Old bike at the train station
Larkin's Here
City Centre


The city in which Larkin found himself has origins dating back to the 1100s, when it was known as Wyke, situated on the ‘shining gull-marked mud’ of the rivers Hull and Humber. In 1293 it was bought by King Edward I and renamed Kingston upon Hull. Over time, it developed as a major European port. It has a long and proud history, with a strong independent streak and a noticeable sense of community, which Larkin so closely observed: ‘residents from raw estates … dwelling/Where only salesmen and relations come’. Above all, he appreciated the people’s straightforwardness, their freedom from London sophistication. They were, he wrote: ‘urban yet simple’. Today, Hull welcomes around 4 million visitors a year.
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© Larkin25 2017
Hull University
Larkin's Here
Beyond the City Centre


Leaving the city centre behind, this section of the trail visits the area where Larkin lived and worked for the best part of 30 years. Leading from the ‘clean-sliced cliff' of Hull Royal Infirmary, up past the General Cemetery on Spring Bank, into Pearson Park and beyond to the University, this is an urban landscape rich with influences on his poetic works. Plenty remains the same as it was in Larkin’s time here. The substantial Victorian houses and mature trees of Pearson Park and ‘The Avenues’ are much as he would have enjoyed them and the University Library is still very much Larkin's first class legacy. This section closes with the large village of Cottingham, where he lived for a short while and where he is now buried.
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Docks side
Larkin's Elsewhere
West to East


Larkin spent many of his weekends out and about beyond Hull, either on his own or with friends, finding the whole area particularly suitable for long cycle rides. This section looks at several of the places he visited, from Hessle, home of his first publishers and the Humber Bridge, to the small market town of Beverley with its magnificent Minster. Beyond, the trail captures the more isolated landscape to the west, where Larkin enjoyed cycling around tiny villages along the Humber estuary, such as Broomfleet, and finally it crosses the ‘unfenced existence’ of Holderness Plain to the east, taking in the village of Patrington on its way to the striking, desolate peninsula of Spurn Point.


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