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Hull’s reputation down South is on the up

One southerner’s experience of Hull

When you hear the name ‘Hull’ there are probably already some preconceptions about the city in your mind – even if you’ve never visited. I can say this with confidence because three years ago, I definitely had a pretty negative perception of Hull. I had never visited the city myself – in fact, I’d never even left the South of England. Now I’ve been here for almost two whole years.

It’s safe to say that in the South, Hull has more than a few associations with the phrase “a bit rough”. This is particularly apparent in the small, depressingly Conservative town I come from. A few years ago, it seemed like most people were prepared to write Hull off as something unsalvageable.

Having been here for almost two years: this perception is totally wrong.

City of Culture 2017

The city being named the UK’s City of Culture for 2017 played a huge role in changing the general perception of Hull – not just my own. In a way, it was just what the city needed to give it a new breath of life while drawing in millions of new visitors to the area at the same time. I am the perfect example here: after visiting the city regularly for most of 2017, I decided to move a six-hour train journey away from home to attend university in Hull (yes, you read that correctly, six hours).

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The nights out are ridiculously cheap…

A huge plus when it comes to living and attending university in Hull is how insanely cheap the nights out here are.

I remember the first time I went to Piper on a Monday night – I took £40 for the entire night and came back with the best part of £20 still in my wallet. Let me put this into perspective for you: £40 would get you an average night out in Southampton, near where I live – I'm talking around £10 for a double vodka lemonade.

If you think that's bad, I would just like to warn you to never go out in London. Clearly, returning from a night out at home in the South with change is almost unheard of.

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Even more culture…

In terms of other things to do in the city, well, there are enough shops and restaurants to keep anyone happy – especially down Newland Ave. If you're craving pancakes or anything of the kind, I would 100 per cent point you towards Caffe Gelato. And that’s not even taking into consideration The Deep aquarium, the Ferens Art Gallery, the various museums around the city… the list is endless, really, and shows just how much Hull deserved the title of City of Culture.

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Today I pretended to be cultured ?

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In every city – be it north or south – there are the nice areas and to put it kindly, the not so nice areas.

Has Hull been improved after becoming City of Culture for 2017?

For sure.

Are there still “rough” areas?

Anyone living here would tell you there are.

But are perceptions of Hull as negative as they were before?

Absolutely not – the difference in how people are viewing Hull as a city is clear to see every time I go home for the holidays.

I'm happy to say I've been proven wrong about Hull and, almost universally, every person who visits the city feels the same way.

Featured image: Queen Victoria Square, Kingston upon Hull cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Bernard Sharp via