NORTH YORKSHIRE has been rated among the top five healthiest destinations in the UK by one of the major travel sites.

The county beats many rivals in the north and south in the poll with a high score for fitness with a wide range of gyms, spas and wellness clubs, as well as a huge range of walks, trails and open spaces.

The study was carried out by HomeToGo, one of the biggest accommodation search engines in the world, taking in sites such as Airbnb and Tripadvisor. It's based in Berlin but directors say they have pulled together information from across the UK to show people they don't have to travel far to find healthy destinations or places to relocate to.

North Yorkshire ranked fifth trailing behind Kent, Devon, Lancashire and Sussex, but largely on the food front and on air quality which was surprisingly ranked at the lower end of the scores in information provided through Friends of the Earth.

Kent was named the number one healthiest designation with a maximum score of ten for its green spaces and parks. Lancashire scored high on air quality and fitness.

HomeToGo Director Michael Lee said: "This study shows that a healthy lifestyle is well within reach. Some might imagine that ‘wellness travel’ must constitute heading to intensive Balinese yoga retreats, gruelling Himalayan treks or silent stays in Indian monasteries, however in reality, you don’t need to travel across the world for a dose of wellness.

"The UK has some of the most beautiful rural areas in the world with green space, fresh air and great food, perfect to visit on holiday or even relocate too.

"The study measures the air quality, number of green spaces, healthy eateries and fitness clubs in counties across the UK to create a final ranking

"Kent was named the number one healthiest destination, receiving the maximum score for its green spaces and parks, but Northern counties dominate on ‘Fitness’ measures with areas such as North Yorkshire offering many gyms, spas and wellness clubs to choose from.

"Southern areas have the edge with ‘Nutrition’ with a large selection of healthy restaurants. Devon has the cleanest air and it seems obvious but London boroughs are definitely the most polluted.

"Many Brits are prioritising health and wellbeing in 2020. We are still at the start of the year and with wellness set to remain a major trend for many people as part of a new approach this is an ideal guide on where to head.

"Going into the countryside to enjoy rambling walks in the fresh clean air, eating healthy hearty meals and relaxing at a spa or yoga class, is an ideal antidote to modern life and our study demonstrates that wellbeing is often just a short train ride away, to places such as North Yorkshire.

"So that means you don't have to get on a plane or travel long distances to find a perfect place to spend holiday time or to move to."