News, Culture & Society

Ready to sizzle! Britain is set for its hottest day of the year TODAY as temperatures soar to 95F

Britain is set for its hottest day of the year so far today, as temperatures could reach 35C (95F) making it hotter than the Costa del Sol.

Disappointed holiday-goers may take some comfort from the scorching temperatures, with many parts of the UK braced to be hotter than mainland Europe.

The hot weather will be widespread across south eastern areas in Kent and Cambridgeshire, where temperatures will stay around 93.2F (33-34C). Manchester is expected to peak at 89.6F (32C) and parts of Wales will also reach 30C (86F).

A spokesman for the Met added that popular south-coast destinations such as Devon, Cornwall will stay ‘fresher’, with temperatures peaking in the mid 20s, and sunseekers in Brighton will enjoy a pleasant 82.4F (28C) high.  

Popular tourist spots on the continent including Ibiza, Lisbon and Berlin fall short of the UK high, reaching 33C (91.4F), 30C (86F) and 25C (77F) respectively. 

Sunseekers were already enjoying the warm-up yesterday as many flocked to the South Coast with temperatures peaking at 29.6C (85.3F).

Beaches everywhere were packed. Thousands descended on resorts from Cornwall to sunspots such as Lyme Regis in Dorset and Camber Sands in East Sussex as they soaked up the heat – mirroring scenes in May and early June as lockdown restrictions were eased. The sea at Woolacombe in Devon was busy with surfers as families crowded on to the popular beach.

Many coastal favourites around the country are now reportedly fully booked until the end of September as trippers opt for staycations rather than risking foreign travel.

A survey by MailOnline asked 20 of the top campsites in Cornwall and 15 in Dorset if they had any space for two adults to stay a week from today. Not one had a spare lodge, pitch or campervan space.

In other places prices have soared, with one four-star hotel in Newquay, Cornwall, costing almost £350 a night.

The current warm spell is due to a plume of warm air being drawn north from France and Spain. Beachgoers have been urged to take precautions, including wearing sun cream and hats, as levels of ultraviolet radiation are predicted to be high. 

The sun rises as seen from Hampstead Heath on what is set to be one of the hottest day of the year so far

Female Wild Swimmers, two girls in a kayak and paddle boarders enjoyed the sunrise activity at Portobello in Edinburgh

Female Wild Swimmers, two girls in a kayak and paddle boarders enjoyed the sunrise activity at Portobello in Edinburgh

Sunbathers and holidaymakers flock to the beach at the seaside resort of Lyme Regis in Dorset on a day of scorching hot sunshine and clear blue skies

Sunbathers and holidaymakers flock to the beach at the seaside resort of Lyme Regis in Dorset on a day of scorching hot sunshine and clear blue skies

Tourists enjoy bodyboarding and surfing at the beach in Polzeath. Tourists are slowly returning to Cornwall after lockdown measures introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus were eased

Tourists enjoy bodyboarding and surfing at the beach in Polzeath. Tourists are slowly returning to Cornwall after lockdown measures introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus were eased

Crowds clog up Lyme Regis in Dorset in similar scenes to May and the start of June before the weather turned wet across the UK

Crowds clog up Lyme Regis in Dorset in similar scenes to May and the start of June before the weather turned wet across the UK

Sunbathers and holidaymakers flock to the beach at the seaside resort of Lyme Regis in Dorset on a day of scorching hot sunshine and clear blue skies

Sunbathers and holidaymakers flock to the beach at the seaside resort of Lyme Regis in Dorset on a day of scorching hot sunshine and clear blue skies

People take the day off to enjoy a swim in the sea and to sunbathe on the sand as the weather hots up in Camber, East Sussex

People take the day off to enjoy a swim in the sea and to sunbathe on the sand as the weather hots up in Camber, East Sussex

Sunbathers soak up the stunning weather in Brighton this morning as the sit in deck chairs on the beach and take pictures together

Sunbathers soak up the stunning weather in Brighton this morning as the sit in deck chairs on the beach and take pictures together

Sunbathers and holidaymakers flock to the beach at the seaside resort of Lyme Regis in Dorset on a day of scorching hot sunshine and clear blue skies

Sunbathers and holidaymakers flock to the beach at the seaside resort of Lyme Regis in Dorset on a day of scorching hot sunshine and clear blue skies

Crowds clog up Lyme Regis in Dorset in similar scenes to May and the start of June before the weather turned wet across the UK

Crowds clog up Lyme Regis in Dorset in similar scenes to May and the start of June before the weather turned wet across the UK

The car parks are packed with vehicles as holidaymakers flock to the beach at the seaside resort of West Bay in Dorset on a day of scorching hot sunshine and clear blue skies

The car parks are packed with vehicles as holidaymakers flock to the beach at the seaside resort of West Bay in Dorset on a day of scorching hot sunshine and clear blue skies

