Why do we need vitamin D?
Vitamin D is vital for our health. It helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in our bodies; nutrients that are needed for our bones, teeth and muscles. Without enough vitamin D, you may experience bone pain, fatigue and even depression.
When COVID-19 struck, one of the more surprising side effects was how much vitamin D we’d miss out on. With holidays being taken off the table and people being told to stay indoors, our exposure to the sun was severely limited.
Unless we were lucky enough to have a sunny garden or balcony, some of us were left lacking on a key vitamin our bodies need to thrive.
Top 40 suntraps index
Region Suntraps Features Average temp Average sunrise Average sunset Average sun time Total index score Greater London The Ship Pub 11.5 05:22:17 20:29:57 15:07:40 2,184.76 East of England The Watermill Family restaurant 11.3 05:20:45 20:28:25 15:07:40 2,081.47 South East Wildwood Modern restaurant 11.3 05:26:02 20:33:23 15:07:21 2,065.64 Greater London The Honeypot Indian food and garden 11 05:24:35 20:32:24 15:07:49 2,056.32 Isle of Man The Sulby Glen Hotel Pet friendly with outdoor space 9 05:31:00 20:59:00 15:28:00 2,055.27 Greater London The Salt House Restaurant and outdoor bar 10.9 05:12:43 19:48:24 14:35:42 2,044.24 Greater London White Horse PH Country gastropub 10.9 05:24:26 20:32:31 15:08:05 1,986.58 Scotland The Brown Bull Dog friendly pub 8.8 05:25:38 21:07:34 15:41:56 1,965.20 Greater London The Royal Oak Pub, restaurant & guestroom 10.7 05:22:50 20:30:53 15:08:02 1,942.71 South West The Riverside On the banks of the Thames
Top hidden gem
10.4 05:30:46 20:40:24 15:09:38 1,885.86 Scotland The Golden Pheasent Restaurant and bar with outdoor space 8.7 05:23:28 21:05:01 15:37:50 1,866.66 East of England The Royal Standard Home cooked pub food 10.2 05:25:29 20:34:14 15:08:44 1,792.39 East of England The Green Dragon Family eatery with outside space 10.2 05:23:43 20:32:49 15:09:06 1,769.17 North East End of Trans-Pennine Trail National coast to coast route walk 8.7 05:16:39 20:40:26 15:23:46 1,748.26 Scotland The Kilted Kangaroo Large menu and slushies on sunny days 8.4 05:21:05 21:04:35 14:59:58 1,733.43 South West Winterbourne Arms Local pub with outdoor seating 10.7 05:31:44 20:36:21 15:04:37 1,710.22 South East The Bay View Restaurant with outdoor seating 11 05:21:44 20:27:46 15:06:02 1,708.36 South East The Plough Large outdoor seating 10.2 05:28:00 20:34:37 15:06:37 1,649.72 South East Pitcher & Piano Outdoor seating 10.8 05:30:56 20:34:23 15:03:27 1,633.68 Scotland The Waterside Waterside bistro - Top hidden gem 8.5 05:18:55 21:00:58 15:42:03 1,630.44 East of England Canvey Island - Thorney Bay Dog friendly 11.5 05:22:17 20:29:57 20:29:57 2,063.32
Region Suntraps Features Average temp Average sunrise Average sunset Average sun time Total index score North East Hornsea South Beach Nearby chippies and dogs allowed in winter 11.3 05:25:09 20:32:36 15:07:40 1,972.66 South East Shellness Popular sunbathing spot - Top hidden gem 11.3 05:20:45 20:28:25 15:07:27 1,925.08 South West Ness Cove Tucked away and dog friendly all year 11.3 05:26:02 20:33:23 15:07:40 1,800.81 Scotland Seamill Popular summer resort. Dog friendly all year 11 05:24:35 20:32:24 15:07:21 1,710.07 East of England West Mersea Listed as one of the most dog friendly places 9 05:31:00 20:59:00 15:07:49 1,612.16 East Midlands Humberston Fitties A clean dog-friendly beach 10.9 05:12:43 19:48:24 15:28:00 1,604.10 Scotland Lunderson Bay Shops and restaurants nearby and no dog restrictions 11.3 05:25:16 20:32:00 14:35:42 1,579.15 Scotland Gullane Beach Stunning views, ideal for exploring. Top hidden gem 10.9 05:24:26 20:32:31 15:06:44 1,568.20 Wales Pendine Sands Restricted dog hours. Popular beach resort 8.8 05:25:38 21:07:34 15:08:05 1,511.76 South West Watchet Nearby town centre 10.7 05:22:50 20:30:53 15:41:56 1,507.48 South East Normans Bay Known for naturists 11.2 05:22:45 20:29:27 15:08:02 1,503.04 Scotland Thurso Bay Mostly sandy with rocky parts 10.2 05:24:19 20:34:12 15:06:42 1,472.56 South East Calshot Popular for swimming and windsurfing 10.4 05:30:46 20:40:24 15:09:54 1,458.89 South East Cooden Beach Popular for jetskiing 8.7 05:23:28 21:05:01 15:09:38 1,401.24 North West Pilling Sands No dog restrictions 10.7 05:23:42 20:30:09 15:37:50 1,388.80 East of England Cart Gap Popular for walking 10.2 05:26:43 20:33:25 15:06:28 1,372.62 Scotland Seafield Kirkcaldy Perfect for sunrise shots 9 05:19:06 20:41:18 15:06:41 1,363.41 South East Bembridge Peaceful spot - Top hidden gem 10.3 05:23:04 20:31:34 15:22:11 1,354.46 North East Skipsea Quiet spot 10.2 05:25:29 20:34:14 15:08:31 1,333.81 Wales Trearddur Peaceful 10.2 05:23:43 20:32:49 15:08:44 1,333.81
The four metrics used to create the sun traps index are summer averages on where the sun stays out the longest, temperature, sunrise and sunset, by reviewing a 4 day period in May. To create a final index score on the sunniest pubs, restaurants and beaches to visit.
