Britain's coast was shrouded in mist for the Bank Holiday weekend due to warm air clashing with an unusually cool sea because of the cold spring.
© James Boardman
A sea mist descends rolls on to Brighton beach in East Sussex

Temperatures up to 22C meant thousands flocked to beaches around the South and South West Coasts.

But they were greeted with a strange sea mist.

The "haar" or "sea fret", as it is known, is caused by warm air condensing over the cold sea and creating a fog. It is typical for this time of year but more pronounced than usual as the air is so warm and the sea is so cold following the coolest April for 24 years and the coldest March for 100 years.

The sea fog was worse over the south coast and south west as the wind was blowing the fog onto land. Today (Tues) the hear is more likely to settle over the north and east, where it is more common, as the wind changes direction.

Calum Maccoll, forecaster at the Met Office, said the sea was unusually cold.

"The sea temperature is 9C, it should be in the double figures but the cold March has brought it right down.

"As it takes a long time to warm up it is colder than it normally would be at this time of year, and as mild air is passing over the surface, mist is being created."

Beach-goers also had to put up with increased traffic this weekend.

The AA reported delays out to the north Norfolk coast, Skegness, Weston-Super-Mare and around Swansea.

But despite the traffic jams and cold weather it was still a good weekend for tourism and barbecues.

The tourism industry celebrated £1bn takings to make up for spring trade dampened by foul weather. Tesco sold 28 million bottles of beer - one for every male adult in the UK and over a million sausages as the barbecues came out for the Bank Holiday.

The Met Office said temperatures peaked at 21.7C yesterday (Mon) and could be even warmer today, possibly breaking the 23.1C high for the year so far.

However a wet weather front will come in from the south west today (Tues) spreading across the country by Wednesday. Short heavy showers of up to 5mm are expected down the centre of the country into the Midlands.

Strong winds of up to 50mph are expected over the hills in the west.

Scotland remains cooler. Eastern Scotland was 19C and sunny but in the west it was 8C and raining. where it is bright but only 8C and raining. It was around 15C in Northern Ireland over the Bank Holiday.

Cool weather is expected from Wednesday across the country as unsettled weather moves over the UK.

Temperatures will tumble as far down as 12C in the South and 10C in the north by Thursday with out breaks of wind and rain.

The Met Office expect the following week to be cool as well and May as a whole could be colder than average.

June could also be wet, as repeated Atlantic weather fronts - Britain's main source of wet weather - sweep in.