Hull: City of Culture 2017 & the Holderness Coast

Saying that I’ve been busy recently is no exaggeration. In preparation for my upcoming exhibition, I’ve been frantically finishing off paintings, ordering prints, measuring for frames…all which are thoroughly exciting but had left me in need of a creative reboot.

So in order to restore calm amidst the chaos, I decided to take a short trip to Hull. You may know that Hull is the City of Culture 2017 and quite rightly so. While I was there I visited the newly reopened Ferens Gallery, which has just undergone a multi-million pound revamp. I was impressed by the diverse and well laid out collections on view and especially enjoyed the Hull Open exhibition which offered a great opportunity to see work by local artists.


Ferens Gallery, Hull

What most impressed me about Hull though was the energy of the place. Admittedly anywhere with a rich maritime history gets my pulse racing but, let’s face it, Hull hasn’t always had the best of press and yet I was completely charmed by the city. Putting the City of Culture label aside, there are already some great well-established museums, an atmospheric old quarter and an interesting marina converted from the old docks.



Hull Marina


After the bluster of the city the following day I was ready to soak up the atmosphere of the Yorkshire Coast. Mappleton is a short drive away from Hull, a tiny village, which was under threat for many years due to coastal erosion as this coastline is the most rapidly eroding in the whole of Europe. Thankfully sea defences have put a halt to the village disappearing into the sea but south of this it’s evident to see how the cliffs are still at threat from nature’s force.


Mappleton Beach, Yorkshire
Mappleton Beach, Yorkshire
The view towards Hornsea
The view towards Hornsea

This was the reason for my visit. From the cliff top, the vistas are huge, uninterrupted expanses of sea and sky. The added texture of the cliffs, long stretches of sand and the sound of the surf are all the medicine I need to soothe the senses.

I was prepared for a bracing day out but an unseasonably mild day meant that it was warm enough to round off my trip with a short drive up the coast to Hornsea and indulge in the seaside tradition of a portion of chips eaten from a bench overlooking the sea.

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