Although traditionally a port which has now diversified, Hull is now also a centre for the chemicals industry and is undergoing a renewal project in its heart, with a remodelled quayside and new shopping facilities. It has a population of over 250,000 and is the principal administrative centre for East Yorkshire.
- The Humber Bridge - when built in 1982 it was the largest single-span suspension bridge in the world, so long that the poles holding up the structure at either end are several inches further apart at the top than the bottom to account for the curvature of the Earth. The bridge is a toll road linking East Yorkshire with Lincolnshire.
- The cream phone boxes - Hull has a rare municipal phone system, which means that it has a distinctive colour and livery in its call boxes, which may confuse Superman should he be visiting.
- Wilberforce House - a museum dedicated to former Hull resident and anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce, providing an insight into his life and work to see the trade abolished.
- The Deep - hailed as the world's only Submarium, this underground and underwater experience offers the whole family a chance to enjoy and interact with all aspects of marine life and environments.
- Hull Maritime Museum - a great chance to see a selection of harpoons close up, as whaling boats and all kinds of other vessels and artefacts bring the history of the port to life.
- Sport - Hull has traditionally been a big rugby league town, featuring Hull FC and Hull Kingston Rovers. But fans of these two oval-ball rivals have competition for their affections, with football club Hull City currently in the Championship League. Croquet is also popular, at least with one of the city's MPs, John Prescott.
How to get around
- By Rail - The main station is Waverley, one of the few transport hubs to be named after a book. Although the city is connected to London via the East Coast Line and also easily reached from Glasgow, local suburban lines are few in number. However the city will soon get its own tram network, which is due to become operational in 2011 and will eventually have 36 stops.
- Buses - With a limited local rail system and no trams or underground, buses are a key feature of the public transport system and the main way to get around.
- Ferries - the city acts as a port for many ferry companies travelling to continental destinations, particularly Zebrugge in the Netherlands.
- Motorways - The nearest motorway to Hull is the M62, which links it to Leeds and the rest of West Yorkshire.
Living in Hull
- Universities - The University of Hull is ranked 44th in the Times Good University Guide. The city was also once the base of the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside. Although this institution is now mainly based in Lincoln, it retains a campus in the city.
- Major hospitals - Hull is covered by the Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, with hospitals including Hull Royal Infirmary, Castle Hill Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital.
- History - Hull became a city in 1293, when it was given its official title of Kings Town on Hull. Already a port serving the woollen trade, the city grew as a major shipping and whaling centre through the centuries, although the transportation of slaves was removed from the agenda in the 19th century by its own son William Wilberforce.
Hull suffered substantial war damage due to its proximity to mainland Europe and in the later post-war years shared in the industrial decline felt by many other cities. Today, however, it remains a diverse port and urban regeneration projects are giving it a renewed feel as it moves into the 21st century.
Property in Hull
At the time of the 2001 Census, Hull had just over 104,000 households, providing a large number of different homes. Like many cities, the inner area has many terraces and larger family homes can be found in outer areas, with the west being more fashionable. In recent times the regeneration of the quays has created a large number of apartments in the vicinity. According to the National Association of estate agents, there are over 28 estate agents in Hull.
Dates for the diary
- Hull Fair - held every October, this long-running fair attracts a wide range of fairground rides, fun and games, offering a great chance to be both turned upside down and have a go on the air rifles, although preferably not at the same time.
- Hull international short film festival - a chance for film buffs to see some of the latest releases every April from around the world.