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Costa de Gravesend!

PUBLISHED: 16:10 26 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:00 23 August 2010

SUNSEEKERS who flocked to the beaches as the UK sizzled at the weekend should have stayed closer to home - as north Kent recorded the UK s highest temperatures. On Sunday temperatures in Gravesend, Dartford and London hit 30C (86F) - as hot as St Tropez.

SUNSEEKERS who flocked to the beaches as the UK sizzled at the weekend should have stayed closer to home - as north Kent recorded the UK's highest temperatures.

On Sunday temperatures in Gravesend, Dartford and London hit 30C (86F) - as hot as St Tropez.

Dawn Treddle, 34 from Southfleet, said: "Who wants to sit for hours in traffic on the A2 on the way to the coast. Gravesend has a good tradition of getting the best of the weather so we stayed put and took advantage of the great parks around here."

The mother-of-two added: "Most of the day would have been spent travelling. We can be at Camer Park or Jeskyns Farm within minutes. You can take a picnic. It's a cheap day out and no hassle. I have family in Dartford and they always go to the Central Park, it's a great day out and you get to appreciate where you live. If you're spending money, spend it in your home town."

In July Dartford and Gravesend experienced freak weather conditions, with north Kent covered in a blanket of ice and flash floods during hailstorms, only for residents to bask in temperatures hitting 32C days later.

In 2003 when Gravesend briefly entered the record books as the hottest location in the country only to be stripped of the title hours later. Meteorologists recorded a record 38.5 celsius in Faversham during the August heatwave, beating Gravesend's peak of 38.1 celsius on the same day.

Speaking about Sunday's heatwave, Stephen Holman, from the Met Office, said: "The south saw one of the hottest days of the year." Temperatures in the south east are expected to soar again over the three-day weekend with 25C (77F), but there is a risk of showers and winds.

Mrs Treddle added: "I'm sure when all the madness of the great Bank Holiday getaway is over we will hear it was hottest here anyway.

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