SOUTHAMPTON city centre is set to be awash with seaside fun for the rest of Summer, as Seaside in the Square has returned for a second year.

The launch night on Thursday saw Guildhall Square transformed into an ‘urban beach’ with 70 tons of sand, where visitors can grab a cocktail, chill out in deck chairs and even play a spot of volleyball.

A huge range of over 100 free activities will take place at Seaside in the Square, which is being supported by Carnival UK, as they were "really keen" to take part. They include a seaside bar run by Orange Rooms, an outdoor cinema in conjunction with City Eye and Seaside Sessions, free live music every Sunday from midday featuring talent from NST’s Now-Here programme.

Visitors can also enjoy live music, comedy and theatre in association with Nuffield Southampton Theatres, the chance to try out sports with free taster sessions courtesy of Decathlon and Rees Leisure, the company behind the ABP Southampton Marathon, and arts and crafts sessions from both Solent Showcase and John Hansard Gallery.

The entire site is full of IKEA materials and deckchairs, with one specific section dedicated to the store to represent recyclable items.

The YMCA are laying on activities for children and families and a quiz night and bingo on the beach will be hosted by Orange Rooms.

Sports sessions will include Boccia, pétanque, bootcamp fitness sessions, beach fitness classes with PureGym, yoga, family-friendly sessions with Active Nation, beach cricket with Hampshire Cricket, boxing and ‘bar tribes’.

A giant 40ft storytelling whale installation courtesy of Solent University will take place on July 22, where the public can be given a talk on the dangers of plastics in the ocean.

Free skateboard training sessions will run every Saturday, run by Skate Southampton.

There's also the chance to try a surf simulator on July 26, courtesy of Blue Frontier.

Nandos will host a night featuring music from Foor and there will be a Cuban inspired night hosted by Revolucion de Cuba.

Seaside in the Square will be free to attend and open every day from early morning to late evening.

The event has been made possible thanks to GO! Southampton, the city’s BID (Business Improvement District).

Giles Semper, the BID’s chief executive, said: “The inaugural event last year was such a success that we just had to bring it back. It didn’t just bring footfall and new visitors to the area, it created a completely unique summer experience for those who live and work in the city, something we’ve never had before.

“Events like this achieve so many of GO! Southampton’s objectives and we’re very excited about the many economic and social benefits this year’s event will bring.”

Employee Experience Senior Manager from Carnival UK Holly Shawyer said: "Our company is running a summer of happiness theme, with the theory behind it being that when people feel happy, they are at their best at work, so this was the perfect opportunity for us so we can support people to be the best version of themselves."