Thousands flock to the beach on hottest day of the year

Thousands of families slapped on the sun cream and flocked to Portobello beach yesterday as the Capital enjoyed its hottest day of the year.

Wednesday, 20th July 2016, 10:58 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th July 2016, 12:02 pm
Sunseekers flock to Portobello beach on the hottest day of the year. Picture: Greg Macvean

Children played with buckets and spades, paddled in the sea and frolicked on lilos as the temperature hit 24C, making Edinburgh as warm as Beijing and Toronto.

The heat also sparked surging demand for spots at Portobello promenade’s Beach House cafe, which struggled to cope with the queue of visitors.

And the line of people looking to buy drinks and snacks from a nearby ice-cream van stretched for over a mile.

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Picture tweeted by @Edinburgh Spotlight of Greyfriars Boffy wearing sunglasses

While business owners said the beach was busier than it had been for years, families made the most of soaring temperatures, taking up any space they could find on the sand.

Michelle Killin, 39, and Sara Gatton, 39, both from Craigentinny, said they had thoroughly enjoyed a day at the seaside with their children.

Michelle said: “This weather is absolutely great. I can’t quite believe we are in Scotland.

“We’ve just been playing with the kids, sunbathing and eating ice-cream. We are planning on spending most of the day here, it’s not very often we get weather like this.”

Picture tweeted by @Edinburgh Spotlight of Greyfriars Boffy wearing sunglasses

Ann Noble, 78, of Nobles Amusements on the promenade, said the beach and neighbouring games arcade were thronged.

“Today has definitely been the busiest it’s been this year so far,” she said.

“It’s great to see some sunny weather and people enjoying the amusements.”

Alex Burkhill, a meteorologist for the Met Office, said Edinburgh had enjoyed high temperatures but revealed the hottest place in Scotland was in fact Prestwick in Ayrshire, with highs of 28C.

And he warned the Capital would be hit by downpours this morning.

“[Yesterday] was the UK’s warmest day of the year,” he said. “Edinburgh experienced highs of 24 degrees Celsius.

“On Wednesday, the people of Edinburgh can expect heavy showers in the morning through to lunchtime.

“A yellow warning has been issued for heavy thundery showers. Then they will clear in the afternoon and there will be decent sunny spells. Highs of 22 degrees Celsius are expected.”