THOUSANDS of sun-seekers headed to Brighton beach yesterday as a heatwave struck the city.

The mercury hit 25 leading to a boom in trade for bars and restaurant on the seafront.

Hordes of people were seen queueing up for ice creams along the beach in the scorching heat.

Mary Bedingfield, a worker at Brighton Beach Cafe said people had been ordering ice creams at a rapid rate, and sheltering from the sun outside her shop.

“We had queues that go right round the beach,” she said.

The Argus: Brighton beach was packed with sunbathers yesterdayBrighton beach was packed with sunbathers yesterday

“People come up to shade under the shelter. The weather has definitely helped business, and it should be like this all week.

“It’s been non-stop. When its bad weather we only have a few customers a day.”

Deckchair hire has also seen a boost in trade in recent days, with sunbathers making the most of the rays.

Shane Bond, from Brighton, said he and his family had a great day at the beach yesterday.

The Argus: Brighton Beach Cafe has had a huge increase in business due to the sunBrighton Beach Cafe has had a huge increase in business due to the sun

“We love it down here when it’s like this, and it’s great to bring the kids as well,” he said.

“We’ve been here all day.”

Dave McLaren, also from Brighton, said: "There's nothing better and more British than a nice Mr Whippy on some hot rocks at the beach."

Meanwhile, Matthew Russell had travelled to the coast to escape London for the day with his friends.

“It’s great. Only an hour on the train and you’re having a beer at the beach,” he said.

“I hope it stays like this for a while because it’s beautiful.”

The Argus: Lifeguards on Brighton beachLifeguards on Brighton beach

The sudden heatwave could see temperatures in the South East reach 34 degrees.

It has prompted the RNLI issue a safety warning as crowds head to the sea, reminding people to take care while in the water, and swim between the red and yellow flags, placed by lifeguards.