People sunbathing in Wandworth Park, London on Thursday as Britain endures a mini-heatwave with temperatures hitting 84F

People sunbathing in Wandworth Park, London on Thursday as Britain endures a mini-heatwave with temperatures hitting 84F

Visitors to Westgate Gardens in Canterbury make the most of the warm late July weather by enjoying rides in punts on the River Great Stour

Visitors to Westgate Gardens in Canterbury make the most of the warm late July weather by enjoying rides in punts on the River Great Stour

Visitors to Westgate Gardens in Canterbury make the most of the warm late July weather by enjoying rides in punts on the River Great Stour

Visitors to Westgate Gardens in Canterbury make the most of the warm late July weather by enjoying rides in punts on the River Great Stour

A caravan with occupants parked at the side of the road in Ramsgate, Kent on Thursday as Britain endures another mini-heatwave

A caravan with occupants parked at the side of the road in Ramsgate, Kent on Thursday as Britain endures another mini-heatwave

The 500 mile-wide 'Spanish plume' blowing to Britain from Spain as Britain enjoyed mini-heatwave with 84F sizzler on Thursday

The 500 mile-wide ‘Spanish plume’ blowing to Britain from Spain as Britain enjoyed mini-heatwave with 84F sizzler on Thursday

Travel giant Tui closes 166 High Street stores in UK and Ireland in move that could hit 900 workers as jobs bloodbath continues

Holiday giant Tui is closing 166 high street stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, the UK’s biggest tour operator has announced.

The decision was made following changes in customer behaviour as a result of the pandemic, the firm said in a statement, with the Anglo-German company calling COVID-19 the ‘greatest crisis’ the airline industry has ever faced.

It announced it would cut 8,000 roles worldwide after posting losses of £747million in 2020 compared to £255million in the same period last year.

Tui said that it would seek to move 70 per cent of the 900 staff affected by the closures to homeworking sales and services roles, and it would aim to relocate other employees in the remaining high street stores.

But the heatwave, which will bring temperatures similar to those expected in Ibiza or the Costa del Sol, is not due to last long as cooler conditions will move in through tomorrow and Sunday.

Andy Page from the Met Office said: ‘The bulk of England and Wales will have dry, very warm and sunny weather to end the week with Friday likely to be the hottest day of the year so far for the UK.

‘A few thunderstorms are possible later on Friday and then a cold front moves eastwards by Saturday.’

The warmest day of the year so far was June 25 with 33.4C (92.1F) recorded at Heathrow. 

The hottest places today will be in London and in parts of the South East, which could see 35C (95F). But even Leeds and Manchester are set to reach 31C (88F), while 26C (79F) is expected in Newcastle upon Tyne and West Wales.

But tomorrow, temperatures are expected to reach only 25C (77F) in London and East Anglia. Further west and north, temperatures are unlikely to exceed 22C (72F).

A mixture of sunny spells and scattered showers is expected on Sunday. And for the first ten days of August, the Met Office predicts that the unsettled conditions will continue.

The UK average temperature for this month is currently on course to be just 13.9C (57F) – one degree less than the 1981-2010 long-term average of 15.2C (59.3F), it said. 

The cool temperatures and wet weather are due to low pressure systems and weather fronts coming through, as well as ‘unseasonal’ winds – gusts of up to 50mph were recorded on Monday.

The UK has already surpassed 100 per cent of the average monthly rainfall and only experienced two thirds (66 per cent) of the expected sunshine for an average July – a total of 113.4 hours, Met Office figures show.

In recent years, the average July temperature has exceeded the average, hitting 16.4C (61.5F) and 17.2C (63F) in 2019 and 2018 respectively, it said. 

Meanwhile Jane Pendlebury, executive director of the Hospitality Professionals Association, a hotel industry association, said a UK staycation could be a favourable option for holidaymakers.

She said: ‘Of course, the threat of regional outbreaks is real, but the restrictions imposed won’t be as impactful – with returning home from within the UK far easier than doing so from abroad.

Tourists enjoy bodyboarding and surfing at the beach in Polzeath. Tourists are slowly returning to Cornwall after lockdown measures introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus were eased

Tourists enjoy bodyboarding and surfing at the beach in Polzeath. Tourists are slowly returning to Cornwall after lockdown measures introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus were eased

Tourists enjoy bodyboarding and surfing at the beach in Polzeath. Tourists are slowly returning to Cornwall after lockdown measures introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus were eased

Tourists enjoy bodyboarding and surfing at the beach in Polzeath. Tourists are slowly returning to Cornwall after lockdown measures introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus were eased

Tourists enjoy bodyboarding and surfing at the beach in Polzeath. Tourists are slowly returning to Cornwall after lockdown measures introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus were eased

Tourists enjoy bodyboarding and surfing at the beach in Polzeath. Tourists are slowly returning to Cornwall after lockdown measures introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus were eased

