Summer Is Underway On The South Coast!

While Britain welcomes Olympics arrivals, around two million people will be heading abroad at the start of the school holidays this weekend.

And for those taking breaks in the UK, there was a promise of better weather, with conditions expected to be warmer, drier and sunnier.

A heatwave is even predicted to hit parts of the south coast this weekend with highs potentially reaching 26C and on Monday, temperatures could get as high as 27C (81F).

The AA is also warning that major road routes through Hampshire are likely to be busy from mid-afternoon on Friday 20th July.

Travel organisation Abta said that for those travelling overseas, Spain and its islands were the number one destination followed by Turkey and Greece.

Those choosing a foreign trip are being boosted by a marked improvement in the number of euros they will get to the pound.

Abta added that prices in restaurants and bars in Europe were falling.

Over this weekend, around 482,000 passengers will leave from Heathrow, 275,000 from Gatwick, 132,500 from Stansted and 70,000 from Luton this weekend.

About 50,000 will depart on Channel Tunnel high-speed Eurostar trains, while regional airports, ferry terminals and Eurotunnel's Channel Tunnel services will all be extremely busy.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said:

''This weekend marks the start of the summer holiday getaway and is expected to be one of the busiest of the year at UK airports, with thousands also arriving for the Olympics.

''Eurozone destinations are proving popular with holidaymakers looking to take advantage of the pound's strengthening against the euro, coupled with the fact that many bars and restaurants have lowered their prices.''

Those staying at home who have had to endure one of the UK's coldest, wettest and dullest summers ever, can at least look forward to something better.

AA Roadwatch and traffic information company Trafficmaster said routes to the south west of England were likely to be the busiest today, while congestion could also be expected on main routes to the coast, cross-Channel ports and major airports.

Among the routes likely to see the worst jams are the A303 through Hampshire, Wiltshire and Somerset and the M6 through Staffordshire and Cheshire into Lancashire.

Next week Trafficmaster expects that regular commuter traffic will be substantially reduced but traffic around Greater London will be increasingly affected by the final preparations for the Olympics.

The Olympic travel-only Games Lanes will become fully operational from Wednesday 25th July in central London.