Have a look at the Pollen Count chart below to find out what the pollen count in Belfast is today, and scroll through the next few days for a forecast of what's coming. The chart also highlights the levels of different types of pollen: grass, trees (birch, cypress, oak, plane and sweet chestnut) and weeds.
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Louise Baillie S.A.C. Dip (Diet, Exercise & Fitness), Advanced Human Anatomy & Physiology Level 3 @ActiveLouise Ask Louise
Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland and was once a key player in the shipping industry, building such gigantic vessels as the RMS Olympic and the infamous RMS Titanic. The city did not become a sizable town until the 17th century but has since grown into the 10th largest city in the UK and the largest urban area in Northern Ireland.
Belfast might not seem like an obvious hotspot for greenery, but there are a number of historic gardens and noteworthy parks that are dotted around the city and its surrounding areas, some dating back for centuries. In recent years, a lot of investment has been put into these outdoor areas in the hopes that they become great attractions for the city and its neighbouring regions.
Belfast enjoys a rich variety of parks and gardens, all teeming with different forms of pollen allergens. The most common offenders are usually species of tree pollen, such as redwood, cedar and oak.
This can make it extra tricky for hayfever sufferers trying to avoid triggers as cedar and redwood often pollinate in late winter or early spring, making patient’s more vulnerable at a time of year when they might not necessarily be expecting a flare-up of their hayfever symptoms.
However, hope is at hand as there are plenty of places in the capital that are suitable for those who suffer from hayfever, from popular museum exhibits to interactive science centres.
Belfast’s close proximity to the North Channel, might make it seem like an ideal getaway for hayfever sufferers, however the Northern Irish capital enjoys some of the most stunning parks and gardens in the UK, with pollen pervading the city from popular nature reserves and heritage sites. These are just a few of the chief hotspots that are saturated with allergen culprits like redwood, cedar and oak:
Antrim Castle Gardens: Over 400 years old and just a 30 minute drive outside of Belfast;, Antrim Castle Gardens are a beautiful and noteworthy historic site that has inspired ghost stories for generations. Recently subjected to a £6, 000000 restoration project, the gardens thrive with flowerbeds and ornamental displays, often acting as a popular wedding venue due to its picturesque scenery. They are also a hotspot for grass pollen and tree pollen as the park in rich in specimens of both and might be worth avoiding if your allergies are triggered by either irritant
Ormeau Park: The oldest municipal park in Belfast, Ormeau Park once belonged to the wealthy Donegall family but was later sold and eventually opened to the public in 1871. The park now includes two bowling greens, a BMX track and various sporting facilities for tennis, netball and football, as well as a popular play park for children. This park is also famous for its horticulture, containing beautiful but pollen- lethal specimens of Oriental Planes, cedars and maple trees
Belfast Botanic Gardens: The botanic gardens in Belfast were initially private and only open to the public on Sundays until 1895. Nowadays the park is characterised by an array of native and exotic plants, even displaying a tropical ravine. There are many different species of grass pollen here but the predominate tree pollen to look out for is oak, as the park contains many specimens and all of them can be extremely irritating to sufferers of allergic rhinitis
Lagan Meadows: A popular trail with joggers and cyclers, Lagan meadows are situated by the river Lagan and is are a hub of wildlife, grasslands and woodland stretching for over a mile in the city of Belfast. This means that the meadows are saturated with pollen, radiating from a variety of grass species, to tree allergens such as oak, ash, hawthorn and alder
Belvoir Forest Park: Belvoir forest park is home to many historical sites and is spread over 75 hectares of land. It was opened to the public in 1961 and remains widely regarded by dog-walkers and cyclists, being an important reserve for wildlife, including red squirrels and long-eared owls. It might be best to avoid this park in early spring as it contains species of oak, redwood and cedar.
Belfast might be saturated with hayfever allergens but it is also abundant with hayfever- friendly attractions, from colourful museums to national landmarks. If you are prepared to pick your outings carefully, there are plenty of ways to avoid pollen stimulants and enjoy a great day out in the city.
Titanic Museum: The Titanic Museum was opened in 2012 and is the largest Titanic exhibition in the world, with 9 interactive galleries and an ocean exploration centre. The museum also offers an authentic high tea every Sunday, where guests are seated in an astonishing replica of the Titanic suite and can choose from a moreish menu of cakes, sandwiches and tea, as well as champagne and prosecco if they so choose. This outing is not to be missed and is guaranteed to be almost 100% pollen free due to its indoor environment and oceanic setting
Crumlin Road Gaol: Not for the faint of heart, the Crumlin Road Gaol offers a disturbing glimpse into the past when the building used to function as a prison for men, women and even children. Visitors can opt for a historic tour which explores the Governor’s office, hospital and, if you have the stomach for it, the hanging cell. For those of you who believe in the spooky and unexplained, there is also a paranormal tour available, investigatinge old myths and ghost stories about the facility
Metropolitan Arts Centre: The Metropolitan Arts Centre, or MAC, is the cultural heart of Belfast, contributing a vivid look at the works of different artists, as well as the chance to catch theatre performances, dance recitals and even comedy sketches. It is a flourishing centre of activity, for national and international performers alike and can definitely offer a diverse and entertaining day out for the family
Giant’s Causeway: A world famous landmark, Giant’s Causeway is situated about an hour outside of Belfast but has some of the most panoramic scenery on offer in the whole of Ireland. The ragged cliffs are bordered by the North Atlantic and have inspired artists and storytellers for centuries. With guided tours available, you can walk in the path of Giants and be liberated from your hayfever symptoms
W5: Located near the Titanic quarter, the W5 is an award -winning centre of science and exploration, offering an interactive look at science that is bound to inspire and thrill children, with a multi-story climbing exhibit and an augmented reality gallery. Tickets start at £6.50 for children and £8.50 for adults, although there are a variety of offers available for family tickets.
If your hayfever symptoms are persisting, despite your best efforts to avoid allergens, then perhaps it is time to seek help. Our A.Vogel products are available in a variety of different retailers, such as Holland and Barrett, which may be nearby if you happen to live in Belfast.
For example, there are three different retail stores that stock our products near the Victoria Shopping Centre, such as Gordon’s Chemist, Formula Health and the Nutmeg. These stores may stock our hayfever remedies, like Pollinosan Hayfever Tablets and Luffa nasal spray, which can ease your symptoms and provide you with some much needed hayfever relief.
What you eat can have a dramatic effect on your hayfever symptoms. While anti-inflammatory and natural anti-histamine foods can help control your symptoms, foods containing dairy and foods rich in sugar can actually make them worse.