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Unhappiest Places To Live in the UK Have Been Revealed

Abbi Murray

Published 
| Last updated 

Unhappiest Places To Live in the UK Have Been Revealed

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

A study has revealed the happiest and unhappiest places to live in the UK, and it appears to be bad news for the North of England. 

Now, it has been strongly debated for decades over where the best place in the UK is to live, but it turns out that there's actually science behind the best and worst places to live.

Using weather data from the Met Office, as per The Mirror, the study set out to find UK places with the most sun, which releases serotonin and fights off Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), therefore making them the happiest places to live. 

On the other hand, places with the least sun decidedly contribute to a lack of serotonin, leaving dwellers more likely to suffer from the effects of SAD.  

According to the study, Bradford and Barnsley are tied for the least amount of sun throughout the whole UK, as they both receive a total of 110 sunlight hours during winter. 

Bradford, UK. Credit: Alamy
Bradford, UK. Credit: Alamy

Rochdale follows in third place, with a total of 125 hours, before the list moves to Scotland, with Glasgow’s slightly better 137 hours of sunlight.  

Also in Scotland, Paisley rounds off the top five, with 140 sunlight hours. 

Nevertheless, it’s good news for Chichester in West Sussex, which gets 232 hours of sunlight throughout winter, and tops the list of sunniest places in the UK. 

Sleep expert Neil Wright commissioned the research in the hopes of looking deeper into the causes and effects of SAD.  

He said: “Seasonal Affective Disorder affects more than just your energy levels. 

“It also affects your sleep and day-to-day life. People with SAD often feel excessively sleepy during the day and typically sleep longer than usual at night. 

Chichester. Credit: Alamy
Chichester. Credit: Alamy

“Healthy sleep helps us balance our moods and regulate our emotions. Without healthy sleep, you’re more likely to struggle with feelings of depression and anxiety.” 

Previous studies have shown that neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, regulate a person’s mental state and contribute to an improved wellbeing. 

So, Brits are more likely to avoid the ‘winter blues’, caused by short and dark days during the winter months, in sunnier places. 

An estimated two million people in the UK are affected by SAD, with two-fifths of UK adults feeling more depressed due to long, dark nights. 

Neil added that there are ways to help cope with seasonal fatigue and SAD. 

"A greater focus on self-care may be beneficial. Getting outdoors, exercising regularly, eating energy-boosting foods, and socialising can reduce the onset of SAD symptoms," said Neil. 

Glasgow. Credit: Alamy
Glasgow. Credit: Alamy

The lists used Met Office weather data to compare sunlight hours of each town and city, determining which locations were the best and worst for beating SAD. 

See the full lists below. 

Sunniest Cities & Towns in the UK 

  1. Chichester - 232 sunlight hours in winter 
  2. Hastings - 227 
  3. St Helens - 227 
  4. Eastbourne - 222 
  5. Southend-on-Sea - 216 
  6. Poole - 216 
  7. Brighton - 215 
  8. Ipswich - 214 
  9. Peterborough - 214 
  10. Bournemouth - 212 

Least Sunny Cities and Towns in the UK 

  1. Bradford - 110 sunlight hours in winter 
  2. Barnsley - 110 
  3. Rochdale - 125 
  4. Glasgow - 137 
  5. Paisley - 140 
  6. Belfast - 141 
  7. York - 145 
  8. Gateshead - 146 
  9. Preston 147 
  10. Sevenoaks - 154 

Topics: UK News, Weather, News

Abbi Murray
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