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Analysis reveals the sunniest places in UK to take a holiday – with one island taking the top spot

Simon Calder’s Travel

Ahead of what is expected to be the busiest-ever bank holiday weekend,The Independent can reveal the sunniest locations in the UK – as well as the dullest.

Southern England enjoys the sunniest skies, while the southern uplands of Scotland are most starved of sun.

An analysis of Met Office data for three decades reveals the Isle of Wight as the only part of the UK to enjoy an average of over five hours of sunshine per day, at 5h08m.

The island resort of Shanklin is the brightest location of all. The town was popular in the 19th century, with Dickens, Keats and Longfellow spending time there.

England’s mainland county that gets closest to endless summer is Kent, with 4h47m of sunshine on the average day between 1991 and 2020. Folkestone is Kent’s sunniest town.

Neighbouring East Sussex is one minute behind at 4h46m. While Eastbourne has long claimed to be a sun trap, the Met Office says Hastings was actually sunnier over the three decades.

Next comes West Sussex (4h42m), with Bognor Regis the location for maximum rays.

East Anglia takes fifth and sixth places, with Essex (4h35m) getting one minute more sunshine on the average day than Suffolk – which is tied with Dorset on 4h34m.

Hampshire (4h32m), Surrey and Cornwall (both 4h29m) complete the top 10.

Endless summer: Bridlington in the East Riding of Yorkshire (Charlotte Hindle)

Among northern counties, the East Riding of Yorkshire (4h16m) is well ahead in sunshine stakes. It even comes in fractionally above Devon, the one south coast county to fail to make the top 10. Over the course of 30 years, visitors to Bridlington enjoyed an average of 18 more seconds of sunshine each day than holidaymakers in Torquay.

The 10 sunniest counties in the UK are all in England, though one in Wales takes 11th place.

The nickname “Barrybados” for the popular South Wales seaside resort of Barry Island appears deserved: the traditional county it is in, South Glamorgan, is well ahead for sunshine at 4h28m.

Gwent is some way behind in second place at 4h11m.

Scotland has some bright locations, notably Dundee (4h01m) – the only place in the northernmost UK nation enjoying an average of more than four hours per day. But it also has the dullest British city: Inverness.

Sun-worshipping Invernesians can expect an average of only 2h53m per day, meaning the sun fails to shine on the capital of the Highlands for…

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