YOUNG Dylan Smith is a picture of contentment as he enjoys an ice cream on Southsea beach – and he’s not been alone.
Thousands have headed to beaches and parks to enjoy the glorious burst of warm weather, which has provided a welcome boost to many businesses with bumper sales of ice creams and cold drinks.
After a dreary start to the spring, scores of sunbathers made the most of the sunshine as they lined beaches in Southsea and Hayling Island yesterday in temperatures of 75.2F (24C).
Today is likely to be just as warm in the Portsmouth area with the Met Office predicting top temperatures of 77F (25C).
Dylan’s dad Gareth Smith, 35, of Cuthbert Road, Fratton, said: ‘When you have Southsea seafront on your doorstep, it would be criminal not to enjoy the weather.’
Sue Venn, 45, who runs Sweet Memories in Elm Grove, Hayling, said sales of Northney ice cream were up three-fold this week.
She said: ‘I have had to get them to bring me another load.
‘I love this weather – I am so tired of the rain and cold weather.’
Lee-on-the-Solent, which was recorded as the hottest place in the country at 80.6F (26.7C) on Tuesday, has been thronging with visitors.
Claire Hutchinson, 39, a waitress at Bluebird Cafe, in Marine Parade West, said: ‘It’s been hot – really hot.
‘There’s a lot more people around and it’s lovely to see.’
The fine weather is set to continue this weekend, with temperatures in the low 20s.
There will be a fresh breeze, however, as a cooler easterly wind blows in from Eastern Europe.
Met Office forecaster Charles Powell said: ‘There will be a good deal of sunshine of Saturday and Sunday with temperatures of about 22C or 23C.
‘As we move into next week, there’s a chance of rain, but a very light scatter.
‘It will still be largely dry. We will still have temperatures of above average, in the high teens or low 20s.
‘It looks like temperatures will stay above average for the rest of the month.’