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Introducing Hull

Properly known as Kingston-upon-Hull – the ancient harbour on the River Hull was granted a royal charter in 1299 and became King's Town – Hull has long been the principal port of England's east coast, with an economy that grew up around carrying wool out and bringing wine in. It was also a major whaling and fishing port until the trawling industry died out.

Though it's not going to win any prizes for prettiness, the city has a gritty appeal for those who appreciate Britain's industrial past and enjoy getting away from the beaten tourist path. Famous as the home of poet Philip Larkin, Hull harbours a clutch of fascinating museums and one of Britain's best aquariums. Named as UK City of Culture 2017, the town has set about the regeneration of its waterfront.

A minor cultural renaissance has taken place in the Fruitmarket district around Humber St, where derelict buildings have been reclaimed as artists' studios and performance spaces, but progress is slow.