With no social distancing, British tourists ignore plea to stay away and head for parks and beaches
London - Day-trippers flocked to parks and beaches across Britain on Sunday to take advantage of the loosening of lockdown, ignoring pleas from tourism bosses to stay away.
Roads surrounding beauty spots in the Peak District and locations including Birling Gap on the South Coast were jammed with traffic as visitors ventured out to enjoy the warm weather.
National police chief Martin Hewitt had pledged a continued crackdown on large gatherings but city parks, seaside promenades and national parks were crammed with those meeting for picnics and parties.
In Lancashire, police were astonished to find a mother had laid on a baby shower in a communal play area with dozens of guests, a buffet and bouncy castle.
When two community officers tried to break up the event in Morecambe, they were told it did not matter as ‘schools were going back’ soon while some of the party-goers became abusive.
In Telford, Shropshire, police shut down a rave attended by 70 revellers who said they were "sick of self-isolation". West Mercia Police said a DJ had set up the party at Granville Country Park on Saturday night.
Over the weekend, the Peak District National Park urged day-trippers not to visit the area after car parks filled up. On Twitter, they said: "This area [Langsett] is extremely busy with car parks currently full and social distancing difficult.
"Please don’t travel to the area or park outside designated bays." But tourists simply parked up on local roads instead.
In Dartmoor car parks were closed due to overcrowding which made them too busy for social distancing.
The Dartmoor Ranger Team asked visitors to stay away from locations including Bellever, Two Bridges, Postbridge, Newbridge, Hennock reservoirs and sites on the western side of Dartmoor. There were similar scenes at Birling Gap, near Eastbourne, East Sussex, where visitors parked on grass verges to stroll along the clifftop.
In Brighton, the council asked people to stay away from its seafront but on Sunday the promenade was packed as temperatures soared.
A couple were told they faced prosecution for travelling from Scotland to Snowdonia to camp beside Lake Geirionnydd.
Hundreds of bikers flooded into Matlock Bath in the Peak District, a popular destination for motorcyclists. Passers-by said they were shocked as the bikes lined the main street while visitors were enjoying ice creams and fish and chips.
Steve Manion, 30, said: "It was disgusting. There were bunches of people brushing up against each other. No one was adhering to social distancing."
In the Yorkshire Dales, campers were fined after pitching tents near Surrender Bridge, Swaledale. Police are set to face more problems enforcing the rules with Wednesday predicted to be the hottest day of the year with temperatures predicted to climb as high as 27C.