The seaside sector was well and truly kicked-into gear over the early May bank holiday as families flocked to Britain’s coastline to bask in 28.7C temperatures and play their favourite 2p pushers.
Piers and FECs along Britain’s coastline recorded an “unprecedented” amount of footfall over the early May bank holiday weekend – the hottest on record since its inception in 1978.
A high of 28.7C was recorded at RAF Northholt in west London by the Met Office and similar temperatures were experienced up and down the country, driving families from across the UK to their favourite seaside resorts.
“We have had an amazing weekend with a carnival atmosphere throughout the Pier and especially in our brand new Pier Beach Bar,” said Gabriella Wilkinson, admin manager for Skegness Pier. “International reggae artist Irie White performed twice on our outdoor stage over the weekend which was a huge success with both locals and tourists. Our arcade was extremely busy too and our Escape Rooms were full all weekend. The weather was just what we all needed after a miserable and wet Easter which put many people off from visiting.”
Expressing her excitement for summer, Wilkinson added that the pier’s FEC will soon be hosting a “brand new virtual reality machine”, as well as plenty of live entertainment and events.
Over on Clacton Pier, director Billy Ball revealed that visitor numbers for the attraction had once again broken records.
“It all goes to show that you have to make hay while the sun shines and it certainly did that all weekend long,” he said. “It was the warmest early May bank holiday I can remember since we took over nine years ago – and we have never seen so many people on the Pier over that particular weekend. The town was buzzing and it was great to see the new beaches to the east of the Pier really busy as well as the West Beach and Martello Beach. Clacton really comes to life and thrives in the sun and our staff worked hard to keep everyone happy and make sure they enjoyed themselves. Hopefully they will want to keep coming back for more family fun throughout the summer.”
Echoing the sentiments of Ball, Tony Levett, manager at the South Pier Family Entertainment Centre in Lowestoft, said: “For some years we haven’t had the good weather on the bank holiday so you don’t get the same volume of people. The weather is vital for us, if it’s cold or wet you don’t have the same amount of people walking along the promenade and sea front.”
Pete Collett, from Bournemouth Pier, added: “I think it has been so frustrating with the weather over Easter that we are now seeing unprecedented levels of people for an early May bank holiday.”
Indeed, after such a cold start to the year, it would appear the season has finally kick-started for Britain’s seaside sector.