'Too hot for people': Bognor Regis beach surprisingly sparse as heatwave continues

With temperatures soaring to a record 40°C in other parts of the UK on Tuesday it’s easy to assume Bognor Regis beach would be packed with holidaymakers and locals alike.

But, while there were plenty of sunbathers and plenty more swimmers on Tuesday afternoon, the beach wasn’t quite as busy as anticipated, according to beach patrol officer Peter Jones.

"It’s not been as busy today as it has been,” he said.

"I don’t think the heatwave is everything. I think what’s actually going on in a lot of seaside resorts around the country is that it’s been absolutely packed over the last month or so. It’s been very very busy. But today, it’s not as busy as you might think. I think people are taking heed of all the warnings that have been issued and decided ‘well, actually, we won’t come down.’

A busy beach on Tuesday, July 19 - one of the hottest days of the year

"In general, I’ve seen very few dog walkers out and a lot of elderly people seem to be staying home to keep safe. So it’s not as busy as you’d expect considering it’s supposed to be the hottest day of the year. It’s actually too hot for people.”

NHS worker Teresa, who visited the beach to catch a ‘moment for (her)self’ in between shifts, said she was surprised to find the beach as quiet as she did.

"During the summer a few years ago, I came here on my break in the afternoon and I couldn’t even find a place to sit down. I thought there would be more people out.”

None of this is to say the beach was deserted. The punters have certainly been pouring in, just not in the numbers some people imagined. Either way, local ice cream parlours are feeling the burn.

“It’s been busier than expected, but then it’s been manic since the end of lockdown,” said Charmine Saull, a member of staff at Whittingtons seafront kiosk.

"We ran out of a lot of ice cream and we had a really limited supply on Monday, but thankfully we’re all stocked up now.”

"It has been a lot busier,” added Emily Murphy, a staff member at Pinks Gelato. “But we’ve found that it’s busier in late afternoon than during the day, because people are trying to avoid the heat.”

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