5 Reasons to Visit Hull City Centre This Autumn

The Yum Food Festival in Queens Gardens


Hull city centre has seen its fair share of investment in the past few years with City of Culture and other developments. It’s very quickly become one of our favourite places to go for a day or night out, and here’s why…

1. The activities and things to do

Everywhere you turn there is something to do in Hull city centre. Whether it be knowledge and culture at the variety of museums and galleries, or something fun and exciting like trampolining, rock climbing, laser tag, bowling or amusements; there’s plenty for the whole family.

Queen Victoria Square is the host of Ferens Art Gallery and Hull Maritime Museum, two staples of Hull’s culture. With the Maritime Museum offering the history of the whaler’s craft of Scrimshaw, and housing a full sized whale skeleton, alongside superb ship models and stunning artefacts from Hull’s whaling, fishing and merchant trade; and Ferens Art Gallery hosting a magnificent collection of paintings and sculptures, including works by European Old Masters, portraiture, marine painting, and modern and contemporary British art.

Inside the Ferens Art Gallery in Queen Victoria Square
Inside the Ferens Art Gallery in Queen Victoria Square

Located just off High Street in Hull’s Old Town, The Museums Quarter consists of four different museums focusing on Hull’s history and heritage; Hull & East Riding Museum, Streetlife Museum, and Wilberforce Museum.

The fastest way to see all of this, is Hull’s very own Land Train. Running every Wednesday to Saturday, it’s the fastest and most memorable way of getting around and taking in the sights of the city centre. The Land Train is great fun for the kids and is a joy to see, with everybody waving at its passengers.

And if you need to catch your breath, the city centre hosts a range of beautiful places to relax and take a breather. Whether it’s taking a rest in Queens Gardens, Hull’s (almost) 10-acre green which is perfect for a relaxed lunch, or the benches surrounding Queen Victoria Square Fountains, you won’t be pressed for beautiful sights in a relaxed setting. On many hot days you’ll find the little ones’ favourite way to cool off is running through the new dancing fountains in Queen Victoria Square.

The Yum Food Festival in Queens Gardens
The Yum Food Festival in Queens Gardens

Once you’ve cooled off why not check out some more fun attractions like ice skating at Hull Arena? Housing an Olympic size ice rink, Hull Arena offers a comprehensive skating programme, offering a variety of ice skating, figure skating, and ice hockey sessions which are all open to the public.

2. The restaurants & bars

After all that excitement, you’re probably going to be a little peckish. So check out the city centre’s large selection of restaurants including the nation’s favourite chains, and local, homegrown eateries.

Whilst shopping in St Stephens, tuck into a Nando’s, Zizzi, Prezzo or KerbEdge for a perfect quick sit-down meal. Or if you’re in a rush, you can grab a Subway, Burger King, Bagel Nash, or Greggs.

On the other side of the city centre is Princes Quay and Quayside which also offer some of the nation’s favourites such as Pizza Express, Nando’s, Ask Italian, Baskin Robbins. But there’s also a range of bistros and bars including Furley & Co, Bar 82, Leonardo’s, McCoy’s and Blue Water.

Move further east and you’re met with Hull’s Old Town with a range of bars to catch your thirst including Rift & Co., Dirty Dicks, Jaz Bar, and Wetherspoons as well as a large variety of old pubs that offer a more authentic Hull flavour.

Hull's Old Town has some unique restaurants and bars
Some of the Old Town’s unique restaurants and bars

Hull’s Marina offers a fine-dining experience in its gorgeous setting; with restaurants such as Tapasya, Wellington Pizza Pub, Ambiente Tapas, Butler Whites, and 1884 Wine and Tapas Bar.

3. Top shows and entertainment

For evening entertainment, Hull is completely stacked with places to catch a show. Home to two major theatres, three multi-screen cinemas and two large concert venues, the city centre is the perfect place for an evening’s entertainment.

