Have a look at the Pollen Count chart below to find out what the pollen count in Edinburgh 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
Edinburgh is a city rich in culture, history and pollen.
The Scottish capital sits nestled by the Firth of Forth and contains some of the most spectacular scenery you are likely to come across in an urban environment, from the sandy beaches of Portobello to the grassy slopes of Arthur’s seat.
Despite being in the middle of a sprawling cosmopolitan hub, one never feels very far from nature in Edinburgh and that is because the city can boast a range of parks and stunning outdoor locations, all beautiful and all saturated in allergens.
As we have mentioned, trees are pretty much unavoidable in Edinburgh but there are certain hot spots that you should be particularly wary of.
Princes St Gardens: Located in the centre of Edinburgh city, adjacent to one of the busiest streets in Scotland, Princes St Gardens are host to a variety of events during the year, including the Edinburgh Festival in August and the Winter Market in December. If you’re visiting Edinburgh, the chances are you are going to be walking down this street at some point, which can leave you at the mercy of the tree pollen drifting up from the gardens which contain specimens of elm and ash, as well as Chinese birch trees and Japanese cherry blossom
Corstorphine Hill: Corstorphine hill is famous for being the home of Edinburgh zoo, although this tourist attraction only occupies part of the lush hillside. The other areas of the hill form a woodland walk with panoramic views overlooking the rest of the city. A variety of trees have made their home in this part of the city, including the notorious silver birch tree, beech, hawthorn, chestnut and sycamore. It might be worth steering clear of this outdoor oasis if your allergies are susceptible to flaring up at the slightest provocation; this site is not for the faint of heart
Meadows Park: The Meadows Park is located in the south side of city and is home to one of the biggest areas of grassland in Edinburgh, as well as a thriving population of elm trees which make up 33 % of the trees in the park. Popular with picnickers, barbecue lovers and sunbathers, this park is usually bustling on busy days, but you should maybe consider taking a step back if you’re a hayfever sufferer. Not only is there the aforementioned grass element to contend with, but the Meadows also contains every pollen allergist’s worst nightmare – birch trees. There are also variants of other specimens such as rowan, London plane and alder, making it an intolerable place to be during the summer months
Royal Botanical Gardens: Established in the 17th century, the Royal Botanical gardens contain tree specimens from all over the world, and might seem like an obvious place to avoid if you’re a hayfever sufferer. Not only is it the exotic specimens of flowers that you have to contend with, but once again birch is back and running rampant with other familiar faces like horse chestnut trees, hazel, hawthorn, yew and rowan.
It’s possible that by now you might be feeling rather forlorn about Edinburgh, especially since several popular city hotspots have been exposed as hayfever hubs. However, there are a number of other places in Edinburgh that can offer the same amount of entertainment but with the added benefit of being hayfever friendly.
National Museum of Scotland: The National Museum of Scotland is home to an enormous collection of fascinating exhibits from galleries about the natural world to important collections regarding the heritage of Scotland. This museum spans thousands of years and sprawls over five floors with a rooftop patio that offers a beautiful view of the surrounding area. Located near the Grassmarket, the National Museum is free of charge and open from 1000-1700 on a daily basis
Portobello beach: Scotland might not be renowned as the beach capital of Europe but on a warm, sunny day Portobello beach can stand toe to toe with the Spanish coastline, offering white sands and a horizon that stretches out to the North sea. The beach is dotted by chic cafés and bars along the promenade with Georgian and Victorian architecture serving as a backdrop. It also serves as a base of operations for the local sailing and kayaking club if you fancy taking up a water sport. Arguably the best thing about this beach though, is that the pollen count is likely to be minimal, with its location being a few miles away from the city centre and right next to the salty air of the Firth of Forth
Camera Obscura and the World of Illusions: If you’re fond of quirkiness and something a bit different, then Camera Obscura might be just up your street. This show will impart interesting titbits about the history of Scotland’s capital whilst entertaining you with illusionary tricks and treats. Open every day during the summer months, from 0900-2100, Camera Obscura is £14.50 standard admission price and offers a safe, indoor, pollen-free environment
Royal Yacht Britannia: If you fancy taking a look at how the other side live, then it might be worth checking out the Royal Yacht Britannia. The former yacht of the British royal family, this experience offers you the chance to explore the vessel and take in its opulence. Located near Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre, you can always jaunt over to this complex if you want a trip to the cinema or to peruse the local bargain. Given the site’s closeness to the sea, it is unlikely to be saturated in irritating pollen particles.
If you are still finding your symptoms difficult to cope with, despite taking preventative measures to avoid pollen hotspots, then you can always speak to us in person. Our products, such as Pollinosan Tablets and Luffa Nasal Spray, are available in a variety of high-street stores ranging from Good Food in Morningside to the Edinburgh Centre of Nutrition and Therapy near Fountainbridge.
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.