Will it be a record-breaker? Time for the sunglasses and shorts as 81F heatwave arrives for May Day bank holiday weekend set to be the warmest in 20 years

  • Temperatures in South East England could reach 81F (27C) by Monday – higher than on the French Riviera
  • Met Office says the conditions are being caused by area of high pressure due to dominate southern Britain 
  • Monday is set to be the hottest Bank Holiday since 1999, when highs of 23.6C were recorded in Worcester  
  • Having fun in the sun? Send your pictures to [email protected] or [email protected]
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Temperatures are set to soar as a heatwave sweeps across the UK, bringing highs of 27C and setting a Bank Holiday record.

The weekend is already off to a scorching start in the south-east and Midlands today, with the Met Office confirming that heat will spread throughout the country over the next two days.

Highs of 24C are set to hit south-eastern England today, but western and northern areas are expected to take a little longer to warm up.


The sun rises over Derbyshire in the Midlands this morning, as the region is swept up in the heatwave that will also raise temperatures in the south-east 


Temperatures in the Midlands as well as the south-east are off to a warm start today – and it’s only going to get better in the coming days 


The heatwave – kicking off today in the south – will spread north in the coming days, though cloud will remain today (pictured: morning joggers in Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire)


Beaches in Old Portsmouth, Hampshire, were full of people topping up their tans in the scorching sunshine yesterday afternoon


Jockeys and their horses warm up at the Newmarket race course ahead of the Guineas Festival today as temperatures are set to soar


Tourists posed in front of the Shard in London as they snapped a selfie while the weekend got off to a scorching start across south-east England 


Rain is expected across certain parts of the north but Leeds (pictured) this morning got off to a mild start and conditions are set to improve over the coming days 


A jogger enjoys the sunshine along the River Thames in central London as record-breaking Bank Holiday weekend temperatures are forecast 


Joggers enjoyed the sunny start to the West Midlands today as they ran along the Birmingham central canal network as temperatures are set to continue climbing this weekend 


Thousands rushed away from work early to bask in the heat by the seaside in Brighton as the weekend got off to a hot start yesterday 


 Gently down the stream! Friends enjoyed the warm afternoon boating on The River Thames in Christ Church Meadow, Oxford 

Clouds will bring dull weather to Wales, the north-west and outbreaks of rain are forecast for the western parts of Scotland. 

But the midlands will benefit from the heatwave today, experiencing the same highs as southern regions, where temperatures will continue to climb heading into tomorrow.

On Sunday, the south-east is set for highs of 25-26C as temperatures across the UK rise at least one degree higher than today’s. 


Cloudy skies are expected in the north today before conditions improve and temperatures climb (pictured, grey morning sky over Hyde Park in Leeds, West Yorkshire, today)


May Bank holiday weekend getaway traffic is building yesterday on the M25 at junction two near Dartford in Kent


Bank Holiday weekend getaway traffic builds on the M25 today at junction two, anti clockwise towards the Dartford crossing


Commuters at Waterloo Station travelling out of London for the bank holiday weekend – which is gearing up to be the hottest in over 20 years


Flocks of people went punting on the River Cam in Cambridge as the country gears up for the hottest May Bank Holiday weekend ever

The north will also begin to warm up although clouds are expected to remain around Liverpool, Manchester and Cumbria with fog hanging over the Irish Sea. Blackpool will see highs of 19C tomorrow and eastern Scotland is set to climb into the early twenties.

Yesterday the Met Office said it was ‘almost guaranteed’ to be the hottest May Day Bank Holiday since 1999, when Worcester got to 74.5F (23.6C). It could even beat the hottest on record, which was 83.4F (28.6C) in 1995 in Cheltenham. Today, forecasters estimated temperatures will hit 27C in south-east England. 

People were pictured sunbathing on Friday as cars rushed home from work to make the most of the weekend’s heatwave. 

Meanwhile research by the RAC showed that yesterday was the year’s busiest for the UK’s roads, with 2.86 million car trips. 


