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Sunniest Cities & Towns at Winter in the UK

We’ve all heard the expression, “winter blues”, right? But is there any truth to this phenomenon? In short, yes. The winter months are often characterized by short and dark days, which can cause many to suffer from ‘the winter blues’. In medical terms, this phenomenon is known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

According to Bupa, SAD affects up to 3 in every 100 people in the UK at some point in their lives. But how? Natural sunlight triggers a hormone called serotonin to be released in your brain. In addition to boosting your mood, serotonin can also aid in calming and focusing you. Studies have shown that neurotransmitters, such as serotonin play a role in regulating a person’s mental health. Therefore, a decline in serotonin can be contributing factor towards the onset of SAD.

With this in mind, we decided to conduct our own research to find out which towns and cities in the UK experience the most and least sunlight hours during the winter months.

Key Metrics we Analysed

We used official Met Office weather data to find the average and overall hours of sunlight during the winter months (January, February and December). With this data, we then compared each town and city’s sunlight hours to determine which locations were the best and worst for sunlight hours in the UK.

Research Highlights

  • Want to avoid the winter blues? Head to Chichester! On average, this town has 232 hours of sunshine during the winter months, which is 108% more sunshine hours per month in the winter than Bradford!
  • 50% of the top ten sunniest cities and towns are in the South East of England. 
  • 30% of the top ten least sunny cities and towns are in Yorkshire.
  • Chichester is expected to have an average of 847 online searches for ‘parasols’ this year. That’s a whopping 1,333% increase in search volume per capita compared to Liverpool!
  • Glasgow is no stranger to the rain! Our research shows that this Scottish city is expected to have an average of 9,739 online searches for ‘umbrellas’ this year. That’s an incredible 238% increase in search volume per capita compared to Bournemouth!

The Results

Check out our findings below to see if your town or city features in our list!

Top 25 Sunniest Cities & Towns in the UK

The table below represents the total hours of sunlight during the winter months.

Top 25 Sunniest Cities & Towns in UK-min

Top 25 Least Sunny Cities & Towns in the UK

The table below represents the results of the total hours of sunlight during the winter months.

Top 25 Least Sunny Cities _ Towns in UK-min

Results breakdown:

Sunniest Cities & Towns in the UK: 

Results are based on sunlight hours data from the Met Office (and other online climate recording databases).

  1. Chichester 
  2. Hastings 
  3. St Helens 
  4. Eastbourne 
  5. Southend-on-Sea 
  6. Poole 
  7. Brighton 
  8. Ipswich 
  9. Peterborough 
  10. Bournemouth 

Least Sunny Cities & Towns in the UK: 

Results are based on sunlight hours data from the Met Office (and other online climate recording databases).

  1. Bradford
  2. Barnsley
  3. Rochdale 
  4. Glasgow 
  5. Paisley
  6. Belfast 
  7. York 
  8. Gateshead 
  9. Preston 
  10. Sevenoaks 

Methodology:

In order to determine which cities and towns were experienced the most hours of sunlight in the winter, we used official climate data from the Met Office. Using this data, we analysed the average and overall hours of sunlight during the winter months (January, February and December). With this data, we then compared each town and city’s sunlight hours to determine which locations were the best and worst for sunlight hours in the UK. 

Please note that For cities and towns with missing data on the Met Office’s website, we used alternative websites like Climate-Data.

Sources:

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

​​https://en.climate-data.org/

https://ads.google.com/intl/en_uk/home/tools/keyword-planner/

https://www.shutterstock.com/

https://www.bupa.co.uk/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4258674/

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