Sunseekers struggled to find a spot on Britain’s beaches today as the country basked in the hottest weather of the year so far.
Visitors arrived in droves to soak up the rays as temperatures reached 25C (77F) – hotter than Rome, Athens or Majorca.
About 150,000 seaside visitors headed to Brighton at the weekend, filling nearly all its hotels to capacity and causing gridlock on roads to the resort.
Roads and car parks also came under strain in Bournemouth, where 100,000 people searched out sandy beaches to enjoy temperatures of 24C.
Almost all of the town’s 3,000 deckchairs were checked out and 200 hotels reached capacity.
Julie Smith, 37, who was enjoying the sun with her husband and two children, said: ‘Never mind Spain – when the weather is like this, why would you want to go anywhere else?
‘I feel sorry for all the people who have gone abroad during this spell of weather because there really is no better place than the UK right now.’
However, those hoping to find a sandy spot at Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset were not quite so lucky.
A JCB driver who was clearing a beach for sunbathers to lay down their towels got his vehicle stuck in the sand. Farmer Richard Bigwood saved the day by towing it out with his tractor.
Tourism bosses welcomed the arrival of the sunshine. VisitEngland’s Sarah Long said: ‘After severe weather and flooding earlier in the year, we had a positive Easter and this was another good boost.’
Similar temperatures are expected in the south-east tomorrow but Met Office forecasters warned of downpours and thundery showers on their way Tuesday and Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Ladbrokes is offering odds of 8/1 on May becoming the hottest on record.
18 May 2014 | 10:55 pm – Source: metro.co.uk