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The Yorkshire city of Kingston-upon-Hull, known as just Hull, sits along the northern bank of the Humber River estuary and has a long history as a major fishing and commercial port. Its architectural gems are its highlight, along with its vast sky and sea vistas fronted by the Flemish facades of the harbour buildings, the cobbled streets of the old town, grand merchant mansions, Georgian terraces and the industrial heritage of huge Victorian warehouses. The surrounding countryside and coastal villages as well as the Yorkshire moors and dales are best accessed by self-drive.
Who to Book With
Most of the well-known, reliable international car hire companies have bases here, as the port is hub for ferries to and from the continent. Avis, Hertz and Europcar are three of the most-used, and booking online well in advance is the best idea due to high demand.
Best Time to Go
Historically-based Hull holidays are best taken in the spring and summer months, as the chilly North Sea winds are at their worst in winter and late autumn. Touring the wild moorlands and deep valleys is easily done from April through October, but winter can bring deep snow, low temperatures and appalling driving conditions.
Need to Know Essentials
When collecting your hire car, the following documents should be presented:
- A valid UK or EU driving license or an International Driving Permit
- Another photo ID such as your passport
- The credit card used for your online booking
- A printed rental confirmation slip if possible
Driving in Hull can be irritating during rush hours but presents no challenges for the experienced motorist, and driving in rural areas is a breeze due to far fewer cars on the roads. Parking in the city centre is best at pay-as-you-park car parks on in your hotel’s car park, and local drivers are mostly courteous and careful. Warning triangles and visibility vests are important in the shoulder seasons, as moorland mists can hide broken-down cars, and seatbelts must be worn on all drives. Petrol stations are everywhere, with most allowing payment by card, although fuel in the UK is Europe’s most expensive.
Although many of Hull’s attractions are in the city centre or its old town and easily accessed on foot, self-drive is the most practical way to get off the beaten track and marvel at the moorland scenery. Trains, buses and taxis are all on offer, with buses the least expensive for local and longer journeys.
Hull’s main rail station is at the city centre’s Paragon Interchange, giving seamless travel between train, coach and bus services. Car rental is also available here. Eight trains run daily from London’s Kings Cross Station, with journey times of under three hours, and the Trans-Pennine Express connects from Manchester and Leeds. The main service providers are Hull Trains and East Coast.
East Yorkshire Motor Services and Stagecoach operate Hull’s extensive bus services, with tickets purchased from the drivers. Bus stops are found at the northern end of the Paragon Interchange, and timetables can be inaccurate at times due to heavy traffic.
A full list of taxi companies in Hull offering mini-cab services form the airport, on local journeys and longer-distance trips is found on the Taxi Register’s website. Most companies allow booking online as well as by phone.
Most holidaymakers looking to explore the region head north to the Yorkshire Moors and the Dales for their traditional stone villages and sweeping vistas. However, there’s much to be seen and enjoyed along the Yorkshire coastline with its traditional British seaside towns.
Beverley - For a relaxing drive along the coast and inland from Hull, head for the charming town of Beverley with its imposing Minster, medieval St Mary’s Church, traditional Beverly Market and the town’s number one attraction, Beverly Racecourse.
Bridlington - Heading north along the coast, you’ll come to the beachside towns of Bridlington, Flamborough, set close to magnificent Flamborough Head, and the popular seaside resorts of Filey and Scarborough. All have their fishing harbours, and the seaside town of Withernsea with its wide promenade is the centre for a number of quaint local villages.
Whitby - Farther to the north but still an easy daytrip away via the A171 is picturesque, historic Whitby, the birthplace of famous seafaring explorer Captain James Cook. Whitby is famous for its ghosts, with ruined Whitby Abbey reputed to be popular not just with modern-day visitors. The town is famous as the place where Count Dracula landed in the novel of the same name, and Celtic and Viking history is strong here.