Hay Fever Holidays - Where Should You Go To Breathe The Freshest Air In The UK?


Hay fever and general air pollution can seriously impact a person’s health and wellbeing. In fact, conditions like asthma can either be triggered, or significantly aggravated, when a person lives in an area with poor air quality*. This is probably why so many of us escape the city to the country or coast when we go on holiday - to breathe that wonderful fresh air and leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated!


Considering the last 12 months has made many of us address our health, we thought we could add some real value by finding out where in the country the best air quality is, so we can inform and advise holiday goers on what destinations to visit if they want to breathe some truly clean air. 


Fortunately pollution levels are regularly recorded in the UK**, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t a mammoth data analysis task! 


We ranked 53,000 locations across 4 of the most prevalent four pollutants; Carbon Monoxide, Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxide and PM 2.5, as well as tree and grass pollen, two of the most common hay fever allergies in the UK** (we did not take into account actual power station sites). We cross referenced the data with pollen readings to provide a comprehensive ‘clean air index’, seeing as 16 million people in the UK suffer with hayfever!


From this research we were able to ascertain the top ten best and worst destinations in the UK for air quality. 


The Clean Air Index 



The destinations with the cleanest air in the UK are:


(we’ve included some of our top properties that are still available to book this Summer in each area in case you’re desperate to secure your holiday!)


1. Colnbrook, Berkshire
2. Peterlee, County Durham
3. Ashbourne, Derbyshire
4. Ulverston, Cumbria
5. Buxton, Derbyshire
6. Crieff, Perth & Kinross
7. Shap, Cumbria
8. Southend on Sea, Essex
9. Broxbourne, Hertfordshire
10 Blaenau Gwent, Wales


The destinations with the most polluted air in the UK are:


1. Immingham, North East Lincolnshire
2. Salt End, East Riding of Yorkshire
3. Little Barford, Bedfordshire
4. West Burton, Nottinghamshire
5. Spalding, Lincolnshire
6. Billingham, County Durham
7. Ketton, Rutland
8. Medway, Kent
9. Wilton, Wiltshire
10. Whitwell, Derbyshire


Matt Fox, CEO and co-founder of lastminute-cottages.co.uk, said,


“After the year we’ve had, it wouldn’t surprise me if the public were more aware and conscious of how the external environment impacts their health. Air quality plays a big part in how we breathe and feel, and lots of people, especially city dwellers, love escaping to the country or coast to breathe that fresh air.


“We thought we’d investigate this common trend further, and found that government data allowed us to really interrogate which locations have the cleanest air. Some may be surprised that a location so close to our capital has the best air quality, both in terms of pollution and pollen, but it was a close call between all of the top ten. Either way I hope our research proves invaluable to holidaymakers wanting to go somewhere that will benefit their lungs as much as their mind!”









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