Tourists enjoy bodyboarding and surfing at the beach in Polzeath. Tourists are slowly returning to Cornwall after lockdown measures introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus were eased

Tourists enjoy bodyboarding and surfing at the beach in Polzeath. Tourists are slowly returning to Cornwall after lockdown measures introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus were eased

Sunbathers and holidaymakers flock to the beach at the seaside resort of Lyme Regis in Dorset on a day of scorching hot sunshine and clear blue skies

Sunbathers and holidaymakers flock to the beach at the seaside resort of Lyme Regis in Dorset on a day of scorching hot sunshine and clear blue skies

Crowds clog up Lyme Regis in Dorset in similar scenes to May and the start of June before the weather turned wet across the UK

Crowds clog up Lyme Regis in Dorset in similar scenes to May and the start of June before the weather turned wet across the UK

Sunbathers and holidaymakers flock to the beach at the seaside resort of Lyme Regis in Dorset on a day of scorching hot sunshine and clear blue skies

Sunbathers and holidaymakers flock to the beach at the seaside resort of Lyme Regis in Dorset on a day of scorching hot sunshine and clear blue skies

Britons have returned to the beaches (pictured at Lyme Regis in Dorset, this morning) as the sun came out and temperatures rocketed

Britons have returned to the beaches (pictured at Lyme Regis in Dorset, this morning) as the sun came out and temperatures rocketed

Swimmers enjoy a dip on Thursday morning at Lyme Regis in Dorset as temperatures hit 84F on Thurday ahead of a summer scorcher on Friday

Swimmers enjoy a dip on Thursday morning at Lyme Regis in Dorset as temperatures hit 84F on Thurday ahead of a summer scorcher on Friday

Sunbathers put up small tents to shelter from the searing heat on Thursday as others take to the warmer waters in Lyme Regis, Dorset

Sunbathers put up small tents to shelter from the searing heat on Thursday as others take to the warmer waters in Lyme Regis, Dorset

Sun-seekers flock to the seafront in Brighton as Britain endures another mini-heatwave as temperatures hit 84F on Thursday

Sun-seekers flock to the seafront in Brighton as Britain endures another mini-heatwave as temperatures hit 84F on Thursday

The car parks are packed with vehicles as holidaymakers flock to the beach at the seaside resort of West Bay in Dorset on a day of scorching hot sunshine and clear blue skies

The car parks are packed with vehicles as holidaymakers flock to the beach at the seaside resort of West Bay in Dorset on a day of scorching hot sunshine and clear blue skies

Sun-seekers and holidaymakers have gone camping at Porth Beach Holiday Park in Cornwall on Thursday ahead of a hot weekend

Sun-seekers and holidaymakers have gone camping at Porth Beach Holiday Park in Cornwall on Thursday ahead of a hot weekend

Sun-seekers and holidaymakers have gone camping at Porth Beach Holiday Park in Cornwall on Thursday ahead of a hot weekend

Sun-seekers and holidaymakers have gone camping at Porth Beach Holiday Park in Cornwall on Thursday ahead of a hot weekend

Visitors to Westgate Gardens in Canterbury make the most of the warm late July weather by enjoying rides in punts on the River Great Stour

Visitors to Westgate Gardens in Canterbury make the most of the warm late July weather by enjoying rides in punts on the River Great Stour

Visitors to Westgate Gardens in Canterbury make the most of the warm late July weather by enjoying rides in punts on the River Great Stour

Visitors to Westgate Gardens in Canterbury make the most of the warm late July weather by enjoying rides in punts on the River Great Stour

Visitors to Westgate Gardens in Canterbury make the most of the warm late July weather by enjoying rides in punts on the River Great Stour

Visitors to Westgate Gardens in Canterbury make the most of the warm late July weather by enjoying rides in punts on the River Great Stour

Visitors to Westgate Gardens in Canterbury make the most of the warm late July weather by enjoying rides in punts on the River Great Stour

Visitors to Westgate Gardens in Canterbury make the most of the warm late July weather by enjoying rides in punts on the River Great Stour

People sunbathing in Wandsworth Park, London on Thursday as Britain endures a mini-heatwave with temperatures hitting 84F

People sunbathing in Wandsworth Park, London on Thursday as Britain endures a mini-heatwave with temperatures hitting 84F

A woman sunbathing on Putney riverside, London on Thursday as Britain endures a mini-heatwave with temperatures hitting 84F

A woman sunbathing on Putney riverside, London on Thursday as Britain endures a mini-heatwave with temperatures hitting 84F

A man takes his rowing boat out on the River Thames in London as Britain endures a mini-heatwave as temperatures hit 84F

A man takes his rowing boat out on the River Thames in London as Britain endures a mini-heatwave as temperatures hit 84F

A man stretches on a bench during a sunny start to the day at Wimbledon Common in south west London as temperatures rise

A man stretches on a bench during a sunny start to the day at Wimbledon Common in south west London as temperatures rise

