Have a look at the Pollen Count chart below to find out what the pollen count in York 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 city of York is a major historical and cultural hub in the north of England dating back to the Roman conquest of the Brigantes Tribe in the first century AD.
Since then it has been a landmark in history, from being occupied by the Vikings for almost a hundred years during the Dark Ages, to participating in the brutal War of the Roses, eventually becoming the inspiration for the name of the famous American city, New York.
Nowadays, York is very popular as a weekend getaway or a summer break, offering beautiful scenery, stunning architecture and a wealth of museums, libraries, tours and shops. Yet, despite its numerous allures, York is still steeped in pollen, with popular parks, moors and reserves being spread throughout the city. This can make it difficult to appreciate the attractions when your hayfever is flaring up and causing you nothing but misery.
York is populated by many different species of trees, grass and pollen. The main offenders, however, are usually oak, birch and beech, with these trees being densely spread throughout the park and grasslands of the city.
While it may come as a relief to learn that pollination season for these plants is usually peaked by August, this is no guarantee that some of them won’t still be pollinating during this time. Weed pollens like stinging nettle are also still pollinating throughout the autumn months and can be found throughout the city, so you should try to avoid forests and parklands where this weed grows uninhibited.
York is full of pollen hotspots, some of them acting as very popular tourist attractions. While it might be tempting to throw caution to the wind and visit these places, you should try to take precautions against any pollen allergens and be prepared to leave if you find these locals too overwhelming.
Knavesmire: Knavesmire is a beautiful park with a troubled and bloody history. Once the park used to be home to York’s gallows, a place of execution where the dashing highwayman Dick Turpin met his gruesome end. The gallows were later moved and now Knavesmire annually hosts the largest beer festival in the north of England. A bright, open space, the fields stretch out into Knavesmire Wood, which is populated by a variety of notorious tree pollen allergens, such as oak, ash, beech and the dreaded silver birch
Walmgate Stray: Also known as ‘Low Moor’, Walmgate Stray is situated in a bustling council estate and is one of the four strays of York spreading towards the slopes of Lomel Hill. This open pasture of grassland is a great place to go for a casual walk or to soak up the summer sun, however it is also teaming with pollen species, saturated with grass, trees and weeds that might irritate and upset your seasonal allergies
Hob Moor: One of York’s four nature reserves, Hob Moor used to be a medieval grazing field for cattle and still retains its function to this very day. Popular with runners and cyclists, this is definitely a no-go area if you suffer from allergies like hayfever. The moor is overflowing with pollen allergens, from London Plane to silver birch, and is rich in different grass and weed pollens as well, such as stinging nettle, perennial ryegrass, plantain and knapweed
Breezy Knees Garden: Home to over 6000 varieties of flower, herbs and shrubs, the Breezy Knees Garden is idyllic and serene, with picturesque flower displays of roses, peonies and daisies. A lovely oasis to explore but possibly more paradise lost if you suffer from hayfever. If you decide to peruse this garden, do so at your own peril as you are bound to find your symptoms become inflamed throughout the day due to the rich population of grass, weed and tree pollen
York Museum Gardens: Nestled near the River Ouse, the botanical gardens contained in the York Museum cover over 10 acres of land and were originally gifted to the Yorkshire Philosophical Society by the royal family in the nineteenth century. Designed by landscape artist, Sir John Murray Naysmith, the gardens contain a decorative and colourful display of exotic and native fauna, with species of oak, ash and beech being scattered throughout the grounds. It is also a major hub for tree and grass pollen so it might be worth sticking indoors to the museum rather than experiencing this particular attraction
The good thing about York is that it is such as vivid and interesting city, with plenty of attractions indoors as well as outside. Arguably York is home to some of the most stunning displays of architecture in the UK, with streets that have largely remained untouched since the middle ages.
If you want some relief from your symptoms but don’t want to have to compromise your holiday, then please check out the list below for our advice on hayfever- friendly things to enjoy in this city.
York Minster: York Minster is the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe and dominates the city skyline, with enormous towers stretching over 235 feet into the air. Majestic and imposing, the cathedral was constructed during the 13th century but was erected over a site that had long been distinguished as a place of Christian worship. Now the interior of the cathedral is beautifully adorned with engravings, marble and colourful stained glass windows while the outside houses sculptured pillars and stoic gargoyles. This building is definitely worth a visit and you might even get a chance to climb the towers and enjoy a panoramic view of the city that is guaranteed to take your breath away
Castle Museum: The Castle Museum is located on the former site of York Castle and was even used as a debtors’ prison during the eighteenth century. It houses exhibits on everything from the First World War to ‘400 years of fashion, food and life,’ and is a popular place for school trips and family days out. The museum is open daily from 0930 until 1700 and adult tickets start from just £9.09 in price
York’s Chocolate Story: Something for the chocoholic in you, York’s Chocolate Story traces the history of York as the chocolate capital of the UK, exploring methods used by professional chocolatiers and identifying the famous confectioners that have graced the city, such as Terry and Rowntree. Walking tours are available to highlight some of the more iconic spots in the city that were once home to the chocolate industry. You can even enjoy a bar of York’s finest at the Gift shop or indulge in a mouth-watering meal at the Chocolate Café
York Dungeon: Explore the grubby underbelly of York as the York Dungeon Tours introduce you to the bloodier side of the city, with 75 minutes of screams and chills. Dare to try a show about execution or brace yourself for an exhibition on plague doctors and witchcraft. The York Dungeons are open year round with ticket prices varying from £10 for a ‘Sinner’s Saver’ to £24.00 for a ‘Very Important Peasant’
York Boat Tours: Why not try a relaxing river cruise on one of the tour boats drifting along the River Ouse. You can see all the attractions that the city has to offer while enjoying a glass of wine from the on-board bar. Ticket prices start from just £9.00 for adults and only £5.00 for children
The Shambles: The Shambles is narrow, winding and paved in history, being the best preserved medieval street in Europe, with buildings that date as far back as the 15th century. Popular cultural figures have once dwelled within the walls of these dwellings, like St Margaret Clitherow, brutally executed for retaining her Catholic faith. Blood used to gush down the cobbles regularly from the menagerie of butcher shops that used to inhabit the street but nowadays the area is home to an assortment of restaurants, cafes, bars and gift shops making it popular with visiting tourists and casual shoppers alike.
If your hayfever symptoms are ruining your holiday or making your life a misery, then you can always try to find our products in local outlets. Retailers like Holland and Barrett often stock A.Vogel hayfever remedies such as Pollinosan Hayfever Tablets or Luffa Nasal Spray.
If you’re visiting The Shambles, you can always pop in to Tullivers, just a couple of shops away from the Market Place Post Office, or you could try Peppercorns 84 in Pocklington, near Moonlight Bedrooms on Railway Street.
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.