Hull is cr*p again – or so says another obscure (and likely southern-based) town review website.
Tin pot online publications and fly-by-night blogs can’t seem to get over the myth that Hull is anything other than a glorious place to live and visit.
It started in 2003 when a book called Cr*P Towns decreed that the city was the UK’s worst place to live (10 years later, the author ate his words).
This time, ilivehere.co.uk has collated the results of a survey of its readers – who may or may not have visited the city – to name it fifth-worst in the country.
The article even called the city European Capital of Culture in 2017, rather than giving it the correct title of UK City of Culture 2017.
It says: “Hull, the European Capital of Culture in 2017, has made the top 10 every year since 2005 and is three-times overall winner – so this is possibly an improvement. One critic said: ‘I was born and bred in Hull and can honestly say it’s a dump. Just spend ten minutes outside the Maternity Unit at Hull Royal Infirmary…”
We respectfully disagree. Here are 10 reasons Hull is one of the country’s BEST places to live.
1. Our fantastic FREE museums and galleries
As the saying goes, if you want tea shops, go to Beverley, but if you want museums, come to Hull! The city’s museums quarter, comprising Wilberforce House (the birthplace of William Wilberforce who led the movement to end the slave trade, no less), the Hull and East Riding Museum, Streetlife and the Arctic Corsair trawler, plus the wonderful Hull Maritime Museum, are the envy of the country. We also boast the world-class Ferens Art Gallery. And best of all, they won’t cost you a penny. Take that, Derwent Pencil Museum!
2. Our distinctive accent
What’s your favourite story of being misunderstood when visiting another town? From being asked why one might visit a tech store to buy a plant pot (when all we wanted was a ‘fern’ holder) to being brought cake instead of a Coke in a cafe, we have all drawn blank looks from people in the service industry when travelling outside of the city. Perhaps the moral of the story is never leave …
3. We are dripping in history
Seriously. In the 1700s, Hull was a hotbed of secret plotting, treason, rebellion and, er, beheading. Ye Old White Hart pub in the Old Town, built in 1500, is the site of a plotting parlour where mutinous plans said to have triggered the English Civil War were made. It also has a mysterious skull behind the bar. No, really. You can also visit the site of the city walls where Charles I was refused entry and check out the world’s smallest window, all within the space of about half a square mile. Try and come here without learning something cool, we challenge you.
4. An Old Town to fall in love with
Speaking of the Old Town … quaint cobbled streets, centuries old lead-windowed buildings, pubs that had a bewildering beer offer before craft was cool, a veggie restaurant, Hitchcocks, where first to book gets to choose the evening’s menu, plus places to try out the famous pattie and chips – Lion and Key is a good shout. Carbs and carbs. Sounds weird, but believe us, it’s incredible. Old Town also has a swing bridge you can ride, the beautiful Hull Minster, magical moving water features – and probably the best address in the world: Second Star on the Right and Straight on til Morning, Land of Green Ginger, Hull. Who doesn’t want to live there?
5. Two top-flight rugby league teams
For more than a hundred years, Hull KR and Hull FC have united east and west (okay, not always united …). The clubs have collectively won six Challenge Cups, three Premiership Titles and 12 Yorkshire Cups. Hull will always be renowned as a great rugby league city – and we look forward to proving that to the rest of the country when we host the Rugby League World Cup 2021.
6. We have a Bee Lady!
96-year-old Jean Bishop, better known as Hull’s Bee Lady, is the queen of our hearts. For the past 25 years, Jean has devoted her widowhood to selflessly fundraising more than £100,000 for charity – and she’s not stopping well into her 10th decade. Locals make a beeline (sorry) to Jean’s collection tin when she’s out and about in the city in full bee suit. Last year, Jean got civic recognition for her efforts when she was awarded freedom of the city of Hull.
7. The Humber Bridge – yes, we are claiming it
No, it’s not technically in Hull, but the Humber Bridge was certainly built for Hull. This magnificent structure straddling a mile of muddy water is the unofficial gateway to the city – you know you’re home when you pass under its huge deck. Famously and beautifully described by poet Shane Rhodes, who wrote in The City Speaks: “More than once I tried to leave you, But your familiar voice brings me back. I travel across or under the harp and know I’m home again.”
8. We are a birthplace for music
Mick Ronson and The Spiders From Mars, the Beautiful South, the Housemartins, Roland Gift and Everything But The Girl – Hull is the birthplace of some great musical acts. It still provides an annual platform for up-and-coming acts at the popular Humber Street Sesh. The festival epitomises the city’s community spirit and creativity, with local people and businesses making the event possible, showcasing more than 200 bands to the tens of thousands of people who attend over a weekend in August.
9. Penguins and sharks live here
Yes, The Deep, the city’s enormous aquarium, is home to waddling, adorable aquatic flightless birds and the fearsome-looking cousins of Jaws, along with literally thousands of other species of marine animals, all under the same distinctive sloping roof. Its tank contains 2,500,000 litres of water (enough for 10 million cups of tea) and 87 tonnes of salt (enough to cover a gazillion portions of patty and chips). It is nothing less than an international player in marine conservation, with biologists on staff to look after all the animals and also carry out research to protect their marine environment.
10. And finally, the people
The best thing about Hull is its warm, friendly and convivial inhabitants. Those who return to Hull after living in London are totally freaked out when addressed directly on public transport. Clearly jaded by life in the big smoke, it’s easy to forgot that openly chatting to strangers in Hull is what we do. The folk of Hull have a brutal wit and great sense of humour that can make most situations hilarious. Keep your misery commutes, southerners!