Got time for a spot of retail therapy? Whether you’re in the heart of the UK’s City of Culture 2017 or the market towns and villages of East Yorkshire, this region has a unique range of big brands, hidden gems and trail-blazing independents that is a real joy to discover.
In a city that’s famous for its independence of spirit, you’d expect to find a pretty impressive array of independent retailers alongside the High Street names. And Hull does not disappoint. High fashion boutiques, bespoke specialists, vintage emporiums, artisan food makers, quirky gift shops, pedestrianised shopping streets, covered arcades, converted spaces and three major shopping centres all add up to a retail experience that’s bursting with surprises.
As you walk around the shops you’ll discover stunning architecture, city centre parkland, the charming cobbled streets and historic buildings of the Old Town area and one beautiful marina. Don’t feel like walking? Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the land train. The city’s trendy Fruit Market has emerged as an artistic and cultural hub in recent years and has undergone a massive revamp. Located next to the picture-postcard marina with its high-end restaurants and historic pubs, this cool and creative quarter is the place to go if you want to browse cutting-edge artworks. Try Studio Eleven Gallery and Oresome Gallery, where you can design and make your own jewellery.
As work continues on the regeneration of the area more retailers have moved in, with Cocoa Chocolatier and Poorboy Boutique presenting the ultimate in taste and style in their respective sectors. Another rising star of Hull city centre is Cock Of The Walk bespoke master tailors. Located near Hull New Theatre, you’ll find this real one-of-a-kind standing proud in Grimston Street. It has workshops in Hull and in London’s Savile Row, so the truly dedicated follower of fashion can even get measured up in Hull and try on their hand-made, bespoke items in the capital. As an extra touch of style, owner Gill Long has even added a mural to the side of the building based on a classic Neapolitan tailors’ advertisement.
Located next to the picture-postcard marina with its high-end restaurants and historic pubs, this cool and creative quarter is the place to go if you want to browse cutting-edge artworks
Vintage goods and markets
Hull’s own Savile Street makes a good next stop. Vintage fashion fans can pick up pre-worn classics and reworked originals at Chinese Laundry. The city’s two rugby teams – Hull KR and Hull FC – both have shops here. At the more formal end of the fashion scale, Reads Footwear specialises in quality men’s shoes. Chance Gifts is the place for fairtrade products ranging from homeware, ornaments, clothing, soft toys and other arts and crafts. But where do you go if you fancy a deli snack and a gourmet coffee while you browse for records or do a little food shopping? Leave your preconceptions at the door and pay a visit to the new-look Trinity Indoor Market, expensively remodelled to create more space to shop or to just sit, recharge and enjoy a high quality food offer.
Alongside traditional market stalls selling groceries, clothing and household goods, you might be surprised to find some of the best coffee in the city at Caffeinated. Trinity Dairy cheesemongers will make you a custom cheeseboard or ploughman’s lunch and there’s a vinyl collection of more than 20,000 singles and albums that music fans could get lost in for days at Spin-It Records. Walk through Trinity Market into one of Hull’s real hidden gems, the rather beautiful, Grade 2-listed Hepworth Arcade. Look up to admire the ornate glass-domed roof, look around and discover Fanthorpes hi-fi and audio specialists – and if you don’t want to splash out on the latest audio tech, check out its quality second-hand showroom directly opposite the main store.
There’s also Beasley’s, a friendly, family-run firm that’s the first stop for retro cool among those in the know. It sells women’s and men’s new and vintage clothing, one-off T-shirt designs from local street and graffiti artists, and an impressive range of hats. It can also be a good place to find out what’s going on in the city’s music scene. Dinsdale’s traditional joke shop is practically a tourist attraction in its own right and must have one of the most-photographed shop fronts in Hull. Tourists from all over the world stop to marvel at its windows crammed with pranks and, in its 80-odd years of trading, it’s garnered a few celebrity fans, too. Roisin Dubh for pretty things, Branton’s jewellers and Hotham’s Gin School are also well worth visiting. At Hotham’s, you can devise your own gin recipe and actually make it yourself with the help of their distiller.
Alongside traditional market stalls selling groceries, clothing and household goods, you might be surprised to find some of the best coffee in the city at Caffeinated
Fairs and fashionable brands
Hull Minster has joined the list of venues for occasional record fairs and vinyl collectors may also want to check out Disc Discovery on the edge of the city centre in Spring Bank, Golden Oldie Records a short drive away in Cottingham Road and Minster Records in Beverley. Comic book fans will find an Aladdin’s cave of graphic novels and comics at Amazing Fantasy in Anlaby Road. Grannies Parlour, a couple of doors down, sells curiosities just as weird and wonderful as the name suggests and is another one to tick off the Hull shopping bucket list. Major stores including M&S and Debenhams stock fashion labels for all ages, and between them the big three city centre shopping malls cover a wide range of high street names – with a few surprises thrown in for good measure.
St Stephens, next to the Paragon transport interchange, offers fashion brands such as Next, H&M, TK Maxx, Lipsy, River Island, Schuh, Boux Avenue, Clarks and Hugh Rice Jewellers. If you’re looking for toys, The Entertainer and Build-A-Bear Workshop have it covered. There’s a 24-hour supermarket and gym, and a seven-screen Reel cinema. Nearby Prospect Centre is a good place to bag a bargain from a range of designer and discount retailers. Three jewellery shops – Goldsmiths, H Samuel and a discount second-hand shop – cater for a range of budgets. And if you want to show your support for Hull City while in Hull, pop into Tiger Leisure – the club’s official merchandise outlet.
