Kent came to life on Bank Holiday Monday, as clear blue skies and sun shine in Kent.

County beaches are crowded – to anyone’s surprise – and with the recent easing of the lockdown, garden parties are in full swing.

Kent’s beaches are crowded as Kent sees a day of blue skies and sunshine. Archive image

The change comes as a very welcome break from the gloomy weather we have experienced so far this year.

Just three months ago much of Kent was blanketed in snow and last month chippings had to be deployed due to a week of icy roads.

In fact, this month was on its way to becoming the UK’s wettest May since the records began.

So people are taking full advantage of today’s sun – which could set a record for the hottest day in May and is expected to continue throughout the week.

However, this means Kent’s roads are filled with cars and many beach goers are starting to experience coastal congestion.

There is currently a 40 minute delay on the M2 to the coast between J5 A249 (Sittingbourne / Sheerness and Maidstone) and J7 A2 (Brenley Corner).

Uneven congestion could affect those targeting Thanet beaches this afternoon.

Further down the route, cars completely obstruct Margate seafront as people fight over good spots on the beach and grab nearby parking spots.

This is reproduced on the Dover and Folkestone seafronts, as well as the A259 Lydd Road towards Dymchurch.

Parks and pubs are also overflowing with people on Bank Holiday Monday.  File photo: Phil Lee
Parks and pubs are also overflowing with people on Bank Holiday Monday. File photo: Phil Lee

If you are looking to go further, the roads to Camber and Rye also see high traffic volumes.

Demand for parking spaces forced the Margate RNLI crew to implore drivers to stop parking outside their lifeboat station.

However, some areas seem less affected by the increased traffic and could prove to be ideal spots for a quieter day in the sun.

The Isle of Sheppey – with its Blue Flag-certified Sheerness Beach – appears largely car-free, while Medway with its riverside walks and parks is equally quiet on such a sunny day.

Avoid getting stuck on the roads of Kent by keeping up to date with all the latest traffic and travel news here or by following our live blog.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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