Have a look at the Pollen Count chart below to find out what the pollen count in Leeds 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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The third largest city in Great Britain, Leeds gets its name from the swift flowing currents River Aire, situated in the west of Yorkshire. Although the city did not flourish industrially until the 19th century, Leeds has still been home a number of historic houses and cultural sites such as Temple Newsham, Kirkstall Abbey and Harewood House.
Nature is never very far from the heart of the city, and a great amount of care has been put into its commons and parks, with gardens being designed by notable landscape artists such as Capability Brown – a treat for the eyes but a terror for the nose.
Leeds is chockfull of parks, gardens and country estates, all brimming with potential allergens. The usual perpetrators are of course, grass and tree pollen. Most common types of grass pollinate during the summer months, from around April until the end of July so it might be worth avoiding outdoor areas that are abundant with grass during this time.
Tree pollination can be slightly more difficult to predict as it normally varies in different tree species. The most common culprits when it comes to seasonal allergies, tends to be birch, beech, oak, ash and London plane. Ash can sometimes start pollinating as early as January, so this is the offender to watch out for if you notice your hayfever symptoms kicking in a little earlier in the year than usual.
Oak pollination commonly peaks around April while silver birch and beech are slightly later, flowering between April and May. London plane is slightly later, pollinating through August and September.
The close dispersal of parks, gardens and nature reserves means that you are never very far away from a source of pollen in Leeds, with woodland areas growing close to housing estates. Some areas are more affected than others by this widespread prevalence of pollen. Here are just a few of the major pollen hotspots located in the city centre and surrounding regions of Leeds.
Roundhay Park: One of the most popular spots in Leeds, Roundhay Park stretches over 700 acres and includes golf courses, formal gardens and attractions like the Tropical World centre, a hub for exotic plants, iridescent butterflies and grumpy terrapins. The grounds of Roundhay are open all year round and more than a million tourists pass through its gates per annum. If you happen to be one of these pilgrims, then be aware that this park is home to notorious pollen fiends such as sycamore trees and contains a variety of grass species that might irritate your allergies
Temple Newsham Estate: Templar Newsham was land that was originally given as a gift to Templar knights and was later bequeathed to Margaret Stuart by her Uncle, the tyrannical King Henry VIII. Nowadays the Newsham estate spreads over 1500 acres of land, including gardens designed by the famous landscape artist, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, and plays host to a variety of festival and musical events. It would be impossible to name all the pollen offenders nestled in grounds of this estate, but a new plantation of trees included such popular allergens as silver birch, oak, maple, hazel and alder
Harewood House: Harewood House was built in the 18th century at the direction of Edwin Lascelles, a wealthy plantation owner and the first Baron of Harewood. This stately home encompasses over 100 acres of gardens, some designed by Capability Brown. There grow such pollen allergens as oak, London plane, walnut, beech, birch and yew
Victoria Gardens: Situated in the heart of Leeds, just outside the Leeds Art Gallery, the Victoria Gardens have often been a famous site for anti-war demonstrations, suffragette rallies and serves as the ground for the Municipal War Memorial. While the art gallery itself might offer you a temporary refuge away from irritants and allergens, Victoria Gardens certainly will not. The gardens are home to different subspecies of grass, weeds and trees such as London Plane
Ripley Castle: Ripley Castle sits 20 miles outside of Leeds and has been the ancestral home to the Ingleby family for over 700 years. A popular tourist attraction, the gardens are gorgeous but rife with allergens such as beech pollen, oak pollen, and different variants of grass and weeds pollen.
Meanwood trail: The Meanwood trail is a popular walking route running 7 miles from Woodhouse Moor to Golden Acre Park. The moor used to operate as an outdoor gymnasium and was the first park in Leeds to be opened to the public in 1857. There grow species of oak, ash, sycamore, rowan and chestnut trees, bordering the nearby Hyde Park housing estate. The trail continues to Golden Acre Park, a popular outdoor area covering 179 acres of land that is home to a diverse population of trees, grass and weeds.
If you suffer from hayfever it can often feel like nature is intentionally out to catch you off guard, however there are a number of preventative steps that you can take by choosing your outings carefully. There are plenty of indoor activities to pursue in Leeds, many which are immensely popular and acclaimed, guaranteeing you a great day out.
Trinity Leeds: The biggest indoor shopping centre in Leeds, Trinity Leeds is open every day from 0900 to 2000, except for Sundays when it opens slightly later at 1100-1700. This retail hub can boast over 120 shops, bars and is home to the only Everyman cinema in the north of England. It also provides hayfever sufferers with an indoor sanctum away from potential allergens and hours of entertainment
Victoria Quarter: If you fancy shopping in style, then this beautiful Victorian centre is definitely the right place for you. The Victorian Quarter is fashionable, affluent and hosts a range of designer retailers from Louis Vutton to Harvey Nicholls. It is also incredibly gorgeous, containing remnants of its nineteenth century roots in the stunning mosaics and luxurious marble detailing that characterises the interior, which also hosts the largest stained glass window in England
Leeds City Museum: Admission free, this attraction makes for a fun day out for all the family. Leeds City Museum contains exciting exhibitions on the Ancient world, featuring Nesyammun the mummy, Greek Gods and Goddesses, an Earth Gallery and a collection of pieces on the early history of Leeds, alongside many other interesting, interactive elements. The museum is open year round, from 1000-1700 throughout the week except for Fridays when it is open an extra two hours
Royal Armouries Museum: The Royal Armouries Museum is free entry and home to fascinating exhibitions on everything from medieval suits of armour, tournament weapons, archery and even the swords of Middle Earth. Whether you’re an avid Tolkien fan or a weapons novice, this museum is bound to contain something of interest to everyone
City Varieties Music Hall: Originally built in 1865, this theatre has endured and remained unchanged as a classic example of a Victorian music hall. These days it hosts a variety of events and performances year round, from comedies and pantomimes to musicals and plays.
If your hayfever symptoms are overwhelming and too serious to ignore, then don’t despair. Our products are available in a wide range of retail stores in your area. The Health Food Company is just a quick stop away from Leeds Coach Station, located inside Leeds Kirkgate Market and may stock A.Vogel products such as Pollinosan Hayfever Tablets and Luffa nasal spray, giving you the relief that you crave from your hayfever symptoms.
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.