Ensure to seek shade and to enjoy the sun sensibly
Although we encourage you to enjoy the benefits of the British summer and gaining your essential vitamin D intake. It is important that although the above suntraps discuss the average length of time the sun is out for, it is strongly advised that you take regular breaks from direct sun, stay hydrated, wear the appropriate suncream and sit in shaded areas – particularly if you have dogs or young children.
The UK’s top 10 sunniest places to eat
The Ship Inn, in Romford, London is the sunniest spot to enjoy eating outside. It achieves average temperatures of 11.5°C, with the sun lasting for 15 hours and seven minutes – that gives you time to top up on your tan and catch up with friends. Always remember to wear sun cream, and stay in the shade for much of this time.
In second place is another London location, this time The Watermill. The eatery boasts average temperatures of 11.3°C and a total sun time of 15 hours 40 minutes, making it a great place for lunchtime catch ups as well as after-work gatherings. When out in the sun always wear sun cream, seek shade and stay hydrated. The slightly earlier average sunrise time of 05:20 also makes it a great place for breakfast.
Another sunny pub based in London is The White Horse in Watford coming in at position 7. With an average of 10.9°C, the sun’s out here for slightly longer than our top spot at 15 hours and eight minutes. Which gives you opportunity in the day to catch the sun for an hour or two, as long as you’re wearing sun cream. It doesn’t set until 20:32, meaning you can enjoy the warmth late into the evening.
If you’re looking for sunny spots to embrace the sunshine when it arrives near you, check the top 20 sunniest pubs and eateries in our ‘UK Top Sun Traps’ index above – along with a list of the UK’s sunniest beaches. After all, nothing beats a stunning summer stroll along the beach in the sunshine.
Wherever you’re enjoying a bite to eat this summer, make sure you do it responsibly. Sitting in the sun can leave you feeling dehydrated and drowsy, as liquid gets absorbed much faster. Make sure to take a bottle of sun cream and a bottle of water with you whichever place you choose.
Where to make the most of the sun after work in the UK
Working nine to five can often mean you miss out on the sunniest parts of the day, but that’s not always a bad thing. In fact, enjoying the evening sun is a much safer way to get your vitamin D than being out in the middle of the day. As the day goes on, the sun moves from being at its highest point in the sky, meaning its heat - and the harm it can cause - is less intense.
We’ve all spent too long away from our loved ones, so make the most of the longer days with our top evening suntraps.
How to stay safe in the sun
While most of us love the feeling of the sun on our skin, there are risks involved with loving it a bit too much. Our top tips for sun safety will let you enjoy the warmer weather without suffering later on.
Wide brimmed hats will keep the sun off your head and neck, while long, loose clothing will keep you cool and shaded.
Seek the shade
Staying out in the sun for too long, especially between 10am and 4pm, can seriously increase your risk of sunburn. Find a shaded spot where you can still enjoy the warmth.
Use sun cream
Cover any exposed areas of your body with sun cream, making sure it’s fully rubbed into your skin. Don’t forget your face, in particular your nose and ears.
Hot weather can quickly leave you feeling dehydrated, which can result in fatigue, headaches and even sunstroke. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and take bottles with you if you go out.
UK Top Suntraps – This data was collected exploring 25,000 pubs and restaurants, plus 600 beaches, reviewing the sunrise, sunset, sun time and also the average temperature of each location utilising a 5 day period in May to predict the summer average temperatures. All pubs, restaurants and beaches were then ranked against the 4 metrics to create a final index score for each specific place.