POLICE are warning visitors to stay away after more than 100 vehicles were turned away from Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door during an "extremely busy" weekend.

Glorious weather on Saturday and Sunday saw high numbers of visitors flock to the beauty spot - which became infamous last summer after hordes of visitors descended, triggering large scale emergency service responses.

Dorset Police have now issued a warning after more than 30 lockdown breaches were reported in the space of just five hours on Sunday.

A Dorset Police spokesman said the force's dedicated Op Tattoo Covid-19 response cars, supported by officers from traffic and the operations department, were deployed to the area near Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door following reports that car parks were "extremely busy."

On Saturday one out-of-county vehicle was issued with a traffic offence report for not displaying learner 'L' plates and was turned around.

Two other drivers were reported for breaching the Covid-19 travel restrictions, the spokesman said.

The following day, "Officers reported that the car parks were extremely busy and more than 100 vehicles had to be turned around.

"In total 31 breaches were reported during a five hour period, but the majority of interactions involved turning motorists around due to the sheer volume of traffic in the area," the spokesman added.

And the force is reminding would-be visitors that travelling from outside the county is a "blatant breach" of lockdown.

Superintendent Heather Dixey said: “We would like to remind the public that we remain in a national lockdown and everyone is being asked to stay at home and only travel for a limited number of reasons.

“No matter how challenging it may be, it is really important for everyone to continue to follow the rules over the coming months. We all have a responsibility to stick to the restrictions to ensure that we can move forward and not have to take a step back.

“Travelling from other parts of the country to visit the Dorset coastline is a blatant breach of the rules, which remain in place to stop the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives. We will continue to engage, explain and encourage people to follow the rules - however if blatant breaches take place we will move to enforcement.

“The Government has announced their roadmap for how lockdown restrictions will be gradually lifted this summer. Trips to Dorset are not far away, but please be patient. Now is not the right time.”

However landowner Lulworth Estates has said visitor numbers over the weekend were "below normal" for this time of year - amid hopes the season will pick up.

Lulworth Estate's James Weld said: "Police have been regularly checking the car parks throughout the current lockdown (as) part of their continuing response to restrictions owing to the nice weather over the weekend.

"We don’t have information about where every visitor lives - but with the police activity and the fact that current visitor numbers are less than 20 per cent of normal levels at this time of year - I suspect those who successfully navigated the police checks were probably more local.

"We, like all businesses, are looking forward to being able to re-open, welcoming visitors again to Lulworth and Durdle Door so that the beleaguered economy can begin recovering as quickly as possible to avoid further job losses. "Lulworth has been attracting tourists for well over 100 years and we certainly wouldn’t wish this to change – hopefully during April and May visitor numbers will begin increasing to nearer normal levels."