Picture Gallery: Beaches packed for Weston's heatwave weekend
PUBLISHED: 16:00 03 October 2011 | UPDATED: 08:46 04 October 2011
TENS of thousands of people hit the beach in Weston over the weekend to enjoy the unseasonably hot October weather.
The sands were packed with more than 30,000 people per day as beach-goers young and old sunbathed, ate ice creams and enjoyed donkey rides.
Temperatures hit 25 degrees Celsius on Saturday and 26 degrees on Sunday in North Somerset, according to the MET Office.
Emergency overflow car parks had to be set up on the beach lawns after normal car parks were completely filled.
Trade saw a huge shot in the arm as restaurants, shops and hotels took advantage of the sudden influx.
The Grand Pier had its busiest Friday night since it was reopened.
Many hotels were also fully booked on Saturday night.
Ice cream sales broke new records for October while visitor numbers rivalled any weekend across the whole summer, according to the council.
Kerry Michael, Grand Pier owner, said: “We had a fantastic weekend. It was so warm so late in the day that many people stayed.
“The response to our £1-a-ride offers on Friday and half-price rides the rest of the time has been absolutely phenomenal.
“If it goes this well for the rest of October we might extend the offers all winter.”
Gail Parsons, Chamber of Trade president, said: “The whole seafront on both days was absolutely packed and many people were carrying bags.
“It has given shops that extra boost.
“It does demonstrate that when the weather is good, people will come.”
Keith Fearne, hotels association chair, said: “It has been a fantastic boost to the economy here. It wasn’t just day trippers but people staying overnight.
“We could have filled the Midland and the Monaco twice over.”