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Even on a lazy Sunday afternoon, there’s plenty to keep visitors to Cottingham – once the UK’s largest village – entertained. Well, there is if they’re suitably famished… and there’s no better place to pause than The Purple Cow Café on Hallgate. Serving a fantastic range of food and drink, the corner-cafe midway along Hallgate is licensed to sell alcohol, stocking a ‘healthy’ range of beers and spirits. Although we settled for nothing more than a Coke and a pot of tea, the food being served at other tables – both inside and out – looked sumptuous, proving mouthwatering beyond degree. The café’s interior wields just as much allure, brandishing as much style as substance, complete with solid, considerately-positioned tables, along with funky licks of purple paint upon the walls. However, whenever the weather’s fine enough, it pays to sit outside in order to literally be in a better position to watch the world go by.


Hallgate, perhaps Cottingham’s most well-known road, positively bursts with cafes, restaurants and takeaways, Woksoever rightfully renowned for the delicious Chinese dishes it serves on an evening. Further down the road, Kristoffs offers scrumptious food at a truly great price.

For those folk seeking more than food and drink, The Back Room regularly stages gigs, 2013’s ‘Autumn schedule’ featuring the hugely talented likes of Jon Gomm, Benny Gallagher and Otis Gibbs. The perfect kind of place in which to relax whilst enjoying quality music, the modestly-sized venue couldn’t be better located, roughly opposite Hallgate’s commanding Methodist Church.

While the majority of shops were closed since it was Sunday, it was nevertheless encouraging to see so many independent businesses crowding Hallgate, a baby store, a sewing shop, and a photographic studio all within hopping distance. What’s more, a traditional watering hole was rarely out of sight, with Cottingham continuing to be well-served by a plethora of welcoming pubs come rain or shine.

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In spite of being so close to Hull, it’s refreshing to see that ‘Cott’ has retained its character as a result of residents and visitors being so supportive of its wide variety of shops. Furthermore, the atmosphere suffusing the centre of Cottingham couldn’t be more welcoming, far-removed from the exhausting hustle and bustle synonymous with Hull’s city centre. Swathes of greenery are never far away, The Lawns section of Hull University a mere five-minute saunter from Hallgate.

As the elegant city suburb stands, Cottingham really does have it all, additionally boasting a frequent, fast and cheap rail connection to Hull’s main rail and bus interchange. Even if you don’t conspire to spend a penny, it’s enough simply to park up and indulge in a promenade around ‘the village with a difference’. Failing that, you could always hop on a train north: the photogenic market town of Beverley is just a ten-minute ride away…

(Steve Rudd)

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