While Hull New Theatre hosts a broad range of UK travelling tours, Hull Truck delivers powerful, independent productions showcasing new talent. West End musicals including the Rocky Horror Show on the way to Hull in 2019.

Related: Theatre shows coming up at Hull & East Yorkshire

In terms of cinema, you have the choice of Vue, Reel, and Odeon Luxe. Vue and Reel are both located in shopping centres, so it’s convenient for entertainment in between shopping and dining. The newly refurbished Odeon Luxe at Kingston Retail Park allows you to have the luxurious cinema-going experience for a fraction of the cost of any other city.

Also located in the city centre is the stunning new 3,500 capacity Bonus Arena. Alongside that, the grand Hull City Hall is one of the city’s premium live concert and entertainment venues; both bringing top UK comedy and music tours to the city of culture.

Related: Music gigs coming up in Hull & East Yorkshire

The new 3,500 capacity Bonus Arena is bringing top UK music and comedy to Hull
The new 3,500 capacity Bonus Arena is bringing top UK music and comedy to Hull

4. Great shops

With three major shopping centres alongside the arcades and Trinity indoor market, you’ll have plenty of choice for a shopping day out.

Conveniently located next to Hull Paragon Station, St Stephen’s is home to some great eateries, entertainment and, most importantly, a large selection of top quality high-street brands. With names such as Topshop, Flannels, H&M, Next, Boux Avenue, Clarks, Foot Asylum and many more, it’s the indoor high street you need for the best fashion and accessories.

Inside St Stephen's Shopping Centre
Inside St Stephen’s Shopping Centre

Over at Quayside, Princes Quay’s new third floor offers dedicated outlet stores for Next, Ben Sherman, Suits Direct, Cotton Traders and more. And if it’s variety you’re after, you can pick up almost anything you need at Prospect Shopping Centre with fashion, health & beauty, electronics, jewellery, homeware stores and more. Boots, Game, H. Samuel, Bodycare, Iceland, WHSmiths, Wilko, Poundland and Bon Marche are all inside while the great ‘strEAT’ food court offers a mix of food choice upstairs.

Trinity Market, Paragon Arcade and Hepworth Arcade are all great places to frequent more local and independent retailers. Trinity Market, located in Hull’s Old Town, is an indoor market with a varied selection of goods from local independent traders offer fruit and veg, fresh meat and fish, handmade chocolates, coffee, pizza, cooked meats and pastries, cafes. There are stalls that sell records, music, handmade soap, bags, printing, jewellery, vintage, alterations, cards and even shoe repairs.

View down Hepworth's Arcade
View down Hepworth’s Arcade

5. Spectacular events

Large scale outdoor events are now a regular occurrence in Hull city centre. From monthly food events to annual music festivals, there is always something going on.

If you catch a taste for Hull’s local street food, then you could check out Hull Trinity Farmers’ Market. Situated in Trinity Square, the market provides an all-round shopping experience; with a selection of the best local craft and gift stalls, locally-brewed beverages, farmed produce and homemade baked goods.

People enjoying the food and atmosphere at Hull Street Food Nights (credit: Peter Harbour)
People enjoying the food and atmosphere at Hull Street Food Nights (credit: Peter Harbour)

After a successful showing in 2018, Contains Strong Language returns to Hull this Autumn. The UK’s biggest poetry and performance festival of new writing brings over 40 events to the city centre over 3 days. Leading poets and world class spoken word artists will take to the stage alongside brand new voices.

Spectacular shows at the Freedom Festival
Spectacular shows at the Freedom Festival

Fancy a laugh? Autumn sees the arrival of Hull Comedy Festival which brings comedians from across the country alongside showcasing local talent. The festival includes over 60 shows from over 70 acts so there’s bound to be something that tickles your fancy. Names include Alexander ArmstrongEd GamblePaul Foot and Hull’s very own Lucy Beaumont.

The main stage at Humber Street Sesh
The main stage at Humber Street Sesh