A gorgeous day was enjoyed by a visiting family to Chesil Beach on the Isle of Portland


Hundreds of workers could be seen lazing about in the sun near London’s financial district as they broke for lunch on Friday


It was bumper to bumper traffic on the M25 this evening as millions of people rushed to get their holidays started


The searing hot weather is expected to add to the intensity of the bank holiday exodus, with thousands of commuters clogging up Britain’s fragile transport networks


Office workers and tourists enjoy warm sunshine in The Scoop and near Tower Bridge as temperatures reached 19 degrees celsius in London


Boaters took their vessel to Chesil Beach on the Isle of Portland today to make the most of the glorious sunshine


On holiday in London from Argentina, Amorina Martin relaxes in the sunshine among the daisies on a perfect spring day in Regents Park


People in Greenwich, an affluent London suburb, made the most of the heat by doing some exercise through the famous Greenwich Park


Office workers enjoying the glorious sunshine near Tower Bridge in central London on Friday as the bank holiday weekend draws ever closer


Single file! Brent Geese and their goslings on the River Thames in Oxford yesterday afternoon


Families enjoy a trip down the river in the Christchurch Meadows in Oxford yesterday afternoon





Temperatures yesterday surpassed 20C (68F), while Bank Holiday Monday (right) is forecast to get past 81F (27C)


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    On Monday coastal areas in the North-East are likely to remain cool, however, with Newcastle and Scarborough expected to reach only 57F (14C).

    Earlier on Friday, Britons eagerly tweeted ‘#sunsout’ as the Met Office admitted Britain had ‘broken the curse’ of wet and windy weather for the May Day Bank Holiday – and the warm weather could stay into at least the middle of next week.  

    A total of 8.5million leisure journeys are expected on the road over the weekend. The travel plans of more than 2,500 UK motorists were analysed for the research on this weekend’s traffic.

    RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said: ‘While wall-to-wall sunshine might not be on the cards for everyone this bank holiday weekend, many will still be keen to make the most of the early May warmth by escaping in the car to spend time with family or friends.

    ‘While motorists have told us about their firm travel plans as part of our research, if we see things really warm up by the weekend it’s likely to mean millions more cars on the road, which is bound to cause queues on popular routes.

    ‘We urge all drivers to give their cars a quick once over before they set off, especially if they are planning on driving any great distance.’  

    The Met Office said the conditions are being caused by an area of high pressure which is due to dominate southern Britain over the coming week. 

    Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Chris Bulmer said: ‘We can’t promise wall to wall sunshine for everyone this Bank Holiday weekend. However, it’s looking like a most of us will get to see some warm sunshine at times.’ 

    The Met Office said it was ‘almost guaranteed’ to be the hottest May Day Bank Holiday since 1999, when Worcester and Hampshire got to 74.5F (23.6C). The hottest on record was 83.4F (28.6C) in 1995 in Cheltenham. 

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      Hundreds of people reclined in view of the river Thames as they soaked up the rays ahead of the bank holiday weekend getaway


      Tourists watch as members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment make their way along The Mall in London yesterday




      A sunny start to the May Day Bank Holiday weekend at Greenwich Park (left) as a woman runs along The Mall yesterday (right)


      People taking an amphibious truck tour through the centre of Windsor as they take in the sights of the royal town in the sun




      People took to Instagram using the hashtag ‘sunsout’ to show them drinking beer, sunbathing and barreling into cars for the bank holiday getaway 

      Scotland and Northern Ireland are set for cooler, more changeable weather over this weekend, with outbreaks of rain in the West.

      Warm temperatures in the 70s Fahrenheit, or 20s Celsius, are expected across England and Wales from Saturday through until Tuesday.

      36,000 breakdowns expected this weekend

      Eight cars a minute are expected to break down across Britain’s roads this Bank Holiday weekend.

      Cover provider Green Flag is expecting a combination of car faults and problems caused by the hot weather to result in 36,000 breakdowns.

      A mixture of tyre related issues, flat batteries and faulty brake pads alone will cause problems to 497 drivers an hour, the company predicts.

      A spokesman said: ‘Many problems can be avoided by following simple steps such as ensuring vehicles are thoroughly inspected before embarking on a long journey.

      ‘This becomes even more important when it gets hotter, when preparing for your journey is essential.’

      A number of rail services will be disrupted by engineering work. Government-owned Network Rail will carry out more than 820 projects during the two bank holiday weekends in May.

      The organisation says it schedules work for bank holidays as there are fewer passengers than normal on those days.

      Between Saturday and Monday Liverpool’s mainline services will be reduced, with some replaced by buses or diverted via Manchester.

      Significant work between Glasgow and Edinburgh means East Coast services will start and terminate at Edinburgh while West Coast trains will not run north of Lancaster/Oxenholme Lake District on Sunday.

      Rail connections to the UK’s busiest airport, Heathrow, will be severed on Sunday, when there will also be no trains serving London Paddington.

      Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said: ‘Thousands of rail workers will be working round the clock to deliver crucial upgrades to the rail network as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. 

      ‘This huge investment programme will provide faster, better services and help relieve over-crowding to respond to the huge growth on Britain’s railways.

      ‘While most of the network is open for business as usual, some routes are heavily affected and so we strongly advise passengers to plan ahead this May.’ 

