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UK weather: Thousands hit the beach on hottest day of the year so far | UK News

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People were urged to stay alert and respect social distancing as thousands flocked to parks and beaches on the UK’s hottest day of the year so far.

Temperatures peaked at 27.8C (82F) on Wednesday afternoon, beating the previous day’s high.

Sunbathers and picnickers were spotted taking full advantage of the easing of lockdown restrictions, which since last week have allowed people in England to sunbathe and spend an unlimited amount of time outdoors

Two women sunbathe as people enjoy the hot weather in Greenwich Park, London, flocking to parks and beaches with lockdown measures eased.
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Two women taking part in socially-distant sunbathing in east London

However, police were still encouraging those who were out enjoying the sunshine to stay alert – and maintain social distancing with people from outside their household.

The Metropolitan Police tweeted earlier in the day, saying: “It is important that we all continue to #StayAlert.”

The force said people “can relax, have a picnic, exercise or play sport”, so long as they are on their own, with people they lived with, or with just one other person from another household.

London was where the hottest temperature of the day was recorded, at Heathrow Airport, topping St James’s Park’s balmy high of 26.2C (79F) on Tuesday.

The previous record for 2020 was 26C (78.8F), which was set last month.

A woman looks out at the view of the London skyline as people enjoy the hot weather in Greenwich Park, London, flocking to parks and beaches with lockdown measures eased.
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Temperatures reached 27C on Wednesday

Outside the capital, people in Bournemouth appeared to be making the most of the sun.

Thousands of people laid on the town’s beaches, soaking up the rays and defying criticism from some on social media who have been urging beach-goers to stay at home.

Dorset Police have been contacted for comment.

People enjoy the hot weather at Bournemouth beach in Dorset, as people flock to parks and beaches with lockdown measures eased.
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Social media users have criticised the large groups of people in Bournemouth
Sunbathers social distancing as they queue for ice cream as they enjoy the hot weather at Weston-super-Mare, as people flock to parks and beaches with lockdown measures eased.
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Sunbathers queuing up for an ice cream on the hottest day of the year

Police in Devon were fining those who had lined the streets and parked on double yellow lines following an influx of visitors to the area, with people in England now allowed to drive away from their local area to enjoy the outdoors.

An officer from North Devon Roads Policing Unit said: “Sadly every double yellow line from Woolacombe to Morthoe is covered with cars and vans.

“Cars mounting pavements to get by whilst pedestrians try to cross the road.

“All the offences have been recorded and will be processed in due course.”

While there were images of packed beaches on the south coast, other places appeared to be much quieter, with the public opting to stay away and stay indoors.

In Wales, where stricter lockdown restrictions have remained in place, police have been stopping motorists trying to use the Brecon Beacons and turning them around.

Sunbathers enjoy the hot weather at Mablethorpe in Lincolnshire, as people flock to parks and beaches with lockdown measures eased.
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Other areas in the UK were seen to be much quieter

The temptation to head outdoors may not be quite so strong on Thursday, with temperatures expected to cool – and there is even a risk of thunderstorms and rain across the east of the UK.

Temperatures are predicted to cool from 24C (75.2F) or 25C (77F) before the rain, to a fresher 17C (62.6F) to 21C (69.8F) on Friday.

The weekend is expected to be a windy affair, before becoming more settled into the start of next week.

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