Roads are busy and beaches are filling up as crowds head to the coast to make the most of the sunshine as the mini heatwave continues.

It is expected to be another dry and very warm day with temperatures reaching over 30 degrees Celsius in parts of the county. It will be cooler at the coast.

Cars were packing into the car parks at Lulworth as early as 8am today with visitors keen to get a space early on the beaches around Lulworth and Durdle Door.

Lulworth Estate urged people to behave sensibly and take their litter home with them.

Dorset Police advises visitors heading to the beach to make sure they check where the car parks are and plan alternative parking in case the car parks are full.

They add that people should heed parking restrictions, park sensibly and respect the local community.

Friday saw the hottest August day in the UK 17 years, with the mercury hitting 36.4C at Heathrow and Kew Gardens.

Yesterday saw crowds of people heading for the coast, with images of packed beaches, traffic jams and full car parks shared widely on social media.

By Friday afternoon, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council's beach check app showed 19 of its 24 beaches under red alert, warning people to avoid the areas because safe social distancing was not possible.

Many more people are expected to make the journey this weekend.

The Met Office has warned more records could be matched or even toppled in the coming days with some very hot and sticky nights on the way.

But dark clouds are gathering on the horizon.

Dan Harris, Met Office deputy chief meteorologist, said thunderstorms are on the way, with some places likely to be hit with up to 80mm of rain in just a few hours.

"We've issued a broad thunderstorm warning for Monday and Tuesday for all parts of the UK, since although the ingredients are there, it's just too early to pinpoint the details of exactly where and when thunderstorms will occur," he said.

"As such, we will be monitoring the developing signals closely and I urge people to keep a close eye on Met Office warnings and forecasts over the coming days."

Here are the top tips for a safe and healthy weekend:

• Know before you go - plan ahead before setting off, plan where you might park

• Be prepared to sit in traffic

• Check @TravelDorset Twitter for accidents, delays or roadworks

• Be safe by the water because there may not be lifeguards present on some beaches

• Don’t use disposable barbecues or have campfires

• Please park considerately, respect the communities you are visiting

• Wear a face covering where necessary

• Keep up good hand washing

• Practice social distancing

• Avoid direct sunlight between 11am and 3pm, wear a hat and sunglasses

• Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to avoid dehydrating (especially so for babies and children)