WHAT a difference a year makes.

Last March, council staff shut Bournemouth Pier because of icy conditions, while snow fell in parts of the county.

But the same weekend in 2014 saw the buckets and spades come out as people enjoyed ice creams and a dip in the sea.

Thermometers across the area reached 15.8C, while families donned shorts and T-shirts to play in the sun.

The sands of Bournemouth and Sandbanks beaches were filled with happy children, who enjoyed building sandcastles in the sun, while the adults got to enjoy the warm spring breeze.

Joe Ward, 40, was taking in the sea air along with son, Charlie, eight, on Bournemouth beach.

She said: “It was lovely down on the beach on Sunday. Charlie is really enjoying himself, as usually he would be playing on his iPad, so it is nice to see him getting out in the open air.”

Michael Dyrbus, 23, Ben Far-rington, 21, and Dan Neville, 21, all visiting from Southampton, were brave enough to take a dip in the sea.

Michael said: “This is probably the most sun we will have this year, so we thought we would make the most of it by coming to Bournemouth.”

A light dusting of snow also covered Sturminster Marshall and South-bourne back in March 2013, and in Poole, Condor Ferries cancelled their high-speed services to the Channel Islands, due to the adverse weather conditions.

However, sadly, it looks as though the sunshine was just a short-lived treat for residents, as it is predicted to be cloudy today and tomorrow, with highs of 12C on both days.

This is predicted to be followed by showers towards the end of the week and into the weekend, according to Met Office predictions.