Barnaby Eastburn, two, pretends to drive a Massey Ferguson tractor at the Stoke Farm sunflower field in Hayling Island, Hampshire

Barnaby Eastburn, two, pretends to drive a Massey Ferguson tractor at the Stoke Farm sunflower field in Hayling Island, Hampshire

Best friends Georgia Baker (in yellow), 10, and Freya Beswick, also 10, enjoy the stunning sea of sunflowers near the village of Bloxworth, Dorset

Best friends Georgia Baker (in yellow), 10, and Freya Beswick, also 10, enjoy the stunning sea of sunflowers near the village of Bloxworth, Dorset

The sun creeps over the horizon in Glastonbury, Somerset, this morning, lighting up the rolling hills surrounding the famous town

The sun creeps over the horizon in Glastonbury, Somerset, this morning, lighting up the rolling hills surrounding the famous town

A lighthouse stands guard as the sun looms over the horizon at Roker Harbour in Sunderland on a sunny Thursday morning

A lighthouse stands guard as the sun looms over the horizon at Roker Harbour in Sunderland on a sunny Thursday morning

This stunning shot shows the sun riseing at St Mary's Lighthouse in Whitley Bay, as the Met Office said Friday may be the hottest day of the year so

This stunning shot shows the sun riseing at St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay, as the Met Office said Friday may be the hottest day of the year so

The Tyne Bridge in Newcastle in the North East is lit up by the sun as it rises on Thursday morning ahead of more sunshine throughout the day

The Tyne Bridge in Newcastle in the North East is lit up by the sun as it rises on Thursday morning ahead of more sunshine throughout the day

‘Whilst we can’t necessarily offer the same weather as the Balearics or the Canaries, what we can do is offer exceptional hospitality – albeit with necessary precautions in place.’

Tour operator TUI has taken the blanket decision to cancel all its planned holidays to mainland Spain until August 9.

Meanwhile, British campsites and holiday home operators, such as Sykes Cottages, have enjoyed a surge in bookings.

Sykes’ chief executive Graham Donoghue told the BBC: ‘News of Spain’s travel restrictions at the weekend resulted in a 53 percent year-on-year rise in bookings. We’re also seeing a steady stream of bookings for holidays in 2021 too.’

The Whitbread group, which owns the Premier Inn hotel chain, said it had seen strong demand in summer bookings for hotel rooms in tourist hotspots since the beginning of July.

The exclusive department store Fortnum and Mason is even offering a dedicated ‘perfect staycation’ package – including a picnic basket, champagne and tea, of course.

But even if more Britons decide to stay put this year, it is unlikely to make up the shortfall for the tourism sector, which is pleading with the government for help to weather the crisis. 

The London Eye in the centre of the capital and is due to reopen to the public on August 1 is pictured in the sunshine this morning

The London Eye in the centre of the capital and is due to reopen to the public on August 1 is pictured in the sunshine this morning

Sunrise at the River Stour in Christchurch, Dorset, this morning with a stunning cloud formation rising up above moored boats

Sunrise at the River Stour in Christchurch, Dorset, this morning with a stunning cloud formation rising up above moored boats

Two people walk over a hill as the sun rises at Chesterton Windmill in Chesterton, Warwickshire, on Thursday morning

Two people walk over a hill as the sun rises at Chesterton Windmill in Chesterton, Warwickshire, on Thursday morning

VisitBritain, British tourism’s lobbying body, estimates that the number of foreign tourists could fall by as much as 60 percent this year due to the pandemic.

The Labour opposition has already warned of an unemployment crisis, with rates rising faster than the national average in the English regions most dependent on tourism such as Cornwall (south-west), Yorkshire (north) and the Lake District (north-west).

Destinations popular with foreign tourists, such as Bath, southwest England, are also struggling to draw in the crowds.

The sight of a few tourists milling around the city’s famous Roman Baths is in stark contrast to the usual throng that packs out the city, which normally welcomes around six million visitors a year.

‘It’s not even a quarter of the business that we usually get. I’d say it’s like two to three percent,’ Marcus Barnes said as he cleaned the front of his souvenir shop.

The local authorities have introduced new measures, such as limiting the size of groups visiting the city, in an attempt to woo potential holidaymakers.

Stephen Bird from the city council, said: ‘We think that if we can…have fewer people coming but staying longer, putting more into the local economy, actually getting more out of their visit, then that will be a more sustainable model for the future.’

The few intrepid tourists spotted on the streets seemed reassured. Cieran Fowley, who lives in London, said: ‘You’re starting to see the sanitisation at hotels, the social distancing, so all in all I feel comfortable.’

