Sunday, August 19, 2012
Thousands of people flocked to the coast yesterday (Saturday) with hundreds more expected today (Sunday) to enjoy this weekend’s hot weather.
Dan Holley, a weather forecaster from Norwich-based Weatherquest, predicted that yesterday would be the warmest of the two days and highlighted the Breckland area as one of the hottest areas in the region at 31C (88F).
Of today he said: “We could see some mid level cloud in the morning and very light showers but this is a low risk. There could also be a small rick of an isolated thunderstorm in the day.”
The turn in the weather has also signalled a change in tourism in Norfolk.
A combination of rain and recession has seen many ventures which rely on trippers reporting a very difficult opening to the holidays - with people staying away or not spending - and some saying privately it was the worst year for ages.
But there is a hope that the change in the weather will mark the start of a better few weeks before the schools go back.
Bruce Stratton, who does marketing for a number of hotels, businesses and tourist attractions in north Norfolk, said: “The early part of the season has been very poor in certain areas because of the weather and lack of money.
“Certainly with a few weeks of good weather we might be able to look forward to some positive weeks, but money already been lost cannot be made up in the three or four weeks left of the summer holiday period.”
But Hetti Simpson of Norfolk Hideways, who specialise in coastal cottage holiday rental in north Norfolk, said they had 42pc more bookings than in 2011.
She said: “The one thing we have noticed since the sun has come out is that the number of last minute enquiries we are taking has massively increased.”
And in west Norfolk, Hunstanton is buzzing over the annual tennis tournament which starts today and will see more than 1,000 competitors in town.
Enthusiasts from around the country are in the resort for the 92nd tournament and their numbers will add to the thousands planning to head to the beach. The tournament is set to last all week.
The A149 coast road from King’s Lynn is always a traffic hotspot and drivers can expect to find queues during the warmest weekend of the year.
And in Wells, town councillor Roger Arguile, a retired clergyman who has taken on the role of tourism portfolio holder, said: “It is a challenging time for tourism in this economic climate and a number of decisions adversely affecting the promotion of tourism have been made and others are likely to be made in the future.”
Thousands of people have also headed to the Jellyfish music festival at Compton Hall, South Creake, near Fakenham - one of the big events of the weekend.
And across Waveney, many people have flocked to the sun-drenched parks and beaches in Lowestoft and Southwold.
After what has been a disappointing summer in terms of weather, organisers of events - including the popular Beccles Carnival weekend which will have a model boat regatta today to raise money for the Lowestoft Carnival committee - will be pleased to see the sunshine.
The sunny weather also brought hundreds of people out onto the beach and promenade in Great Yarmouth yesterday with more expected today.
Yesterday staff on the Britannia Pier said there were plenty of people wandering up and down the wooden walkways to take advantage of the sea breeze, while Regent Road was chocker block with browsing beach goers as they make their way to the sand.
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