The weather has boosted the UK economy as eight million people stayed over this Easter weekend and temperatures were hotter than Crete at 23C in the South East, Midlands and East Wales
Beaches, parks and guest gardens were crowded today for the first Easter without Covid restrictions in three years.
Millions enjoyed hotter weather than Crete, as temperatures in the south east, Midlands and east Wales hit 23C – higher than the 21C reached on the Greek holiday island.
But the Easter weekend also brought congestion to the roads as a record eight million holidaymakers avoided the chance to travel abroad.
Rail travelers fared little better as modernization work shut down lines and stations. And for those who have ventured further afield, last week’s chaos in ports and airports showed no sign of abating, with flight cancellations and huge queues at terminals and check-in desks.
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Despite traffic jams, the warmest weekend of the year so far ended with the rewards at home.
Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said: “We will be even warmer than in Greece, Turkey and southern Italy.”
Tomorrow will remain dry, with temperatures dropping slightly to 20C. But the mini-heatwave is expected to end on Monday, with most areas seeing highs of 10-14C.
The rush to stay-at-home gave the economy a major £2billion boost.
Pubs have seen no shortage of cash changing hands – and by tomorrow’s closing time, drinkers are expected to have downed 85million refreshing pints.
Among the crowds was social media manager Mina Dinic, 32, who met friends for drinks at the Ferry Boat Inn in Tottenham, north London.
She said: “I’ve been drinking beers in the sun all afternoon – I feel like I’m on the Costa del Sol. Why would I want to be in Marbella when it’s so hot here?”
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Bookings rose 75% from 2019 levels due to a last-minute surge, according to rental agency Sykes Holiday Cottages.
The most popular destinations were Whitby on the Yorkshire coast and favorites in the Lake District, Ambleside and Bowness-on-Windermere.
Weymouth in Dorset and Carbis Bay in Cornwall completed the top five most booked.
Sykes chief executive Graham Donoghue said: “Buoyed by the promise of a heatwave in April, more people than ever have made last-minute Easter bookings.
“Hotspots such as the North Yorkshire coast and the Lake District continue to see the greatest demand as many people don their walking shoes or swimsuits to soak up the sun.”
David McHugh / Brighton Pictures)
Around 22 million motorists were predicted to take to the roads over the weekend – two-thirds of the country’s total.
This resulted in routes on the M6, M25, M3 and M20 being severely congested, with the continued disruption from P&O’s redundancy of 800 staff adding to the chaos.
The AA said routes into the South West were less busy than on Good Friday but with some delays on the M4 and M5 near Bristol.
There was also a fire from a firecracker that blocked the M4 in both directions.
Meanwhile, the closure of key parts of the West Coast main line and London’s Euston routes due to engineering work meant disruption for Manchester City and Liverpool fans who converged on the capital for their FA Cup semi-final match.
Those determined to go abroad are being warned of months of disruption as staff shortages lead to canceled flights.
Heathrow had its busiest bank holiday weekend since 2019, but a spokeswoman said: “Although we’ve been very busy there are no queues to speak of.”
The Aviation Recruitment Network claims it could take up to 12 months for some airlines and airports to reach pre-pandemic staffing levels.
At Manchester Airport, check-in queues — managed by individual airlines — snaked their way to the car park in Terminal One.
An airport spokesman said wait times at security checkpoints were no longer than 55 minutes. But the Immigration Services Union said families returning from their breaks face long waits due to shortages at border troops and under-12s unable to use electronic passport gates
The plight of some sunbathers stuck in holiday traffic was compounded by climate change activists gluing themselves to a fuel truck in central London.
Extinction Rebellion protesters – including Olympic gold medalist Etienne Stott and Olympic sailor Laura Baldwin – climbed onto a Shell vehicle in Paddington to protest against the use of fossil fuels.
Six people were taken away in handcuffs by police as protesters said the “extremely disruptive” action would end 10 days of protests.
It followed Friday’s closure of four bridges and earlier protests at insurer Lloyd’s of London.
There were also reports of fuel shortages following protests at utility sites. But Gordon Balmer of the Petrol Retailers Association said: “The majority are unaffected.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/brits-flock-beaches-enjoy-easter-26728191 Britons flock to the beaches to soak up the Easter weekend sunshine as the UK is hotter than Crete