Southend and Bournemouth beaches packed on Bank Holiday Monday

Thousands have taken advantage of the lovely Bank Holiday weather and headed to Britain’s beaches to escape the confines of their homes.

Crowds of sunbathers and swimmers were seen flocking to beaches at Southend-on-Sea, Bournemouth, Formby, Weston-super-Mare, Boscombe and Durdle Door among others.

Most beaches were packed out with many who had brought a picnic or booze to make the most of the sunny weather, with temperatures reaching 23°C in London by lunchtime. After some lockdown measures were eased, Brits have been allowed to sunbathe and enjoy unlimited outdoor exercise.

Temperatures should reach as high as 24C in London, with 21C expected in Newcastle, 20C in Edinburgh and Belfast and 22C in Southampton.

It will be slightly cooler in the South West, with 17C forecast for Land’s End in Cornwall.

Little rain is forecast but a band of cloud descending from the North West is expected to bring some showers.

Social distancing must be maintained at all times but on some beaches, it appears difficult to stay at least two metres apart from the next sun worshipper.

It comes as Boris Johnson announced on Sunday evening that the UK is now ready to move to phase two of coronavirus restrictions.

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