Cornwall is FULL! No campsites are available in the most popular areas of Britain’s staycation hotspot this week – with some booked up until the end of SEPTEMBER

  • None of the top 20 campsites in Cornwall have any availability for a week’s stay for two adults from Friday
  • Parks and campsites across Britain are seeing a boom in bookings as Britons give up on planning trips abroad
  • Haven, Butlin’s, Center Parcs and Hoseasons are being inundated while cottage bookings are being swept up
  • Officials in St Ives, famed for narrow streets, introduce a ‘keep to the left’ policy amid soaring visitor numbers

Campsites across Cornwall are fully booked up until the end of September as Britons head for a staycation with tens of thousands of foreign holidays on hold amid fears over a second wave of coronavirus.

Not a single pitch, campervan space or lodge at any of the top 20 campsites in the county are available for a week’s stay for two adults from Friday, as people flock to the South West of England to enjoy a summer break.

MailOnline surveyed the 20 best campsites in Cornwall according to campsites.co.uk and found the likes of Little Trevothan Camping & Caravan Park in Helston and Polruan Holidays in Fowey are full until the end of August.

Others such as Trethem Mill Touring Park in Truro are fully booked until the end of September – but are having to run at reduced capacity of about 50 per cent to ensure they follow social distancing requirements.

Further sites in the likes of Newquay, St Austell, Par, Looe, St Columb Major, Padstow, Whitecross, Mevagissey, Redruth, Bude, Perranporth, Camelford, Marazion and Bude are also fully booked for at least the next week.

It comes as parks and campsites across Britain seen a boom in bookings as Britons give up on planning trips abroad, with Haven, Butlin’s, Center Parcs and Hoseasons being inundated – and cottage bookings swept up. 

Surfers and holiday makers pack into the waters on the beach at Polzeath in Cornwall yesterday as temperatures start to rise

Surfers and holiday makers pack into the waters on the beach at Polzeath in Cornwall yesterday as temperatures start to rise

The Waterside Holiday Park in Paignton, Devon, pictured yesterday, is among the sites which are experiencing high demand

The Waterside Holiday Park in Paignton, Devon, pictured yesterday, is among the sites which are experiencing high demand

Motorhomes on a busy stretch of coastline at Leysdown on the Isle Of Sheppey in Kent yesterday afternoon

Motorhomes on a busy stretch of coastline at Leysdown on the Isle Of Sheppey in Kent yesterday afternoon

Children, their parents and grandparents play in the sunshine at Elmhurst Caravan Park on the Isle of Sheppey yesterday

Children, their parents and grandparents play in the sunshine at Elmhurst Caravan Park on the Isle of Sheppey yesterday

Meanwhile officials in St Ives, famed for its narrow streets, have introduced a ‘keep to the left’ policy in an attempt to ensure everyone can keep to the one-metre plus distance currently advised amid soaring visitor numbers.

Car parks in the area are reaching capacity, and people are packing on to the town’s popular beach and into cafes surrounding it. Guests have been advised to wear a facemask and to avoid cramming into smaller shops.

Staycation beauty spots are being ‘blighted by vandals and litter’ 

By Alan Shields, Sarah Ward and Ellie Forbes for the Scottish Daily Mail

Beauty spots are being blighted by litter louts and vandals, politicians have warned.

Tory MSP Murdo Fraser is calling for a police crackdown on the problems as people flock to the countryside. The most recent incidents have seen yobs damage trees, vandalise ancient ruins and leave tons of rubbish behind.

One of the most iconic sites affected in recent weeks was the recently restored sign at John o’ Groats, which was snapped off by visitors swinging on it. 

Mr Fraser, 54, a keen wild camper, said he ensures that he leaves no trace of his stays on Munro-bagging trips.

Writing in The Scotsman, he said: ‘With the closure of many official campsites due to the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on overseas travel, it is perhaps no surprise we have seen a surge in this activity in recent weeks.

‘But that is no excuse for some of the behaviour we are witnessing. There is no one simple solution to this problem. It will require agencies to work together to identify offenders and hold them accountable.’

Among incidents at heritage sites during lockdown, six people have been caught carrying out illegal metal detecting, and a report was made of somebody digging at the Callanish Standing Stones on Lewis.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) said no serious damage was done but archaeology could have been disturbed. It also said it was ‘horrified’ the Castlelaw Hill Iron Age fort near Penicuik, Midlothian, had been used as a toilet. 

Meanwhile, a petition is calling for a ‘congestion charge’ for camper vans on the 516-mile North Coast 500 route. In a matter of days, more than 3,700 people joined a Facebook group documenting problems. Local MP Jamie Stone said: ‘The Scottish Government need to know the full force of our concerns.’

The North Highland Initiative developed the route five years ago. Chairman David Whiteford said: ‘NHI will continue working to help deliver a responsible balance between economic recovery and public safety.’

A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘Ministers are aware of a number of incidents of littering, anti-social behaviour and damage to our natural environment and are clear this behaviour is completely unacceptable and disrespectful to local communities.’

He added that on-the-spot fines could be issued for littering and anti-social behaviour such as vandalism, urinating and public drunkenness.

