Where is the smelliest place in the UK?

We asked every council in the country to send us their smell complaints from local residents between 2015-2019. Find out how your area ranks (and the most common smell complaint) with our interactive map:

Low no. of complaints
High no. of complaints


We sent a FOI request to every county in the UK asking for how many smell complaints they’d received each year between 2015 and 2019. This was gathered between February and March 2020.

We then divided the total number of complaints by the population of each council area to calculate a ‘complaints per capita’ score- this figure is the number of complaints received per 100,000 residents.

The ‘most common’ and ‘overall’ categories were chosen from the available data. Where possible we ignored non-specific/general odour complaints to work out what the most common named complaint was.

Some councils chose to include bonfire and other environmental complaints within their data, while other councils only provided smell-specific complaints.

Some councils either did not respond, did not have the data, or required additional funding to support the resources required - these areas have been omitted from our study.

‘Most Unusual Smell Complaint’ was selected by our marketing team, this category is just intended to highlight some of the more outlandish complaints councils have to deal with.

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