This particular part of the journey leads you to places frequented by Larkin, both when he was alone and when in the company of others. It guides you to pubs where he enjoyed a pint (or something a little stronger on-the-rocks), pauses at places where he indulged his passion for jazz and takes you to the point from which he could look back at this ‘isolate city spread alongside water’ as he took the ferry over to Lincolnshire and back.

As with any city centre, some parts have changed radically over the years. Other streets look almost the same as they did decades ago. Hull’s fascinating Old Town, with its cobbles, porticos and intriguing staiths, is one such area. Tracing his footsteps across the city, you feel that wherever he was, Larkin was simply ‘here.’

No.1/11
Royal Hotel
Welcome to the Larkin Trail
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No.2/11
Royal Hotel
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Larkin’s poem ‘Friday Night in the Royal Station Hotel’ shows its quieter times, with ‘silence laid like carpet’ and ‘all the salesmen […] gone back to Leeds’. The poem was first published by the Sheffield Morning Telegraph, and later included in his 1974 collection High Windows.

The hotel as Larkin knew it suffered a major fire five years after his death and was re-opened after extensive refurbishment in September 1993. The more recent refurbishment of the lounge (2010) respects Larkin’s description of the ‘high clusters of lights’ and the chairs ‘coloured differently’.
Paul Schofield and BBC Radio 4 Presenter Mark Lawson. Tour guide Paul took Mark on one of his special guided Larkin tours of the city centre when BBC’s Front Row featured Larkin25.
Images (above & below) were produced by Joe Johnson, as part of his Larkin25 commission. You can see the full collection of the images in the archive section of this website.
Listen to Paul Schofield reading Friday Night in the Royal
Station Hotel
The view from the Royal as Larkin would have known it, heading into town.
Original manuscript of Friday Night in the Royal Station Hotel (click image for larger view)
No.3/11
Paragon Interchange
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No.4/11
City Hall
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No.5/11
Whitefriargate &
Marks & Spencer
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No.6/11
Land of Green Ginger
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No.7/11
Trinity Square
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No.8/11
The Pier &
Waiting Room
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No.9/11
High Street &
Ye Olde Black Boy
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No.10/11
The White Hart
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No.11/11
Hull History Centre
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Go to
Larkins Elsewhere
West to East
 
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Larkins Here
Beyond the City Centre
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