Step outside the city centre to discover more of Hull’s thriving independent culture.
Away from the hustle and bustle of Hull city centre lies a neighbourhood that has been proudly doing its own thing for many a year now: The Avenues. Named after the tree-lined residential streets that run east-west between Princes “Prinny” Avenue and Chanterlands “Chants” Avenue, it’s also come to refer to Princes Avenue itself and Newland Avenue, just north of Princes Avenue.
The Avenues is a thriving, cosmopolitan neighbourhood, close to the University of Hull, with more than 30 restaurants and bars. It also has scores of independent cafés and traders that regularly tempt people away from the city centre. Here are just a few of its many highlights.
The Avenues area remains largely untouched by the chain stores of most city centres. Instead you’ll find a coterie of charity and vintage clothing shops, alongside increasingly more specialist retailers and high street staples of greengrocers, butchers, bakers and even a fishmongers.
EAST COAST BICYCLES: An independent store on Princes Avenue selling custom and cruiser bicycles, as well as accessories and clothing. East Coast also arranges weekly group rideouts, open to all.
JUDY’S ATTIC: A super-cute craft shop hidden away behind Zoo Café on Newland Avenue. The shop currently helps more than 40 local makers sell their handmade art throughout Hull and also offers people the opportunity to learn and share skills through a range of workshops.
TESSIES: This independent boutique shop offers a gorgeous range of cute and affordable clothing. With designs inspired by female icons past and present, the shop’s ethos is backed up by empowering and inspirational quotes displayed in its Newland Avenue windows.
DOVE HOUSE HOSPICE NO. 87: Newland Avenue is a treasure trove of charity shops bursting at the seams with bargain buys. For something a little more unique Dove House Hospice’s retro and curio speciality is brimming with vintage clothing and ornaments.
Coffee and cake
Cafés are ten-a-penny around the Avenues, with varied menus that will delight coffee guzzlers and anybody with a sweet tooth, perfect for catching up with friends and family over lunch.
FRIZZA CAFFE GELATO: An instant hit when it opened on Newland Avenue in 2015 this gelataria has since expanded to open a second café on Princes Avenue, too. It serves homemade Italian ice cream to bright-eyed children and adults alike, alongside milkshakes, waffles, crepes and a savoury menu.
ZOO CAFE: A vegetarian wonderland, tucked away down a tenfoot off Newland Avenue, Zoo has recently been refurbished, painted itself bright blue and announced itself to the world. Sound familiar?
LYDIA’S CAKEAWAY: One for Bake Off fans, Lydia’s menu includes such delights as rhubarb crumble muffins and Oreo cake. In the evenings, this Newland Avenue café is packed out for language cafes, craft nights and regular Family Film Club screenings for parents and young children.
THE ARTISAN: This warm and welcoming Newland Avenue café is the ideal place to while away the hours. The coffee here is from Hull’s own Blending Room you’ll also find irresistible cakes – including vegan and gluten-free options – as well as to-die-for afternoon teas. Artwork on sale from local artists adds to the ambience.
THE BOARDROOM: From Scrabble and Monopoly to Pandemic and Ticket To Ride, there are more than 200 board games to choose from at this popular Newland Avenue café. Knowledgeable staff are on hand if you get stuck and there’s a well-stocked fridge full of craft beers. What’s more, the award-winning Hull Pie, located further up the road, delivers direct to your table.
VINTAGE CAFE: A delightful little Chanterlands Avenue café that’s a haven for coeliacs with a host of delicious gluten-free sweet treats, Vintage can also cater for other allergies. This place is also a buzzing social hub with regular craft clubs throughout the week.
Whether you’re looking for somewhere a little more quiet and intimate for a special occasion or some tasty pub grub to break up a session, you’re spoilt for choice.
THE FISH AND CHIP KITCHEN: Given Hull’s fishing heritage it would be remiss not to include a seafood offering. The Fish And Chip Kitchen on Princes Avenue includes a drinks menu of British beers, ciders and cocktails, although Yorkshire Tea is available if you’re a staunch traditionalist.
LUCCA: For fine dining, head to Lucca on Princes Avenue where Italian dishes and some of the city’s best steaks fly out of the kitchen in a slick contemporary setting. Lucca also has a cocktail bar.
GUSTO DA GIANNI: A small and cosy Italian kitchen from the Da Gianni family, who also own the eponymous Italian restaurant on Princes Avenue, Gusto on Newland Avenue is ideal for couples looking for somewhere romantic around the Avenues.
ROOTS RUM SHACK AND KITCHEN: The menu at Roots on Newland Avenue features signature Caribbean dishes such as curry goat and Arawak chicken, alongside more rums than you can shake a stick at.
COGNAC: A small parcel of Paris in west Hull, Cognac on Chanterlands Avenue serves classic French food with Mediterranean touches. Its a la carte menu changes with the seasons, along with a selection of French wines.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Dirty Bird is a new addition to Newland’s takeaway scene, with succulent Korean, togarashi and buttermilk chicken. Nofretete serves mouth-watering authentic Egyptian dishes while El Chupitos offers Mexican grub and potent cocktails. Sumo and Hei Sei Ya compete for best Japanese takeaway on Newland and Dundee Fisheries on Chants is an ever-popular chippy. Tropicana and Thai House restaurants on Princes Avenue cover south-east Asian cuisine with Malaysian and Thai menus respectively.
