepping back in time. Built in the 16th Century, Ye Old White Harte the former governors house is one of the oldest public houses in Yorkshire. Have a drink in the plotting room upstairs, it was here in 1642 that the decision was made to refuse entry to King Charles I to the city, which was said to be the trigger for the English Civil war.

TIP: Spot the skull behind the bar – no one is entirely sure why its there, and you will hear a different story each time.

Address: 25 Silver Street

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 11:00 – 00:00, Sunday 12:00 – 00:00


Old Fashioned and the cocktail menu at the Brainjar

Enjoy your drinks on the more exotic side? Fancy a cocktail? Or just a simple single malt. The Brainjar is the spot for you, ideal for beginning or ending a night (and in between as well). No weekend trip to Hull is complete without darkening the doorway of this bar.

The staff are incredibly friendly, skillful mixologists, and knowledgeable about everything they have behind the bar. If you are travelling solo, they are always up for a chat.

Art by local artists adorn the walls, the decor is art-shabby-chic, the music they play always seems to be exactly what you want to here a the time. Another personal favourite.

Address: 4 – 6 Trinity House Lane

Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday 11:30 – 22:30, Friday and Saturday 11:30 – 00:30

The Minerva

Facade of the Minerva pub, Hull

Located on the banks of the Humber and offering one of the largest selections of both Gin and real ale in the city, the Minerva is perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Cosy on the inside, and a large outdoor seating area overlooking the sweeping Humber, this pub is fantastic whatever the weather.

Address: Nelson Street

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 12:00 – late

If coffee is more your style, then Two Gingers (Paragon Arcade) and Caffeinated (Trinity Market) have the finest coffee in the city.

6. Catch a festival!

Summertime, It’s festival season and Hull certainly has a few! If you land in the city during one of these weekends do not miss!

Hull Folk and Maritime Festival

Hull Marina

When: Last weekend of July

Tickets: Most free, some ticketed events.

If you like a bit of sea shanty in the afternoon, this is the festival for you. Located in around the Marina, there are stages on boats and on land.


Humber Street Sesh

When: first weekend of August

Tickets: £10 for 200 bands – Bargain.

My personal highlight of the year, Humber Street Sesh showcases new and rising talent from around the region and the country. 12 hours of bands across all sorts of genres, there is definitely something for everyone, no matter your taste in music.


Freedom Festival

When: first weekend of September

Tickets:  Free – however a limited amount of events are ticketed

Hulls premiere arts festival. An incredible weekend of circus, dance, street theatre, music and all sorts of strange and wonderful things.

7. See some street art

The newest addition to the Hulls art scene. A mere 15 minute walk from the city centre, Bankside Gallery opened on Wincolmlee in spring 2018. A creative playground for local artists, it includes the Banksy piece ‘Draw the raised bridge’, spend an hour or 2 wondering the streets, discovering murals at every corner turned.

For more information on location and new pieces take a look at the Bankside Gallery Website

Bankside Gallery, Hull - Street Art Gallery in an inductrial site outside the city centre

8. Get your Dancing Shoes on

The Bonny Boat

The Bonny Boat is nothing short of wonderful. Squeeze yourself into the bar, grab yourself a drink, and you’ll immediately find yourself joining in on one big sing-a-long (Elvis, Motown, Tina Turner thrown in for good measure) that will last until the wee hours. This is one of the great gems of the city –you’ll leave with no voice, several selfies with new friends, and a huge smile on your face. The Bonny Boat will give you one of the warmest welcomes in Hull, and you’ll find yourself back here each time to you visit the city.

Address: Trinity House Lane

Opening Hours: Monday to Wednesday Closed, Thursday 12:00 – 00:00, Friday & Saturday 15:00 – 14:00, Sunday 12:00 – 00:00

The New Adelphi Club

The New Adelphi club is to Hull, what the 100 club is to London. Based in a house (quite literally) it’s exactly how an independent music venue should be – small, dark, and loud. Often used by large acts for warm up shows and up and coming bands from both locally and overseas.

TIP: if you happen to be in town and there is a Residents Association gig, get there. Only £3 to get in, its 18 DJs playing 20 minute sets each, you’re never quite sure what you are going to get, but you will certainly get your dance on.

Be sure to take a look at the Gig Listings to see who is playing

Address: 89 De Grey Street

Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 20:00 – 23:30, Sunday 20:00 – 22:30

9. See the sealife at The Deep

One of the UK’s largest aquariums, the Deep is home to penguins, sharks, and rays, and thousands upon thousands of fish. Do not miss.

TIP: Your ticket will give you entry to the Deep for an entire 12 months, hold on to your ticket

Tickets: Adults £13.50, Students £12.50, Children (ages 3- 15) £11.50, Families £45.00

Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 18:00, last entry 17:00, closed on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day

Where to Stay in Hull

Hideout Hotel 

Located on the doorstep of Hull Minster, this boutique hotel is sleek in design, has all of the mod cons, and most importantly beds that are like clouds to sleep on.


Address: North Church Side

Hull Trinity Backpackers

If you are on a budget and travelling in a large group then Hull Trinity backpackers is a good option. They have a number of room options available: Dorms, family rooms, and single / double rooms. A little more upmarket than your usual crusty hostel, this is definitely worth a look


Address: 51-52 Market Place

Other Accommodation

There are also a number of chain hotels that operate in the city – the Premier Inn, The Hilton Doubletree, and the Ibis budget hotel. All good options, and within 10-15 mins walks to everything you would want to see and do.

12 thoughts on “Weekend Breaks: 48 Hours in Hull

  1. Natasha L says:

    I’ve visited London several times that I’m loving trip recommendations from there. Looks like a really lovely place to visit.

  2. Eva Grosso says:

    This is a place I had never heard about, yet it sounds so cool and interesting. I’d definitely be in for a pub crawl as me loves a good ale! Also the Streetlife Museum sounds so cool. And it’s also free! Thank you for introducing me such an awesome place I did not know!Eva

  3. Elizabeth Akinyi says:

    This was such a great article. I’ve been to the UK a few times and loved it! The next time I’m back, I’ll be sure to put Hull as city destination to vist for a few days. ~Elizabeth

  4. Michelle M says:

    You have such a great list of things to see and places to eat. It’s awesome that some of the museums are free as well.

  5. Nafisa Habib says:

    Sealife at The Deep sounds so adventurous!!! Love this shot. What are the strange things to do at Freedom Festival?

  6. Emily says:

    Honestly I’ve never heard of Hull before! But it looks fantastic. I love the heritage architecture and the abundance of museums. Definitely one to bookmark for future trips!

  7. a says:

    Aw no, that’s sad that it was voted “crappest town in UK” – I think it looks quite cool. And lots of great places to eat too!

  8. Angelica says:

    I had to Google crappest to see if it meant something different in the UK vs what I was thinking coming from the US, because it actually sounds really cool! 😂 I love food, so I’m excited to visit Hull and try the pattie!

  9. Rachel silverwood says:

    I’m British and embarrassingly I’ve never been to Hull! After reading I’ll be sure to visit soon

    • meetmeatthepyramidstage says:

      Come when its warmer, its properly cracking!

  10. Viola says:

    Always love to hear about day trips from the popular tourist spots. Hull sounds very interesting! The fact that it went from the “crappest town” to city of culture is pretty amazing.

  11. Richa says:

    I love taking day trips from bigger cities, this looks like a perfect getaway from London. Wonder why would it be ever voted as the crappest city?!

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