Princes Quay shopping centre sits on stilts above Princes Dock, which has been a feature of Hull city centre since 1829. Here, you’ll find a mixture of big-name and indie retail outlets, a Vue cinema, a 12-lane bowling alley, a children’s soft play centre and Quasar. There’s also POP art gallery and the Hull International Photography Gallery. A new, £20 million outlet deck has brought Next Outlet, Ben Sherman, Cotton Traders, Hallmark, Julian Charles, Skopes, Sole Trader and Suits Direct among others.
If you’re looking for toys, The Entertainer and Build-A-Bear Workshop have it covered
Love shopping in Hull? You’re in good company. 1980s Hull bedroom furniture shop Turners became immortalised in pop history when University of Hull students Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt named their band after the store’s slogan… Everything But The Girl! Dinsdale’s joke shop, in Hepworth Arcade, Hull city centre, has every trick in the book and something of a cult following.
Hull comedian Norman Collier was known to shop here, as was Keith Harris. And son-of-the-city Reece Shearsmith, of League of Gentlemen, Psychoville and Inside No 9 fame, is still a huge fan. Another celebrity favourite is East Yorkshire mineral cosmetics range Lily LoLo. Professional make-up artists, beauty editors and celebrities including Natalie Imbruglia and Denise Van Outen swear by these natural products. Pick them up from beauty salons including Baker Street Retreat in Hull city centre, Beauty Retreat in Chanterlands Avenue and De Lacy Spa in Beverley’s Saturday Market. The Victorian gem Paragon Arcade in Hull city centre is under new ownership and has been refurbished to attract even more innovative, independent retailers selling everything from antique jewellery and vintage clothing to rare bottled beers and hand-made cakes.
The Victorian gem Paragon Arcade in Hull city centre is under new ownership and has been refurbished to attract even more innovative, independent retailers
The Avenues, East Riding and Beverly
A mile or two to the west of the city centre is the Avenues area. And while the bars, cafes and restaurants of Princes Avenue cater for socialisers, the shops of Newland Avenue have some gorgeous womenswear. Stores to look out for include Bed 14, Tessie’s and, believe it or not, a high-end version of a charity shop – Dove House @ No 82. In Chanterlands Avenue, Samantha’s sells women’s designer labels, formal and wedding wear, and Bonita creates hand-made, off-the-peg one-off and limited-edition designs. For a tongue-in-cheek reminder of your time in Hull, why not visit Panache? Its Hull gift range includes the infamous chip spice you’ll find in most takeaways, mugs celebrating that other Hull “delicacy”, the pattie butty and much more.
All of the towns and villages surrounding Hull have something to offer shopaholics. Bohemia in Hessle is worth visiting if you’re looking for something special to wear for a night out. It sells one-of-a-kind women’s clothing on the in-house Marquito label, as well as designs from other UK independents in limited numbers, such as Tasha and Cottonart leather accessories, and Mink Pink and Kendelle clothing. Cottingham has a great range of browsable shops including family-run Bourne Fashion, which also stocks its own-label womenswear, plus Ash, Becksondergaard, Dryberg/Kern, Ichi, Second Female, Yaya, Olivia Burton, Oui and Modalu. Blondes cafe and gift shop is a great place to take a break. And when you’re ready to hit the shops again, John Ford offers men’s clothes and Artmarket is a great place to browse and buy striking artwork.
With Beverley Minster and Georgian architecture as a backdrop, the shopping experience in Beverley feels stylish and upmarket. The high street names here include Neal’s Yard organic skincare, Brown’s department store, Paperchase, FatFace, Jaeger and Lakeland. The Flemingate shopping development is now well-established with shops including Debenhams, H&M, Outfit and River Island and leisure options such as Patisserie Valerie, a cinema, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Firepit Smokehouse & Sports Bar. As you head to the other end of town you’ll find the local independent traders which reflect the character of Beverley.
Foodie and real ale aficionados will love the local delicacies available at classy deli Roberts & Speight and at Vanessa’s. Tucked away inside and alongside the listed buildings are St Crispin’s antiques and Galvin Brothers, a bespoke contemporary furniture shop that sources local materials and operates a delivery service. Don’t miss St Mary’s Court, close to the 15th-century North Bar and billed as Beverley’s only true indoor shopping experience with its collection of small retailers working together to offer something different.
If you’re visiting the coast, no visit to the small seaside town of Hornsea is complete without a bargain-hunting trip to Hornsea Freeport. Offering up to 50 per cent off RRPs, Hornsea Freeport was actually the UK’s first factory outlet shopping village. It now has more than 30 outlet stores, including Clarks, Hallmark, Regatta, Tog 24, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Pavers and, of course, Hornsea Pottery Originals. If you have young children with you, Neptune’s Kingdom soft-play area should help keep them entertained. And its award-winning cafe and farm shop, William’s Farm Kitchen, has a mouth-watering range of treats, from hearty home-cooked favourites in the cafe to local gin, venison and smoked salmon in the farm shop.
A little further up the East Yorkshire coast is holiday hotspot Bridlington. The Promenades shopping centre is good for those rainy days. And away from the attractions and tourist shops of the seafront, an afternoon of dallying around the quaint antiques and gift shops of the Old Town is an afternoon well spent. The antiques centre at the welcoming Georgian Tea Rooms is a particular highlight. Memory Lane sweet shop is another firm favourite with nostalgic visitors and Victoria Mill, in Saw Mill Yard provides an unexpected alternative to the high street. With visitors describing the stylish converted mill as “hidden Bridlington”, you’ll find luxury bath products, clothes, a barbers and a coffee shop here. Wherever you’re shopping in Hull and East Yorkshire, expect the unexpected. And a very warm Yorkshire welcome. Enjoy!
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