REVEALED: Plymouth The UK’s Greenest Property Hotspots


Revealed: The UK’s Greenest Property Hotspots


Plymouth has been crowned the best city for escaping into nature

Only 30% of residents in Kingston Upon Hull, Milton Keynes and Cardiff are impacted by noise pollution, the lowest levels in the country

Scotland is home to the cities with the cleanest air: Aberdeen, Dundee and Plymouth


The Body Shop has uncovered the best places in Great Britain to trade in the hustle and bustle of London life for. To find out which cities are the best for those wanting to take the leap, The Body Shop launched the study using five key factors: urban greenspace per person, air quality, noise pollution, and the number of forests and walking trails across Great Britain.

Great Britain’s Top 20 Greenest Property Hotspots


Rank Town/City Air Quality

(Score closest to 0)

Urban Noise Pollution

(% of population impacted)

Urban Greenspace Per Person

(sq. meters)

Number of Parks/Forests

(in county)

Number of Walking Trails

 (in county)

1 Plymouth 3.11 41% 25.6 54 30
2 Torbay 3.11 52% 34.8 54 30
3 Exeter 3.11 52% 26.6 54 30
4 Bournemouth 3.11 51% 15.7 54 30
5 York 2.79 54% 45.7 53 24
6 Thanet 3.11 59% 29.1 66 18
7 Medway 3.11 65% 35.8 66 18
8 Swansea 2.57 48% 520.0 13 1
9 Aberdeen 1.98 124% 295.0 33 4
10 Lincoln 2.86 40% 37.1 52 7
11 Chesterfield 2.86 43% 56.1 50 8
12 Kingston upon Hull 2.79 23% 26.0 30 3
13 Blackpool 2.73 41% 29.9 47 6
14 Wakefield 2.51 84% 70.6 46 10
15 Derby 2.86 53% 41.4 50 8
16 Basildon 3.06 39% 53.5 52 3
17 Mansfield 2.86 35% 57.0 46 2
18 Northampton 2.86 75% 36.9 58 8
19 Calderdale 2.51 84% 52.3 46 10
20 Leeds 2.51 84% 50.1 46 10

Plymouth crowned the best city for escaping into nature

According to the index, Plymouth is the best city for escaping into nature, with 54 parks and forests, and 30 walking trails in the county. Plymouth is followed by the lustrous south-western towns of Torbay, Exeter and Bournemouth.

With a train ticket from London Paddington to Plymouth costing from only £22 and taking on average 3 hours and 30 minutes, Plymouth’s nature haven seems like an attractive choice, not too far to come back and visit the city.

Blackpool, Derby, Northampton and Leeds also place in the top 20 cities for providing their residents with nearby nature getaways, and Aberdeen and Swansea lead the way for Scotland and Wales.

Air quality

With its vast mountainous landscapes and famous lochs, it’s no surprise that Scotland is home to the cities with the cleanest air. Aberdeen, Dundee and Plymouth had the best air quality on average throughout 2020. On the other hand, the air quality in Milton Keynes, Hastings and Oxford was the poorest around Great Britain.

Poor air quality is not only harmful to our planet, but the effects of pollution can be seen on our skin too, leading to skin problems like blemishes, ageing and sensitivity.

Breathing in clean air is one important part of living in a healthy environment and something that should be included in self-care routines this summer. So, if you’re planning on traveling to a new place to explore nature, Scotland should be added to your bucket list for a breath of fresh air.

Most greenspace to explore

Public parks and urban greenspace are very popular in cities and large towns since they offer a nature haven in highly populated areas. This means that they can get busy and feel less peaceful than desired, something we all experienced over lockdown.

The cities that offer the largest amount of greenspace per person are Swansea, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Plymouth and Dundee, each offering over 100 square meters of greenspace for every city-goer.

Unsurprisingly, the super populated cities of London and Manchester have the lowest amount of greenspace per city resident, followed by Wolverhampton and Coventry.

Quietest city escapes

Loud urban noise pollution, such as road traffic, passing trains and industrial noise can stop us from feeling relaxed and being able to enjoy green spaces.

Just 30% of residents living in Kingston Upon Hull, Milton Keynes and Cardiff are impacted by such disturbances.

At the other end of the scale, Plymouth, Slough, Edinburgh, London and Aberdeen are the noisiest cities, with over 100% of the city population being impacted by industrial noise pollution within the city perimeters.

Most nearby forests or parks

After an extensive analysis of over 2,500 forests and parks listed on Trip Advisor, The Body Shop’s research revealed that Medway and Thanet, both located in Kent, and Southampton and Portsmouth, in the county of Hampshire, have the highest number of forests and parks just a short journey away.

In the southeastern county of Kent, Sandwich Wildlife Park is the top 5* rated park to visit, followed by Orlestone Forest Nature Reserve.

While further along the south coast, Southampton Common and Wildgrounds Nature Reserve are the top rated amongst Trip Advisor reviewers. Again, so easily accessed via London for a picnic or a stroll away from the crowds.

Top walking trails

Lastly, The Body Shop’s Trip Advisor analysis extended to review over 450 walking trail listings to find the cities in the UK with the highest number in their respective counties.

Exeter, Torbay, Bournemouth, Plymouth and York offer the most walking trails to enjoy as part of a self-love routine.

The South West Coast Path is among the top 5* rated walking trails to visit in the south west of England, as well as Durdle Door and the White Nothe Circular Walk.

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