A leading holiday accommodation marketplace has analysed national pollution and pollen data, to reveal which locations are the best spots for those who want to prioritise air quality when they go on holiday this year.

The research, carried out for lastminute-cottages.co.uk, involved ranking 53,000 locations on pollution levels in the UK across the four pollutants, not taking into account actual power station sites. The data was then cross referenced with regional tree and grass pollen count data, to provide a comprehensive clean air index.

It was found that Colnbrook in Berkshire has the cleanest air in the country, followed by Peterlee on the North-East coast and Derbyshire market town, Ashbourne.

On average, Colnbrook’s emission level is 4-17 tonnes and it experiences low grass pollen and medium tree pollen levels every year. On the other end of the spectrum, Immingham in North East Lincolnshire recorded an emission level of 919,510 tonnes, due to the local power station, which will contribute to high levels of pollution in the surrounding air.

The holiday destinations with the cleanest air in the UK are:

  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

Air quality can have a substantial impact on a person’s health and wellbeing. It’s estimated that one in four people in the UK has hay fever, which equates to roughly 16 million people. Asthma affects 1 in 12 adults and 1 in 11 children currently in the UK, with research showing that high levels of pollution can trigger and worsen asthma.

Coincidentally hay fever season correlates with summer holidays, so allergies can often be a nuisance for Brits when they’re on vacation. The pollen season separates into three key periods: tree pollen (late March to mid-May), grass pollen (mid-May to July) and weed pollen (end of June to September). Travel experts from LastMinute-Cottages.co.uk advise holidaymakers who suffer with an underlying respiratory condition, such as hay fever or asthma, to research an area before booking it to ensure the local environment is suitable for them.

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.”

To see an interactive map, along with the 10 worst areas in the UK for air quality visit: https://www.lastminute-cottages.co.uk/clean-air-map-uk.

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