Temperatures in Scotland have soared to a hot 30C making it the warmest day of the year so far, according to the Met Office.

The mercury rose to above 30C in Prestwick, recording a new record for June of 30.8C. The previous record was 30.2C which was set back in 1995.

But Nicola Sturgeon has warned Scots against arriving in droves to outdoor spots such as local beaches or coastal areas where crowds may gather as temperatures climb.

HeraldScotland: Prestwick Beach this morning. (Credit: @mrmckenna69)Prestwick Beach this morning. (Credit: @mrmckenna69)

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Tweeting today, Ms Sturgeon said: "PLEASE stay away from crowded places - even outdoor ones. With a virus as infectious as COVID out there (and it is still out there) behaviour like this is highly dangerous and could so quickly send all our progress into reverse - with devastating consequences #StaySafe".

The FM's warning comes as a major incident was declared in Bournemouth and other spots along the Dorset coast as people flocked to the beach to make the most of the summer sunshine. 

In England, temperatures reached 33.3C at Heathrow Airport, beating Wednesday's high of 32.6C at the same location, according to the Met Office.

Today The Guardian reported that local authorities in Bournemouth were moved to instigate a multi-agency emergency response to coordinate the large crowds as more visitors arrived to local beaches throughout the day, sparking fears over social distancing. 

Speaking to The Guardian, Vikki Slade, council leader, said: “We are absolutely appalled at the scenes witnessed on our beaches, particularly at Bournemouth and Sandbanks.

“The irresponsible behaviour and actions of so many people is just shocking and our services are stretched to the absolute hilt trying to keep everyone safe. We have had no choice but to declare a major incident and initiate an emergency response."

Prestwick Beach did not seem to have been inundated with the same amount of sun worshippers, however, with footage across social media showing little activity at the spot.

Visitors to South Ayrshire beaches such as Troon and Ayr, coastal favourites with both locals and out-of-towners, also remained largely modest.

Temperatures in Threave also rose to 29C, while Glasgow and Aviemore sustained an impressive 28C throughout the day.