Mum allergic to sunshine moves family from Brighton to Orkney

Aine King breaks out in painful blisters when she's exposed to daylight


A mum has upped sticks and moved her life 600 miles from one end of the country to another - because she is allergic to sunlight.

Aine King suffers from an auto-immune condition called Solar Urticaria, which causes her to break out in painful blisters when exposed to daylight.

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In a bid to improve her quality of life she and her family have moved from Brighton to Orkeny.

The former drama teacher and her husband Anthony and youngest son, eight-year-old Gerry, decided to move north to allow Ms King to be able to enjoy her life

She said: "I suffer from Solar Urticaria, which means that unless I take a lot of medication I can't be outside - or even near some lights - for more than a few minutes at a time.

"Even on a dull day from March onwards I can't go to the washing line and back without developing painful blisters.

Credits: CHANNEL 5

It causes her to break out in painful blisters when exposed to daylight

"The medication helps control the swelling and blisters, but it makes me drowsy and I can't drive or concentrate.

"I love Orkney winters although the summer time is challenging. But being here means I can actually go out for three or four months of the year."

Solar Urticaria is a rare condition in which exposure to ultraviolet or UV radiation, or sometimes even visible light, brings about severe hives.

Setting up a new life, the family have transformed the former home of whisky magnate James Grant into an arts hub with added luxury accommodation.

Ms King said: "We did everything you're not supposed to - we fell in love with it before we viewed it.

"We were both hovering around 50 and we could see where our life was going, so it was time for a change.

"It wasn't a ruin but the roof needed a lot of attention."

"I could no longer travel from home to work, so putting my job within the place I live was my one chance of having a working life. There was no plan B if it went wrong.

"We had an image in our heads that would make guests say 'wow' when they come in and that's now what happens - it's lovely."

The family, including son Fionn, who still lives in Brighton, and Dylan, who studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - finally finished the work last June.

Their new life in the north and the home they moved into is the subject of a Channel 5's My Dream Hotel is on Tuesday, 9pm.

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