      Forecasters have warned the warm sunshine will lead to higher than normal levels of UV radiation, meaning a risk of sunburn. Pollen levels are also set to increase to at least moderate levels. 


      A couple pose for wedding pictures during the warm spring weather in Westminster yesterday


      A royal swan glides over a tranquil lake in Green Park, London with Buckingham Palace visible in the far off background


      Ducks take a swim around the fountains in Trafalgar Square in London yesterday ahead of the Bank Holiday heatwave


      Two women take a selfie in front of the swans as they enjoy the warm weather yesterday in Windsor, Berkshire


      Six-year-old Michal, who is on holiday from Poland, feeds swans in Windsor yesterday ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend




      Excited commuters posted jubilant selfies of themselves in their cars as they made their way home for the bank holiday weekend

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        ‘There is an outside chance the highest temperature recorded last month could be beaten.’ 

        This year’s warmest temperature so far of 84.3F (29.1C) – the hottest April day since 1949 – was recorded in London on April 19. 

        Miss Yeomans said the hot weather will persist in southern areas on Tuesday although conditions could break down later in the week with cooler temperatures.

        Coastal fog is expected in the mornings as the weekend goes on, and there is a ‘low risk’ of thundery showers in the south. 

        The warmest weather is expected from Sunday as winds swing round to blow in from the continent rather than the Atlantic.

        Monday’s highest temperatures should easily beat those expected that day in many parts of Europe and even parts of north Africa.

        Barcelona is set to be just 70F (21C), while 73F (23C) is expected in Nice, on the French Riviera and in Malaga, on the Costa Del Sol, and 75F (24C) in Rome. Marrakech in Morocco is only forecast to reach 73F (23C).

        Miss Yeomans said the warm and sunny weather forecast for southern Britain is a reversal of conditions in early May last year.  


        Some people decided their work could be taken outside as they went to St James’ Park, London to finish off their final tasks before the weekend


        Sunseekers enjoying the spring sunshine and warm weather in London’s Green Park, near Buckingham Palace, at lunchtime


        A gardener tends to the immaculate flower bed at the resplendent Greenwich Park in south east London bathed in sunlight


        Bank holiday revellers gave themselves an early start to the weekend as they lounged about in all of London’s public spaces


        Two women enjoying the sun among the daisies in Regent’s Park in north London on Friday as the temperature climbed to the hottest May Day ever

        Then, it was warm and sunny in Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland but cool and cloudy in the south and east.

        In its long-range forecast from the middle of next week towards mid-May, the Met Office said there is ‘some uncertainty’ but notes that ‘at this stage it looks like most places will stay mainly dry with sunny spells’.

        The return to warm and sunny weather follows very wet weather in southern and eastern England earlier this week. On Monday, three inches of rain fell in 24 hours in the wettest areas – 50 per cent more than the April average.

        Temperatures of just 42F (5.5C) in Frittenden, Kent and 46F (8C) in Norwich were recorded. One man died after apparently being washed off the pier in Ramsgate, Kent, by a giant wave.

        Trees crashed down on to roads in London and Kent while cars were photographed driving through two feet of water. Trains were cancelled as engineers struggled to reopen lines hit by flooding and fallen trees.

        In Kent, firemen cut one man free from his car after he became trapped by a fallen tree and two parents and their baby were rescued after their vehicle was caught in a flood.

        Too cute! Heart-warming moment an adorably tiny mouse seeks refuge inside a tulip head


        The cheeky photograph captured a rare glimpse of a wild harvest mouse while perched inside flame-coloured tulip petals

        This is the heart-warming moment a tiny mouse sought refuge inside a tulip head to pose for a cute picture.

        The cheeky photograph captured a rare glimpse of a wild harvest mouse measuring just two inches (55mm) long while perched inside flame-coloured tulip petals.

        The minuscule mammals are so difficult to spot it took the patient photographer eight months to get the perfect shot.

        NHS records assistant Alex Meek, 31, took the long-awaited picture outside his seaside home in North Yorkshire.

        Mr Meek, an amateur wildlife photographer from Scarborourgh, could not believe his luck while waiting patiently for an hour to get the perfect picture.

        He said: ‘I was over the moon when I got the pictures – there were three mice in total all going up different stems of the tulips.

        ‘The mice don’t pose but given time they naturally get into the perfect position.

        ‘The tulips work really well with the colours and the mice love hiding in the heads and in between the petals, often curling up and going to sleep inside.’ 


        The minuscule mammals are so difficult to spot it took the patient photographer eight months to get the perfect shot


        NHS records assistant Alex Meek, 31, took the long-awaited picture outside his seaside home in Scarborough, North Yorkshire

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