Malcolm Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall, admitted earlier this week that some locals were still ‘nervous’ about the sudden rush of tourists, but said on the whole ‘everyone is sticking to social distancing rules’.

He told the Daily Mail: ‘Generally everybody is quite happy. For local people it obviously feels a lot busier but by and large everyone is sticking to the distancing rules.

‘Some of the historic towns like St Ives and Padstow have been close to capacity with people walking the streets. So again we’re reminding people to consider going to other places and to be mindful that they do get busy.

‘We have put into place a one way system and it’s sort of adhered to but I’m afraid people can be a bit forgetful on holiday. I think for some of the locals even two metres, it’s only six foot, so even if you’re compliant with that distancing it can feel quite busy.

‘So what we would say to people of a more nervous disposition is think about that and be prepared to go somewhere a little bit quieter – there will be times when it does feel a little busy.

‘There is still nervousness from locals. There’s still that shock. Places like St Ives in the winter they’re a ghost town. I think by and large locals do feel that people are doing their best to stick by the rules and they know that we need it for the thousands of jobs.

‘So for the vast majority it’s probably best summed up that we need the tourism so we’re going to have to accept it. In an ideal world they would prefer to have Cornwall to themselves. There are still some who are very nervous.’ 

The collapse in foreign holidays has presented an massive opportunity for UK tourism by boosting the demand for staycations, after hotels, campsites and restaurants were allowed to reopen from lockdown on July 4. 

Business is now booming, and the Government’s announcement on Sunday that those travelling from Spain now need to self-isolate for 14 days following a spike in cases has further boosted prospects.

With the threat of other countries joining the list as cases rise across Europe, many are considering staycations in Britain rather than risk having to self-isolate for two weeks, particularly those who cannot work from home. 

Jane Pendlebury, executive director of hotel industry association the Hospitality Professionals Association, told AFP: ‘A UK staycation…carries much less disruptive risk,’

 ‘Of course, the threat of regional outbreaks is real, but the restrictions imposed won’t be as impactful – with returning home from within the UK far easier than doing so from abroad.

‘Whilst we can’t necessarily offer the same weather as the Balearics or the Canaries, what we can do is offer exceptional hospitality – albeit with necessary precautions in place,’ she added.

Tour operator TUI has taken the blanket decision to cancel all its planned holidays to mainland Spain until August 9. Meanwhile, British campsites and holiday home operators have enjoyed a surge in bookings.

Graham Donoghue, chief executive of Sykes Cottages, told the BBC: ‘News of Spain’s travel restrictions at the weekend resulted in a 53 percent year-on-year rise in bookings. We’re also seeing a steady stream of bookings for holidays in 2021 too.’

The Whitbread group, which owns the Premier Inn hotel chain, said it had seen strong demand in summer bookings for hotel rooms in tourist hotspots since the beginning of July.

The Ramslade Caravan and Motorhome Club near Paignton in Devon is pictured yesterday amid the UK staycations boom

The Ramslade Caravan and Motorhome Club near Paignton in Devon is pictured yesterday amid the UK staycations boom

Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer speaks yesterday during a visit to the Gyllyngvase Beach Cafe in Falmouth, Cornwall

Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer speaks yesterday during a visit to the Gyllyngvase Beach Cafe in Falmouth, Cornwall

Visitors wearing face masks walk around the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth on Monday after it reopened

Visitors wearing face masks walk around the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth on Monday after it reopened

The exclusive department store Fortnum and Mason is even offering a dedicated ‘perfect staycation’ package – including a picnic basket, champagne and tea, of course. 

Quarantine measures ‘could be extended to other countries’ 

Grant Shapps arrives at his Hertfordshire home yesterday

Grant Shapps arrives at his Hertfordshire home yesterday

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said he ‘cannot rule out’ that other countries could be included under the UK’s quarantine measures.

Mr Shapps made the comment to reporters as he returned to the UK having cut short a family holiday to Spain.

It follows the UK Government’s decision to require travellers from the country to isolate for 14 days on their return to the UK following a rise in Covid-19 cases.

He said: ‘We absolutely have to act the moment we get the information and that’s exactly what happened with Spain as we saw and as we’ve seen over the weekend where there was over 6,100 cases – the highest since the peak in March over there.

‘It was the right thing to do and it’s why the whole of the UK did (it) at the same time. I can’t therefore rule out other countries having to go into the quarantine as well.’

Mr Shapps said he could understand the frustrations of those impacted by the measures, although he insisted that it was ‘essential’ that the Government acted when it did.

He said: ‘I very much understand (the frustrations), it obviously had an impact on me and my family and I’m very, very sorry and upset for the thousands of Brits who are either away or perhaps even haven’t managed to go away this summer as well to Spain.

‘But it’s absolutely essential we acted when we did, it’s why all four nations of the United Kingdom acted together and the figures since have turned out to justify that action. We have to, I think, have a clear message and make sure that we act by adding entire countries to that list for the time being.’

