SCORES of sunbathers hit the seafront for the hottest weekend of the year so far.
The mercury soared to 21C in the Portsmouth area – as hot as the Bermuda and Rome – prompting sun lovers to flock to the beaches.
Southsea Common was filled with hundreds of families looking to have fun in the sun and Canoe Lake was packed with youngsters.
The seafront was heaving with sunseekers while the Hot Walls in Old Portsmouth was also busy with people enjoying the weather.
Mum Kate Atkins, of Dunn Close, Eastney, was enjoying an ice cream with her son George, 11.
They had just been to the Blue Reef Aquarium and were enjoying a rest before heading home.
She said: ‘I have missed this weather so much. I’m very much a summer person and I can’t stand the winter so for me this is gorgeous.
‘It’s funny to see all these people suddenly appearing out and about.’
Traders reported a bumper weekend thanks to the good weather. Andy Stewart, who runs an ice cream van at the seafront, said yesterday: ‘The weather has been very nice.
‘Business has been very good today and I hope it continues.
‘I would say it is just as good as at the peak of the summer months.’
John Browne, who helps run the paddle boats on Canoe Lake said: ‘I was called in to help out because it’s been so busy.
‘I’d say it is definitely more busy than it was at this time last year. I guess it’s because we’ve not had weather like this in such a long time.
‘Obviously people want to make the most of it while they can.’