SOUTHEND is set for an extended spell of sun, sea and sand... and it starts TODAY.

Temperatures are set to enter the thirties with the fine weather to continue well into next week.

It will be a welcome boost to a town full of traders, restaurants and cafés who are all hoping for a bumper summer to make up for lost takings while the country was plunged into lockdown.

But health bosses have called on people to stay safe amid fears over heatstroke.

And while the area is sure to attract daytrippers to sample the town’s tourism offering, those who live right here are just as excited.

Shoebury resident, Alice Harman, 58, who has lived in the borough all her life, praised her hometown for it’s safe and clean beaches.

She said: “We are so lucky we have so much to do on our doorstep, especially our miles of beaches which I always so well maintained.

“I rarely go abroad anymore as I just cannot afford it, and I wouldn’t dream of going away from home during the pandemic anyway, so I am grateful for our beaches.

“I am definitely a sun worshipper so I am always out in the garden or down at the beach whenever I get the chance.

“I know the town has had its problems over the years, as all towns do, but I really do love where I live and the think a lot of us take the place for granted.”

Adventure Island boss, Marc Miller, is also looking forward to the extra numbers warm weather can bring.

He said: “Southend really has so much to offer and being ranked in the top three UK holiday destinations is a real boost for us as a resort, especially now while things are so touch and go.

“Let’s just hope we stay safe, dry and busy.”

Jamie Clough, 35, from Southend, added: “I love going to the seafront when the weather is good.

“My four-year-old loves the water fountains and we always go there when it’s boiling hot.

“Only thing is, is that it can sometimes get mobbed and people leave their rubbish behind or start trouble and ruin it for others.”

A Southend Clinical Commissioning Group spokesman said: “If you notice cold or flushed skin, heavy sweating, and / or dizziness, go to a cooler place, drink water and rest.”

A high amount of visitors are expected at the towns top spots such as City Beach.

It’s inevitable tourists will come in droves, however, Southend residents will also be looking forward to a day on the beach.