Hulbury is a beautiful port town in eastern Galar that is also home to the Hulbury Stadium, where Gym Challengers can fight against the Gym Leader, Nessa, for the Water Badge.
There’s also a lovely lighthouse along the shore, as well as numerous restaurants and other shops.
As you enter Hulbury, you’ll be greeted with some scenes from the town, showing off a bit of its environment and places to consider checking out.
One place you’ll likely want to check out first is the Pokémon Center, right near the entrance to town, to heal up your Pokémon. There’s not actually anything else exciting inside, but it’s good to know where it is.
Just past the Pokémon Center, you’ll find a bit of a scene with some onlookers and a woman. Apparently Chairman Rose is wearing his casual attire and his assistant, Oleana, is diverting the fans. One onlooker, Bede, sticks around and promises to do what he can to help, although Chairman Rose doesn’t recognize him all that well, unlike what Bede had mentioned to you earlier.
He’ll head off and then Rose will recognize you before inviting you to a celebratory lunch, but only after you’ve beaten the Gym Leader, Nessa. His assistant, Oleana, will demand that you don’t keep him waiting, but don’t worry, you have plenty of time to explore the town.
There are a few parts of the town to explore.
There’s a park in the southern part of town, down some steps to the south of the restaurant where Oleana is guarding. There are a few picnic tables and merchants down there, as well as some items to pick up.
First of all, talk to the lady with a headband at the westernmost picnic table and she’ll offer to trade you a Cottonee for your Minccino. Minccino can be found quite easily on Route 5 and this Cottonee is guaranteed to have the ability Prankster, which allows it to use its status moves first in battle (although they will fail against Dark-type Pokémon). It can evolve into Whimsicott with a Sun Stone and is generally a pretty good Pokémon. Additionally, since the Hulbury Stadium is a Water-type Stadium, it makes for a decent addition to your team if you don’t have a good Pokémon to counter Water.
There’s a Magnet down by a lightpost in the southwestern part of the park. This powers up the holder’s Electric-type moves by 20% and could be a good item for any Electric-type Pokémon you’re looking to bring to the Gym.
The blonde lady near the merchant stalls will sell you various incense for your Pokémon, which have a variety of effects.
These incense have some helpful effects and some of them are used while breeding in order to get certain Baby Pokémon, but there aren’t really any must-haves here. The Luck Incense is expensive, but it doubles the money you earn after battles if the Pokémon holding it was out in battle at least once. You’ll get a similar item for free fairly soon, but you can make a profit if you buy this now and have your Pokémon hold it until then, so it’s your call.
To the right of her is another shop, this one selling herbs instead.
These items tend to be a bit cheaper than their normal equivalents, but they will lower the Pokémon’s happiness or friendliness stat after using them. Does this really matter? Not really, especially if you aren’t regularly using Pokémon Camp to gain bonuses or needing a Pokémon to evolve by happiness. The moves Return and Frustration aren’t actually present in Pokémon Sword & Shield, so happiness isn’t really all that big of a deal.
The most helpful item here is probably the Revival Herb, which revives a fainted Pokémon with full health — something that only Max Revives are also able to do, except they can’t be purchased freely. It’s not a bad idea to have one or two of these around, just in case, as being revived with a normal Revive will only give you 50% of your HP to work with.
That’s all there is to the park. You can leave from the eastern exit as well. I’d recommend doing this and then going down the stairs towards some boats, then walking to the north to pick up a Shell Bell. This item will heal your Pokémon by 1/16 the damage it did to the target with each attack while it’s held. It’s not quite as good as the Leftovers, but it’s still alright.
From here, you can go back up the stairs and then follow the path to the west to get back to the main street.
Houses On The Way to the Stadium
There are a few houses along the northern path leading to the Stadium. These are all optional, and most just have some flavor text and miscellaneous dialogue inside.
Near the fifth house, by the stairs leading up, there’s a hidden Full Heal by the bushes. Going up the stairs is completely optional—to proceed, you’ll want to continue east—but there are a few items up there that you might as well pick up.
There are two houses up the stairs, but neither has anything overly important inside. There are 2 X Speed hidden right by the lamppost near a bench on the right, though, as well as a train station. It’s a pretty small station and there’s nothing worthwhile there, so you don’t need to visit it.
Go back down the stairs and then continue east to make your way towards the Hulbury Stadium as well as the lighthouse.
To the Hulbury Lighthouse
Keep following the path leading north and eventually to the east until you see the Stadium in the background. Tempting as it may be to visit, you can’t actually enter it just yet as the Gym Leader isn’t there, so you’ll need to track her down.
The good news is that she’s relatively closeby, over at the lighthouse further to the east. Continue east until you find some stairs leading down, but take a quick detour to the west, down to the piers, where there are a bunch of fishing spots you can use to fish for Pokémon.
There are also 5 Net Balls down by some of the fishing bins. These are pretty effective against Water- or Bug-type Pokémon.
Go back to the path towards the lighthouse but be sure to pick up the hidden 2 Super Potions by the trash bins just before the benches.
Head over to the lighthouse and then talk to Nessa, who is staring off at the ocean. She’ll say a few words, give you Nessa’s League Card, and then head back to the Stadium.
You’re now free to return and take on the Stadium, but before you do, it’s a good idea to pick up TM82 Electroweb behind the lighthouse, directly above where Nessa was standing. You can’t see it unless you walk up in that direction, so it’s easy to miss.
That should be everything you can do in town for now, so make sure your Pokémon are healed up and then head back to the Stadium.