Any number of combinations of nights out await revellers, from quiet drinks in cosy pubs serving up craft beer to late opening bars with live music and DJs to dance the night away.
PAVE: One of the earliest bars down the revitalised Princes Avenue, Pave is known for its wide selection of craft beers and the regular midweek jazz nights where anyone can join in the jam. There’s also a large beer garden at the back.
80 DAYS BIER HAUS: A small independent bar that stocks a range of craft beers, with an atmosphere inspired by the owners’ time spent travelling through Europe and America. A giant painting of New York by Hull artist Daniel Mitchell dominates the wall, while the bar’s tip jar has become a regular source of amusement among politically minded locals.
DIVE BAR: The newest watering hole on Princes Avenue, Dive features artwork by Hull artist Mr Joe Johnson. The bar is billed as a space for Hull’s creative community to hang out and screenings and exhibitions are planned for the future, so keep your eyes peeled.
THE POLAR BEAR: A stone’s throw from Prinny Ave on Spring Bank, the Polar Bear is home to live music institution, The Sesh. This free weekly event spawned the Humber Street Sesh festival and presents the best of Hull’s musical talent, as well as acts from further afield, every Tuesday until 2am.
THE QUEENS: A traditional pub in contrast to the newer bars elsewhere, Queens sits on the Queens Road mini-roundabout at the top of Princes Avenue just around the corner from Newland Avenue. Regular live music caters for the older rock crowd, who can often be found sharing their more discerning tastes on the jukebox.
LARKIN’S: This bar and kitchen by the railway bridge over Newland Avenue stakes a claim to having the best beer garden in Hull. With its gable-end mural of a steam locomotive by Hull aerosol artists Spray Creative, it’s a must-visit. On bank holiday weekends, you can often find real ale festivals and live music here, too.
THE ADELPHI CLUB: This tiny venue has hosted some of the biggest names in music over the years – Supergrass, Pulp, Radiohead and Oasis have all passed through on their way to stardom. The venue on De Grey Street, off Newland Avenue remains a popular stop on the touring circuit and a jewel in Hull’s cultural crown. Check out the pool room in the back too, not only is pool just 50p a game, you can also see the road sign that Bill Drummond famously installed on a Hull roadside, twinning the city with “your darkest thought”.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Honestly, you’re spoilt for choice, especially on Prinny Ave where bars sit side-by-side with plenty of outdoor seating that heaves when the sun comes out. The Piper on Newland Avenue is the home of the Loaded indie night, every Friday. A few doors down The People’s Republic stocks world beers and runs regular quizzes.
There’s more to the neighbourhood than cafes and boozers, with plenty more to keep young and old alike entertained during the day. In summer, annual festivals in the area include a celebration of annual grassroots theatre, Assemble Fest (main image) and popular Avenues Open Gardens weekends. One-off events includes the likes of The Hull Walk Of Art: The Avenues.
PEARSON PARK: The first public park in Hull, this Victorian beauty sprawls between Princes Avenue and Beverley Road, has been around since the early 1860s. It was once home to Philip Larkin, who lived in a house overlooking the large open space from 1956 to 1974. It features a serpentine lake, extensive children’s play area, outdoor gym and a conservatory, as well as tropical fish displays.
ARTLINK: Hull’s oldest community arts organisation features a beautiful gallery space, workshops and a shop selling artists’ work. The current exhibition at the Princes Avenue gallery is Alien Sex Capsule, in which John Walter explores the links between visual culture and HIV today. There are also monthly showcases of local artists’ work in the Spotlight Gallery.
AMIYOGA STUDIO: Relax and meditate with hatha yoga or work up a sweat with an Ashtanga class. Classes run at the small Princes Avenue studio throughout the week, and one-to-one lessons are also available.
THE STREET OF BIRDS AND SHADOWS: A public art trail by Martin Heron and local residents that runs the length of Ella Street, off Newland Avenue. The trail features bird houses, sculptures and wall texts, all inspired by the real birds that have made this residential street their home.
BIG FUN: An enormous indoor adventure playground that will keep children amused for hours. It also hosts regular adults-only evenings where big kids get to indulge in the ball pools, slides and cargo nets.
By car / on foot: From the city centre, head west along Spring Bank from the junction with Ferensway, to reach the major junction with Princes Avenue by the Jackson’s factory (you’ll smell the bread!). Either turn right on to Princes Avenue, or continue west to reach the junction with Chanterlands Avenue. Newland Avenue continues after Princes Avenue and runs parallel to Beverley Road, making it accessible to visitors heading into Hull from the north.
By bus: From Paragon Interchange in the city centre, the number 5, 103 and 115 buses run regularly into the evening along both Newland Avenue and Princes Avenue, on routes between the city centre and Cottingham, Kingswood and Orchard Park. Chanterlands Avenue is served by the number 3 bus, which runs between Orchard Park, the city centre and Greatfield estate in east Hull.