Kingston upon Hull, often simplified as Hull, is a port city in Yorkshire. It has played a critical role in the UK’s history, from early English Civil War conflicts to the abolition of slavery. The city grew to prosperity as a fishing and whaling centre, and it has several maritime attractions for visitors. It received a notable boost in 2017 when it was named the UK’s City of Culture and hosted the Turner Prize. Its historic Old Town, museums and coastal surroundings offer a wide range of attractions to visit. Those planning a trip to Hull need to acquaint themselves with the new ETA requirements affecting travel to the United Kingdom. Discover the history of the city, its attractions and its atmosphere, followed by a guide to the UK ETA for Kingston upon Hull.
Kingston upon Hull – A History
Hull has a storied history, first appearing in the written record in 1293 when Edward I named it as Kingston (King’s Town) upon the River Hull. It was important as a strategic merging point of the Hull and Humber Rivers, the latter feeding into the North Sea. Its actual history is far older, with the notorious Viking Great Heathen Army populating and traversing the region in the 9th century on their way to York. Its trading links grew throughout the medieval period as a gateway between Europe and the New World.
While Hull had a prosperous history under William de la Pole and mercantile families, it gained a notorious reputation as an early conflict point in the English Civil War. The city sided with the Parliamentarians and shut its gates to King Charles I when he arrived for support in 1642. This escalated into a siege that led to an early, portentous defeat for the Royalists. According to local legend, the historic and still-running Ye Olde White Harte pub was the site where this opposition to the crown was decided.
Another important moment in the city’s history is its association with the abolition of slavery. Local politician William Wilberforce launched campaigns against the slave trade in 1785 and rallied against this orthodoxy for the rest of his life. The Slave Trade Act was signed in 1807, although it only prohibited the slave trade within the British Empire. Wilberforce further campaigned for the full abolition of slavery, which finally occurred after his death. Hull boasts several Wilberforce attractions, including monuments and his birthplace, now the Wilberforce House Museum.
From Fishing Glory to City of Culture
Hull grew into a major fishing hub and one of the world’s whaling centres by the 19th century. This prosperity was matched by its attainment of city status in 1897. As a major UK port, the city suffered from extensive damage during the Second World War in a bombing campaign that destroyed 95% of the city’s buildings. Its postwar fortunes didn’t improve, as the fishing industry declined following a series of confrontations surrounding fishing rights, known as the Cod Wars.
Hull gained national renown when it was named the City of Culture in 2017. This emphasised Hull’s existing cultural attractions, including its Museums Quarter, The Deep aquarium, Ferens Art Gallery and Hull Truck Theatre. New cultural events and the regeneration of historic areas like Hull Marina and the Fruit Market led to new galleries, festivals and eateries that can be discovered today.
Kingston upon Hull has an array of attractions covering historic and preserved corners like the Old Town and contemporary theatres, shops and art spaces.
The Old Town and Museums Quarter
Hull’s Old Town is one of the only pockets of the city that survived the destruction of the Second World War. Here, Georgian streets offer a glimpse into the city’s prosperous, mercantile past. There are food markets like Trinity Market and historic pubs, as well as the unusually-named cobblestone street, the Land of Green Ginger. The Old Town leads into the Museums Quarter, home to the Wilberforce House, the Streetlife Museum of Transport and the Hull and East Riding Museum.
Ferens Art Gallery
Ferens Art Gallery is Hull’s foremost art museum. Housing paintings from European Old Masters and 20th-century British artists, the gallery was renovated in 2017 when it hosted the Turner Prize. It’s located on Queen Victoria Square, alongside the Maritime Museum and Hull City Hall.
The Deep is Hull’s modern aquarium, overlooking the Hull and Humber Rivers. Located on the former site of Hull Castle, the aquarium houses over 3,000 marine creatures, including sharks. It is billed as a “submarium”, as the complex itself is partly submerged in the water surrounding it.
Burton Constable Hall
Burton Constable Hall is an Elizabethan country estate located northeast of Hull. It has sprawling grounds and curios to explore, like a whale skeleton that influenced Melville’s Moby Dick novel. Key features of the hall include the 16th-century Long Gallery and the 19th-century Chinese Room.
The New UK ETA for Kingston upon Hull
The United Kingdom has introduced a new Electronic Travel Authentication (ETA) system that affects many visitors to the country. It was announced in the Nationality and Borders Bill as a means to track those travelling to the UK and better assess potential security risks.
Those most affected by the new ETA system are foreign visitors that do not require a visa to travel to the UK. This includes most Commonwealth countries, European nationals and other nations with travel agreements with the UK. This will affect how travellers can enter the UK, as an ETA will now be mandatory, even for short sightseeing trips. The system is based on the USA’s similar Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and will be reciprocated in the EU’s European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).
What Are the Benefits of the ETA System?
The ETA system will be useful for tracking arrivals into the country. Under previous rules, visa-free travellers were not screened upon entry into the UK. With the new system, border control will check the security information of incoming visitors and will be better able to flag concerns like criminal records or immigration violations. It will also provide an extra revenue stream.
For those travelling to the UK, the ETA system will work to ensure that visitors are entering the UK legally. The whole process will be more streamlined than a standard visa application.
What Documents Will Be Required for a UK ETA?
An ETA requires essential information like full names, date of birth, country of birth and travel information. Applicants must provide a copy of a valid biometric passport, a contact email address and a payment card for the fee.
What Is the ETA Application Process?
An ETA is completed online in the days before travel. As applications are projected to be completed within 72 hours, visitors should complete their applications well within this timeframe. Verifications are sent via email for checking by border security.
How Long Will an ETA Typically Be Valid For?
The details haven’t been fully outlined, but an ETA is expected to be valid for up to 6 months. This is in line with the similar UK Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) scheme.
When Will the ETA Scheme Be Rolled Out?
The UK ETA is now in the trial phase and will begin rolling out in January 2023. Full implementation is expected by the beginning of 2024.
Who Will and Who Won’t Require a UK ETA for Kingston upon Hull?
Most non-visa nationals are now eligible for a UK ETA for Kingston upon Hull. Travellers from countries requiring a visa won’t need to apply for an additional ETA, as this is included within the standard visa process. Further exemptions currently apply to UK resident permit holders and Republic of Ireland passport holders.
Is an ETA required to Travel to Kingston upon Hull?
Yes. Most non-visa nationals visiting Kingston upon Hull must apply for an ETA online when the system rolls out.
Kingston upon Hull is a historic port city with a unique position on the banks of the Humber River. Once a maritime hub, the city has been at the centre of several important national events. Monuments to famous residents are found across the city limits, from William Wilberforce to Amy Johnson and Philip Larkin. An ETA will be required for visitors to Hull when the system launches, making it essential to prepare ETAs before making the journey to the UK.