Travel review: Yorkshire Wolds and Hull

The Humber Bridge.
The Humber Bridge.
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MY latest obsession with gripping Danish crime drama The Bridge, meant that I greeted the breathtaking Humber Bridge with a whoop of excitement, as we approached it in the winter sunlight.

It is a truly stunning feature on the east Yorkshire landscape, and when built, was the longest single-span suspension bridge in the world.

We paid the £1.50 toll charge to cross the 2,220 metre long bridge, over the River Humber and another £1.50 back again to Hessle.

I’m told that it can be quite an experience when the weather is bad. I remember visiting as a child, soon after it opened in 1981. It remained the longest bridge of it’s kind in the world for 16 years and is now the seventh longest.

This time around it was still an adventure. Our daughters aged five and three, thought it was ‘the best thing ever’ and ‘really, really scary’ and asked: ‘what will happen if we fall off?’ as we drove across on a fairly windy day. Character building stuff.

And it looks just like the actual TV ‘bridge’, which links Denmark and Sweden, where all the action takes place on the BBC4 drama series, which has gripped the nation.

There is a pedestrian walkway you can cross for free, which I would like to do on a finer day.

On our winter weekend away to the countryside in the stunning Yorkshire Wolds, we were staying in Hotham, only 12 miles from Hull.

We reached our five-star luxury cottage, nestled in the grounds of a country estate, on a dark Friday night.

On arrival we were greeted by what I can only described as a mountain of food freshly made for us by a Thai chef. The fantastic feast could have lasted us all weekend and the kids were enthralled by lots of tasty dishes, they had not tried before. It was simply heaven, with the woodburning stove, bright starry night, fine wine and a country pub within walking distance if required.

There was a large pile of noodles, rice and a vegetarian banquet of tasty Thai wonderfulness.

This is something I would highly recommend for your weekend stay and can be arranged by the owners of Estate Escapes, Victoria and Christian Carver who pledge to cater to your every need, without any intrusion. You can determine what food you desire to be made by their Thai chef and rustle up a treat to your requirements.

The couple own a row of cottages, which would be ideal for a gathering of family and friends if required. We particularly enjoyed the luxury bathroom and stove and fully equipped kitchen.

After waking up to spectacular views surrounding Hotham and a country walk around the nearby estate, encountering friendly horse-riders and dog walkers, we thought we had stumbled on a scene from Downton Abbey, when we caught sight of the magnificent country house Hotham Hall, which is not open to the public, but still a pleasure to behold, as we walked through Hotham Park, to reach the play area.

After a luxury breakfast, we visited Hull, a short drive away and could see that already work is underway to prepare it for its City of Culture Status in 2017.

The council has said it expects the events to bring a £60m boost to the local economy in 2017 alone, as well as a longer-term legacy for the city.

Hull is home to the Maritime Museum which explores the seafaring heritage of the city and the Ferens Art Gallery, which broke visitor records with a Da Vinci exhibition in 2012, and the Hull Truck theatre company, which became a national force in the 1970s and ‘80s and moved into a new £14.5m home in 2009.

Hull’s cultural programme will be inspired by the poems of Philip Larkin, who lived in Hull for 30 years. The city’s plans for 2017 include an opening ceremony involving theatrical elephants, dancing white phone boxes and four “rivers” of light, people and sound flowing into the city.

Our youngsters were excited at the prospect of visiting The Deep. The huge aquarium, described as the world’s only submarium, is beside the sea and home to a massive 3,500 fish including Europe’s only pair of green sawfish, seven different species of shark and plus rays and a new colony of Gentoo penguins.

We had lots of interactive fun, and a particular hit was the frozen section, where the kids loved feeling the iceberg style walls with their hands.

The Deep’s aquarium tanks are simply amazing and we walked through a glass tunnel under one at the bottom of the building, before enjoying a ride in a great glass elevator passing through the central aquarium tank, which was like being under the ocean. We learned a lot and enjoyed lunch in the cafe, which has a great view overlooking the Humber estuary.

It was a great day out, and of course the gift shop was a big hit with the youngsters.

After a browse around Hull, it was back to the country cottage and later we went out for dinner to the Hotham Arms, at Main Street, a real country pub with roaring fires, which welcomed children early doors. It was a great atmosphere with friendly staff.

For Sunday breakfast we went to Drewton’s Farm Shop restaurant, in nearby South Cave and also stocked up on their interesting selection of deli foods and produce.

After a quick drive back down the M62, we were home within an hour.

Travel factfile:

Alison Bellamy stayed at a five-star luxury holiday cottage on a country estate in Hotham, see www.estateescapes.co.uk for more details.

She visited the aquarium The Deep in Hull at www.thedeep.co.uk and also travelled across the Humber Bridge, more details at www.humberbridge.co.uk

More details about attraction and what to do and where to stay in Yorkshire at www.yorkshire.com.

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