UK sizzles as temperatures expected to reach 36C

Bournemouth beach in Dorset on Friday Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Bournemouth beach in Dorset is busy again

The UK is set for one of the hottest days of the year, with forecasters predicting temperatures could reach a sizzling 36C in south-east England.

By midday, the mercury had reached more than 31C at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Crowds are expected to head to the coast amid the hot weather but people have been urged to avoid busy beaches.

Warm weather will continue over the weekend for much of the UK, according to the Met Office.

As of 12:00 BST, temperatures had reached highs of 31.4C in England (Heathrow), 25C in Wales (Cardiff Bute Park), 23.2C in Scotland (Charterhall Scottish Borders), and 19.4C in Northern Ireland (Derrylin), BBC Weather said.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption People have already been making the most of the sunshine on Brighton beach

Councils responsible for beaches are asking visitors to socially distance, as they prepare for visitors during the hot weather.

Thanet District Council in Kent – which warned last month that busy beaches were becoming unmanageable – has asked visitors to look for less crowded areas so they can socially distance.

Meanwhile, the RNLI has called on beachgoers in the south west of England to follow water safety advice and adhere to social distancing.

Last week, the charity carried out 30 rescues in one day on just one beach in Cornwall.

The incidents mainly involved bathers and body boarders caught in rip currents, going out of their depth and being cut off by the incoming tide.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Record temperatures are expected in London and the South East

Kitty Norman, water safety delivery support at the RNLI, said beaches across the whole of the South West were “extremely busy” with locals holidaying at home this year as well as an influx of visitors.

She said: “The sheer volume of people making social distancing tricky is one thing to be conscious of before planning your trip to the beach.

“You might choose to visit the beach at a quieter time of day, or choose a beach with more space, where you can still bathe between the flagged area but spread out further when setting up camp for the day.

“If you arrive at the beach and it is simply too crowded, consider moving on and spending your day elsewhere.”

She also asked people to respect a two-metre distance when approaching lifeguards.

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