The Transport Secretary also explained that the exclusion of certain Spanish islands from the measures taken by the UK Government had been considered.

He said: ‘We did have a look at whether certain islands could be included (on the list) and not others. Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, was very clear with us that he was concerned about the data, we’d seen how the data had come very fast forward in Spain in 20, 48 hours, it had gone up by 75 per cent.

‘It had doubled in just a few days. He was concerned to see what was happening in the islands and that’s why we make it a whole-country approach in these things.’

But even if more Britons decide to stay put this year, it is unlikely to make up the shortfall for the tourism sector, which is pleading with the government for help to weather the crisis.

VisitBritain, British tourism’s lobbying body, estimates that the number of foreign tourists could fall by as much as 60 per cent this year due to the pandemic.

Labour has already warned of an unemployment crisis, with rates rising faster than the national average in the English regions most dependent on tourism such as Cornwall, Yorkshire and the Lake District.

Destinations popular with foreign tourists, such as Bath, are also struggling to draw in the crowds.

The sight of a few tourists milling around the city’s famous Roman Baths is in stark contrast to the usual throng that packs out the city, which normally welcomes around six million visitors a year.

‘It’s not even a quarter of the business that we usually get. I’d say it’s like two to three percent,’ Marcus Barnes told AFP as he cleaned the front of his souvenir shop.

The local authorities have introduced new measures, such as limiting the size of groups visiting the city, in an attempt to woo potential holidaymakers.

‘We think that if we can…have fewer people coming but staying longer, putting more into the local economy, actually getting more out of their visit, then that will be a more sustainable model for the future,’ said Stephen Bird from the city council.

The few intrepid tourists spotted on the streets seemed reassured. ‘You’re starting to see the sanitisation at hotels, the social distancing, so all in all I feel comfortable,’ said Cieran Fowley, who lives in London.

The website Pitchup.com, which sends 800,000 people a year to 2,000 UK campsites, says bookings are double last year’s level. 

Some sites and parks are already taking strong bookings up to summer next year, throwing a lifeline to the industry. 

However, certain businesses are hiking prices by as much as 50 per cent for 2021 to try to make up for the money lost during the lockdown. 

The appeal of a British holiday has been boosted by a Government decision to slash VAT from 20 per cent to 5 per cent for the hospitality industry. 

As a result, Haven, Butlin’s and Center Parcs have cut prices on new bookings by more than 10 per cent for the summer.

The rush has put a huge strain on holiday companies. There is evidence of double bookings, resulting in trips being cancelled at the last minute. 

Haven said bookings at its 36 parks had soared by 96 per cent year-on-year. Its sister brand Butlin’s also claims to be doing a roaring trade. 

Hoseasons has had to recruit extra phone staff to cope with the huge demand. 

Pitchup.com took its highest ever bookings on a single day on Sunday – 6,100, representing around 18,000 people. It was double the number for any single day last year.

Founder of the booking platform Dan Yates said there had been a clear switch to staycations. He said the new controls on travel to Spain, which include quarantine on return, were probably the ‘final nail in the coffin’ for foreign holidays. 

He added: ‘British holidaymakers are unlikely to take the risk of not being able to work when they return which has likely been the catalyst for the surge in UK bookings.’  

A family room at the three-star Best Western Livermead Cliff Hotel in Devon costs £440 for two nights this weekend as demand surges for hotels and cottages amid the staycations boom

A family room at the three-star Best Western Livermead Cliff Hotel in Devon costs £440 for two nights this weekend as demand surges for hotels and cottages amid the staycations boom

It comes as the UK Government advised against all but essential travel to Spain after the emergence of a second wave of coronavirus in parts of the country. 

Charles Millward, the owner of Staycation Holidays, told The Times: ‘People should be worried about finding availability next year.

‘A lot of dates are already taken because they will have been moved from this year – one of our properties only has three weekends free next year from March until September.

‘In general our properties will increase in price next year by 20 per cent to recoup the cost owners lost during the lockdown.

‘One property we’re booking for next year has gone up by 50 per cent. I think that will happen more and more as owners have lost thousands of pounds and need it back.’

Up to 14million Britons are expected to go on a UK holiday before children go back to school in September, giving the country’s economy a £3.7billion boost.

Havens said bookings at its 36 parks are up 96 per cent year-on-year, while demand for caravan sites is up 140 per cent in Devon and bookings are surging at Butlins.

UK holiday agent Hoseasons said it has employed extra telesales staff to cope with extra demand with bookings made for the next year up by a third on normal levels.

Its cottage break bookings are up 223 per cent over the last month compared to the same period in 2019, while call volumes are at more than ten times the normal level.

Writer and broadcaster Sally Jones, who lives in Warwick, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘I do think it’s totally bonkers to encourage people to go abroad at the moment when we don’t know which countries are going to be shut down, where we’re going to have quarantine coming back from, say, Croatia or France.

