Portobello booms as Scottish sun-seekers head to the coast

THOUSANDS of sun-seekers from across Scotland have flocked to Portobello as temperatures in Edinburgh threaten to soar to record levels.

Day-trippers have been helping recreate the heyday of the seaside town, packing out the beach and sea-front cafes.

Meteorologists have already recorded temperatures of up to 27C and the heatwave is set to intensify, with forecasters predicting temperatures of up to 34C later this week . If that happens, it will easily beat Edinburgh's record temperature of 31.1C in July 1943.

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The temperature in Edinburgh on the same day last year was only 23C and the weather was overcast.

Portobello councillor Lawrence Marshall said: "It's been incredible over the past few days. We've had thousands of people on the beach and they've come from all across Edinburgh and the Lothians.

"We've even had people coming over on the train from Glasgow and the west coast to take advantage of the good weather and visit Portobello beach.

"The cafes that are still on the seafront, as well as the ice cream stores and funfairs in the area, have all been doing extremely well as well. It just proves that you can have a successful business here if you have the right weather.

"It's just been nice to see the area so busy and, in many ways, the beach looks like it would have done in years gone by. It's been teeming with people and even at one in the morning, there's still been people enjoying it.

"On days like these, Portobello is probably one of the first places in the Lothians you would think about. If you wanted a trip to the beach, it's really just here and North Berwick that would come to mind.

"Hopefully the fine weather will continue and we'll have even more people coming to the beach over the next few days."

A Lothian and Borders police spokeswoman said the Force had seen no problems despite the huge increase in visitors.

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She said: "We have a mobile police unit at Portobello, but there have been no major incidents reported over the past few days.

"People seem to be happy to just sunbathe and enjoy themselves rather than cause trouble.

"The worst thing most people on the beach seem to be experiencing is sunburn."

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders fire service added: "We've had a really quiet few days and there have been very few hot weather-related incidents in the city.

"We've had the occasional grass fire to attend to, but there's been nothing else caused by the high temperatures."

Meanwhile, employers were also urged to relax office dress codes to enable workers to wear casual clothes.

The TUC launched a "cool work" campaign, telling firms they would get more from their staff if they felt comfortable and did not have to wear formal clothes such as jackets and ties.