hull marina

Why Hull is becoming my new True Love

hayley-elahee

Hayley Elahee

BSc Computer Science

So, let’s get this clear: I am a Londoner by heart.

When visiting back home, I’m drawn to Soho and window shopping at Covent Garden. I love London, and it’s truly all I’ve ever known.

So moving to Hull for me was a really serious change! Now let me say, I haven’t been everywhere (not saying I wouldn’t love to) so this is just my perspective. I would say London is a pretty vast place, so for me to say Hull compares... that’s something!

student hayley elahee posing on a castle wall
Hayley loves London, but she also loves Hull...

Now let’s start at something pretty cliché - you’ve probably heard it before but as students, it is a really big deal.

Hull is a really affordable and - in the best way - a cheap city.

The first time I realized this was by going to the cinema. We took the bus down to the city centre (obviously I had no familiarity with surroundings so a big thanks to you, helpful bus driver!) and went to Princes Quay shopping centre.

From there we found the cinema and decided on our movie. Now let me just say, cinema tickets in London are looking at around £10.99 minimum, and that’s not including popcorn, ice cream or whatever.

So, I’m sure you can imagine my surprise at paying for a ticket that was HALF of that price! I was going to see a newly released movie for a mere £5… I was able to get popcorn, a drink and a hot dog for a steal. It’s simple things like this that can really make all the difference sometimes.

I often find myself heading out to the cinema, bowling, cafes and more just to get away from the stress of my course and honestly sometimes all I have is £7 after bills etc. So taking a trip to the movies is ideal for those days. Not to mention the price of food and takeaway, my flatmate and I can bargain an entire vegan meal on a weeknight for like £8 per person!

Takeouts are close by, supermarkets are incredibly student-friendly and pubs...  all I’m saying is you’ll have to drag yourself out with those deals. Now I won’t sit here and lecture you about the wonderful affordable nature of Hull. Instead I encourage you to see for yourself; head to the cinema, go grab a meal. Trust me you’ll be surprised how much money you save!

A chef at Dope Burger adds sauce as the finishing touch to one of their special gourmet burgers
Hull's restaurants and take-aways are student friendly

Moving right on, I’ll let you know now. I am a proud nerd! I love board games, video games, Marvel, Star Wars and more. To put it simply, Comic-Con is my happy place.

When I came to Hull, I did have a real fear. London is not short of geek culture so I have never considered not having that available to me. When I came to Hull,  my first instinct after settling in was to find a good store to source second-hand games, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I had a range available to me, from franchises to locals - there are tons!

On top of that, I was introduced to comic book stores, model stores and more. It was a real relief to find people who I related to and could talk to so close by. There’s nothing like meeting like-minded people where you live.

But oh, it doesn’t stop there! Not only is Hull scattered with gorgeous geek spots for all to love but we are also situated in a prime area for Hull Comic-Con and Birmingham Comic-Con too!

One of my favourite geek spots I’ve found so far has got to be the Board Game Cafe down Newland Avenue. I mean, if you don’t like board games, fair enough. But for me, nothing could make a better evening than board games and hot chocolate, and hell - if you need something a bit stronger, they do have a gorgeous selection of beers too. It’s £3 to head in for a 3-hour session and as many games as you can fit in that time! I truly loved it, it was reasonably quiet and generally a really lovely afternoon. Honestly, even if it doesn’t sound like your thing… it’s worth a shot!

table at the boardroom cafe set up for games night
One of Hayley's favourite spots is the Boardroom Cafe on Newland Avenue

Okay, this one is for my introverts out there... my book worms, movie night people, and clubbing haters.

I myself am a pretty relaxed person - clubbing is fun every once in a while, but my idea of fun is a little bit comfier and a little less crazy. Even if that doesn’t sound like you, I’m sure you’ve had those days where exam season is coming, revision is piling up and you just need a relaxing day out.

Hull is one of my favourite places for relaxing yet affordable spots to spend the day. Now each person’s idea of relaxation is for sure going to be different. Some days I feel like packing my bag with my wallet, my book and some headphones, wandering down to Planet Coffee (one of my favourite cafes) and spending the day with hot chocolate and some serious reading!

Other days I will take the bus to the city and head over to The Deep, Hull's aquarium, and visit the jellyfish, sharks and clownfish. My personal favourite has got to be the adorable penguins and their antics!

About 8 minutes from campus, Newland Avenue is a bustling spot of chilled cafes and venues for a day out. Sometimes I will wander to the local bakeries grab a croissant and do charity shop hauls!

It’s really important to have cheap, chilled venues near university, so there are other places to go besides the library. When you want a slightly quieter night out there are plenty of options. So, whether you're searching for a craft shop to buy new yarn or a charity shop to look for a new bargain, Hull is the right place!

A gentoo penguin stands on rocks at The Deep
The adorable penguins at the deep

Now we’re finally at the grand finale - the peak of all Hull (in my opinion anyway!)

Hull is great - it’s local, it’s easy to access, it has a great nightlife. But the true peak of Hull actually lies just outside of it! My absolute favourite aspect of living in and being at Hull is the truly versatile and transportable location.

From Hull, I have travelled more than I have ever in my years in London. York, Manchester, Birmingham, Beverly, Leeds and more. All just an affordable bus and a simple train ride away.

Feel like taking a day trip to Birmingham for Valentines Day? Done!

Feel like visiting the infamous Christmas markets of Manchester? Done!

Not only does Hull have one of the easiest to find but also of the easiest to reach train stations ever, it also is home to dirt-cheap travelling prices. As a student, there are plenty of times I’m able to take the slightly less expensive route simply thanks to the fact that I’m not in a hurry! Hull really does reach that goal!

Shops, whether that be the pound shop or M&S, are easy to access and always close by. Even pet stores are merely a bus ride. Although the buses may take a few trips to get used to, trust me - they will save your bacon in due time when all you’re craving is a nice meal at Nando’s.

People are very friendly to make travel easy and it’s always good fun to plan a day off to somewhere you’ve never been. And hey, if you’re feeling truly anxious or you feel you have no one to go with, check out the student union events! They almost always have trips off to local cities, whether that be Birmingham, Leeds, York or even London! It’s always worth the extra minute checking it every so often to see if there are any new things you’d like to do!

Well, I’ve rambled on and on about all the things I love about Hull and I’m sure for those long-timers who I’m sure will be mad that I’ve missed something (rightly so!), feel free to let me know new places to try and new things to love!

I hope your visit or stay or even exploration of Hull goes well and you learn to love it just as much as I have! Thank you as always for being such dedicated listeners and I wish you a great day!

 Hayley!

campus-view
We love Hull, and we hope you'll love it too!
Hull's become one of the UK’s most talked-about destinations. It’s not hard to see why: there’s so much to do in Hull that you’ll do well to tick everything off in your years studying here!