Sunseekers flock to Portsmouth as city basks in the hottest temperatures of the year

SUN worshippers returned to beaches across Portsmouth in their thousands as the area basked in the hottest day of the year.

By Tom Cotterill
Sunday, 18th July 2021, 7:06 pm
Updated Sunday, 18th July 2021, 7:15 pm
Basking in the sun: Carys Reed, 23, with pal Lucy Barron, 23, right

Picture: Sam Stephenson
Basking in the sun: Carys Reed, 23, with pal Lucy Barron, 23, right Picture: Sam Stephenson

The mercury hit 28C in Portsmouth as families packed onto beaches across Southsea to relax in the mini summer heat wave.

The scorching temperatures were a welcome addition for some sunseekers, who had cancelled their summer trips abroad due to the coronvirus pandemic.

Student Marcus Bailey had hoped to be on a beach in Ibiza this week but cancelled his trip last year, after having previously called it off in 2020.

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Pictured is Olivia Dearie, 23. Picture: Sam Stephenson

Instead, the 22-year-old was on Eastney beach relaxing in the sun.

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He said: ‘It’s been the perfect day to chill and have a few beers on the beach. Obviously I would have preferred to have been in Ibiza but there’s always next week,’

Sunseekers also flocked to the Hotwalls in Old Portsmouth to sunbathe and enjoy the temperatures.

Hot weather in Southsea. Pictured is Day Gary Byrne, 44, Son Paddy, 3, and Mum Casey Otterway, 34. Picture: Sam Stephenson

Carys Reed, 23, was among those sunbathing. She said: ‘It definitely felt like we were abroad. It was really nice.

‘It was lovely to be on the seafront. We haven’t planned any holidays abroad this year so we will be spending our time on the beaches here.’

Others enjoyed a ice creams and lollipops along Southsea promenade.

And it's been a bumper trading day for coastal businesses as scores of people flocked to buy food and drink to enjoy the sun.

Two sunseekers enjoy the heat in Southsea Picture: Sam Stephenson

Blagi Alkusheva, who works at the Coffee Cup Eastney, in Eastney Esplanade, said she has been rushed off her feet today.

‘It’s been very busy for us, we have had lots of people coming in today,’ she said. ‘It’s been a really good day.’

The soaring temperatures are expected to increase tomorrow, with the Met Office predicting highs of 29C in Portsmouth.

A heat health alert, issued by Public Health England on Saturday is due to remain in place until Tuesday morning.

Hundreds of sunseekers flocked to beaches across the area as the temperatures hit 28C. Picture: Sam Stephenson

Dr Owen Landeg, the organisation’s scientific and technical lead said: ‘Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense and for many people spells of warmer weather are something they very much enjoy.

‘However, for some people, such as older people, those with underlying health conditions and young children, the summer heat can bring real health risks. That’s why we’re urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be at risk.

‘If you’re able, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any support. Also take water with you when travelling and keep up to date with weather forecasts.

‘It’s also worth remembering the practical steps to keep homes cool during the day as this can aid sleeping at night and give the body time to recover from the heat.’

Looking ahead to next week, temperatures are expected to dip slightly from Wednesday and there’s an increasing chance of rain and thunderstorms in the forecast.

Hot weather in Southsea. Picture: Sam Stephenson

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Revellers enjoy a spot of fishing in Southsea on Sunday afternoon Picture: Sam Stephenson
Gary Byrne, 44, with son Paddy, three, as he enjoys a lolly in Southsea. Picture: Sam Stephenson