City Guide

Things to Do in Hull

Ben Maples  · Apr 14th 2023

Kingston Upon Hull (known colloquially as Hull) is a port city in the North East of England. The city is one of the most popular cities in the UK for students to study in.

Here, we will look at the various things to do in Hull as well as a brief overview of the city’s history, sport and the universities in the city.

Things to do in Hull


Twenty-five miles inland from the North Sea we have Hull. One of the industry metropolises for many years, Hull boasts a population of roughly 260,000.


Hull has a long and rich history and has a handful of museums to commemorate that fact such as the Streetlife Museum of Transport, Wilberforce House, the Hull Maritime Museum and the Spurn Lightship. All of which give you an insight into the city and show you the wonderful things that the city has to offer and is both accessible and affordable to everyone who wishes to see them, although we do recommend caution for those going on the boat, as it is a lot higher than it looks!

For those that have an interest in film or for those that enjoy seeing some of the most recent films that are coming out, Hull has you covered. With a number of cinemas such as the tiered seating facilities of Cineworld, the inviting smell and atmosphere of the Odeon or even the idea of the unexpected at Vue Cinemas, once again all of which are available at an affordable price.

Hull also has a particularly vibrant nightlife which keeps people entertained, with everything from nightclubs to pubs, to bars to grills; you name it, Hull has it.

Although technically considered a bar, our first option also doubles as a rave as well, and it goes by the name of The Welly Club. This place has everything you need if you’re looking for a good night out with everything from live music all the way through to DJ sets, and on some nights it’s even been known to calm down as a proper bar! Valbon Nightclub is next up on our list. The venue serves as an official after party for Hull’s annual Hull Trinity Festival (See below), but this place boasts many positive reviews from people saying that the staff are friendly and the atmosphere is as enticing as the drinks that they serve, we recommend checking this one out! Our final place is Spiders Nightclub, which is a sort of retro-type bar with glam rock and rock and roll from the 60’s and 70’s being blared out. Whether you like The Smiths or The Sisters of Mercy, you’re bound to find something here that has you interested and believe us when we say that there aren’t many places like this one.

Hull has many different things for people to do, we recommend checking out some of the handful of festivals that the city has to offer like the aforementioned Hull Trinity Festival, which runs annually and offers a broad range of popular music. We also recommend that you check out Hull’s Freedom Festival too.

Things to do with kids in Hull


The city of Hull has one of the best transportation links in the UK.

The city’s main transportation hub is the Hull Paragon Interchange. The hub is the home of a number of the city’s bus services and is also the home of the city’s main railway system.

The city’s main bus services are provided by East Yorkshire and Stagecoach in Hull. People are able to apply for a Hull Card or a KAT Card, which is used for either bus service.

The train system travels to a number of major cities, like London, Newcastle and Sheffield. The main providers are Hull Trains, TransPennine Express and East Coast Main Line. The city does not have any lines that travel to the West Midlands, so travel to cities like Birmingham will need to be done through changing stations or by using National Express.

The city does not have an airport, however, the closest airport to the city is Humberside Airport in Lincolnshire, which flies to mainland Europe. However, those looking for intercontinental flights, will need to travel to Leeds for Leeds Bradford International Airport.

Universities in the City

There are two universities in the city, and they are:

The University of Hull was established in 1927 as University College Hull, and was given university status in 1954.

The student body is represented by Hull University Union, who represent over 100 student societies and also runs the charity and volunteering hub. The university also has an Athletic Union, who represent the university’s sports teams, and compete in the British Universities and Colleges SPort (BUCS) League. The university’s student union was voted as the Student Union of the Year in 2012.

The university has a monthly student newspaper called The Hullfire, an online TV channel called Hullfire TV and a student radio station called JAM Radio.

The University of Lincoln is actually based in Lincoln, however, one of the university’s main campuses is based near Hull city centre.

The university was originally formed in 1861, as the Hull School of Art, however, after several rebrands, the college was given university status in 1992 and rebranded to University of Humberside, then to University of Lincolnshire and Humberside in 1996 and then finally as the University of Lincoln in 2001.

The university’s student population is represented by the University of Lincoln Students’ Union (ULSU). The union was recognised as a company limited by guarantee in 2007, which allows for a different structure of the union’s hierarchy. The union was awarded the NUS Higher Education Students' Union of the Year Award in 2015. Despite this, the student body voted to leave the NUS in 2020.

Much like the University of Hull, the University of Lincoln competes in the BUCS Leagues and competes against other universities.

Things to do with family in Hull

History and Culture

The area of Hull was initially discovered in the Neolithic period, though the settlement wasn’t as well inhabited as other areas of the country, with little-to-nothing of the original settlement still standing in the city today.

The River Hull was considered a great option for trade. The river provided a great outlet for trade in and out of the country, primarily wool. In 1299, the settlement became more prosperous, owing to a royal charter passed by King Edward I and renamed the settlement (formerly known as Wyke) as King’s town upon Hull, which is why the city is now known as Kingston upon Hull.

During the First War of Scottish Independence, the settlement’s port served as a base for Edward I and was later developed further, which resulted in it becoming the foremost port on the country’s East coast. Now, the area wasn’t just known for wool, there was also woolen cloth, timber and wine import as well.

During the English Civil War, Hull was a stratecian’s dream. The city had a huge arsenal of weapons in the city and its port and location made it ideal for defensive and offensive strategies. The city changed hands multiple times in this period and also saw the introduction of whaling as one of the town’s many imports and exports.

With the invention of steam based machinery, like steamboats, Hull’s ports were even more profitable as it opened up channels of commerce with Australia, New Zealand and South America.

Hull received city status in 1897.

After the whaling industry began to decline, the city’s focuses instead shifted to deep sea trawling. Hull was also one of the cities who’s suburban developments began to emerge, with a housing boom that was unrivaled in the 20th century.

Because of its prominence as one of Europe and the UK’s foremost ports, Hull was heavily targeted by the Nazis in World War II, with the German Luftwaffe carrying out the Hull Blitz. Most of the city’s centre was destroyed, over 90% of the city’s houses were either damaged or totally destroyed. Apart from London, Hull was the most severely bombed British town or city, with over 4,000 people either killed or injured.

The city was awarded the City of Culture in 2017 by the department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.


The city is well known for the vast array of sports available to watch or participate in in the city.

The city’s main football club, is Hull City, who currently play in the Championship, after being relegated from the Premier League in 2017. The team did reach the 2014 FA Cup final, though they lost 3-2 to Arsenal. Hull play at the KCOM Stadium. Hall Road Rangers and Hull United are two non-league sides who play in the city as well and both play in the Northern Counties East Division One.

Hull FC is the city’s main rugby league club with the city itself being considered a Rugby League hub. Hull FC also play in the same stadium as the Hull City football team at the KCOM Stadium. Hull FC play in the Super League; so too, do the Hull Kingston Rovers, who play at the KCOM Craven Park Stadium. There are also East Hull, West Hull, Hull Isberg and Hull Dockers who all play in the National Conference League. In terms of Rugby union, the city is represented by Hull Ionians (who play at Brantington Park) and Hull RUFC (who play at The Ferens Ground).

The city also has its own cycle club, the Hull Cycle Speedway Club, who race in the Northern League.

Who’s from Hull?

There are plenty of famous people that have come from Hull too, including; Mick Ronson, Maureen Lipman, Dean Windass and Trevor Bolder.

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