Hull’s heritage proves a record breaker…

Hull’s museums and art gallery have recorded their highest summer holiday visitor figures since 2017, with numbers far exceeding pre-COVID figures.

During the 2022 summer holidays, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull and East Riding Museum and the Streetlife Museum had over 81,200 visitors, up 20% on the same period in 2018.

Highlights of the summer included two large scale events at the Museums Quarter, with the annual Festival of Archaeology and Big Bus Day events attracting 12,820 visitors.

And at the Ferens Art Gallery, the Brick By Brick: International LEGO® Brick Art and the Breaking the Mould: Sculpture by Women since 1945 exhibitions helped the gallery record its best visitor figures for five years, and its second highest in the last decade, with 30,448 people visiting the gallery during the summer break.

Now, tourism chiefs hope there is more to come in 2023.

Already proving popular at the Ferens Gallery – one of the finest regional art galleries in the country – is its latest exhibition, Queen Victoria and Hull, running until 19 February 2023. Celebrating the monarch’s links, including her visit to the city in 1854, the exhibition reveals more about life in Victorian Hull.

Star attraction is Ludwig Grüner’s Jewel-Cabinet, the fourth of five works of art to go on display at Ferens Art Gallery as part of the Masterpieces in Focus from the Royal Collection series, an ongoing partnership with Royal Collection Trust.

A cherished gift from Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, the Jewel-Cabinet was an award-winning exhibit at the Great Exhibition of 1851, a celebration of Victorian advancement and cultural sophistication. Since that time, it has been cared for in the Royal Collection and remains a significant royal artefact.

Meanwhile, Hull’s Museums Quarter – situated just off the quaint cobbled streets of Hull’s Old Town – continues to be a popular destination for visitors, thanks to its three free-to-enter museums.

One of the jewels in Hull’s historic crown, the Quarter is made up of Wilberforce House (currently closed for specialist conservation works), the Hull and East Riding Museum and the Streetlife Museum of Transport.

Each offers a different visitor experience, from travelling back 235 million years in time and coming face-to-face with a woolly mammoth at the Hull and East Riding Museum to journeying along a 1940s high street, and taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the past at the Streetlife Museum of Transport.

Wilberforce House, the birthplace of William Wilberforce, offers the chance to learn more about one of Hull’s most famous sons. The Museum celebrates the life and times of the MP and slavery abolitionist as well as the wider emancipation movement.

For tourism information about visiting, and staying in, Hull, see

Photo: the Ferens Gallery