‘There’s wonderful, wonderful places in England. I think most people don’t really know their own country that well.’

She added: ‘Why not go and explore places like, say, Scotland or the beaches of Northumberland? 

‘There are these incredible places in England – most of us have never been there.’ 

British campsites have also seen a boom in bookings as people give up on foreign trips.

The website Pitchup.com, which sends 800,000 people a year to 2,000 UK campsites, said bookings on Sunday were double last year’s high for a single day.

It took some 6,100 bookings, representing around 18,000 people, which was up by 20 per cent on the previous Sunday. Founder of the booking platform, Dan Yates, said there is a clear switch to staycations.

He said: ‘For many who were just starting to consider booking a trip abroad this is probably the nail in the coffin, with the change in regulations fundamentally damaging consumer confidence to travel overseas.

‘The tightened financial climate means British holidaymakers are unlikely to take the risk of not being able to work when they return which has likely been the catalyst for this weekend’s surge in UK bookings.’ 

The website also offers bookings to campsites across Europe. Mr Yates said: ‘The tourism and hospitality sector has been decimated by Covid and our Spanish site owners are in uproar. 

‘They believe a more localised approach which focuses on quarantine in the specific regions which have been affected by the Covid peaks would have been a more appropriate and effective response by the UK government.

‘This is, however, good news for domestic campsites and caravan parks as thousands will substitute a UK holiday for their usual one abroad.’ 

Mr Yates said: ‘The ever changing guidance is likely to cause mass confusion and concern amongst Brits, with many likely to elect to play it safe and staying closer to home this year.’

Airbnb has said that on bookings made on the weekend of June 27/28, more than 70 per cent were staycations.

A spokesman said: ‘Staycations are great for Brits who want to explore beyond their own four walls again, but also for the hospitality industry and Airbnb hosts who depend on the income from listing on our platform.

‘We’ve seen a significant spike in demand as travel becomes a reality again, with our trending destinations showing people are keen to explore the many interesting towns and rural areas the nation has to offer, providing a welcome boost to local businesses.’

Speaking about going abroad, Guy Anker from MoneySavingExpert told The Times: ‘People who booked a holiday or took out insurance after mid-March are not going to be covered by a local lockdown or the decision to change travel advice.

‘My advice would be, do not spend any money at the moment that you can’t afford to lose, or where flexibility is not written into your airline ticket or hotel booking.’

Meanwhile Boris Johnson has indicated that quarantine restrictions could be imposed on further European countries if a ‘second wave’ of coronavirus hits the continent. 

The Prime Minister already faces a diplomatic row with Spain after warning against all but essential travel to the country – and its resort islands – and insisting that travellers arriving in the UK from there spend a fortnight in quarantine due to an increase in cases.

But he defended the move and insisted the Government would not hesitate to act if flare-ups of coronavirus occurred in other destinations.

‘I’m afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic,’ the Prime Minister warned.

With holidaymakers already facing uncertainty over trips abroad this summer, Mr Johnson indicated further action could be considered by the Government.

‘It’s vital that when people are coming back from abroad, if they are coming back from a place where I’m afraid there is another outbreak, they must go into quarantine,’ he said.

‘That’s why we have taken the action that we have and we will continue, throughout the summer, to take such action where it is necessary.’

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez described the restrictions on travel to the country as an ‘error’.

He pointed out that the upsurge in coronavirus cases is focused in two regions, Catalonia and Aragon, adding: ‘In most of Spain, the incidence is very much inferior to even the numbers registered in the United Kingdom.’

Madrid had been urging the UK to exclude the Canaries and Balearics – which include popular tourist resorts on Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca – from its quarantine requirements.

But instead, official travel advice was tightened to bring the islands in line with the Spanish mainland.

The move has dealt a further blow to the travel industry, which was already reeling after the lockdown.

Mr Johnson said it was up to individuals to decide whether they wanted to take the risk of travelling in the present circumstances.

‘These are decisions for families, for individuals, about where they want to go,’ he said.

The decision to impose quarantine restrictions was made after England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty reportedly told ministers that 10 Britons who tested positive for coronavirus after July 1 had reported visiting Spain in the 14 days before their test.

Mr Johnson said: ‘I’m afraid if we do see signs of a second wave in other countries, it is really our job, our duty, to act swiftly and decisively to stop … travellers coming back from those places seeding the disease here in the UK.’

Britons make up over a fifth of foreign visitors to Spain, which relies heavily on tourism, and Madrid has said the UK Government gave it no warning that the quarantine move was coming over the weekend.

Travel firm Tui UK cancelled all holidays to the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands after the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) updated travel advice.

Tui’s decision runs from Tuesday July 28 up to and including Friday July 31.

Holidays to Spain’s mainland were already cancelled from Sunday July 26 up to and including Sunday August 9.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk