Britons basked in glorious sunshine as they descended upon beaches in Bournemouth and Blackpool today as the nation gears up for temperatures to climb to 77F this weekend.
Hundreds of visitors poured onto the iconic beaches to enjoy the warm weather while others were spotted paddle boarding at Cullercoats Bay, in North Tyneside, as they prepared for a sizzling weekend ahead.
In London, sun-seekers lay on the grass in Wimbledon Common as the sun made its comeback to the capital and mercury levels continued to rise.
And in Lyme Regis, beaches were packed as sun-seekers flocked to the seaside resort to take in the sea air.
The scenes, which follow a washout week across the nation, came as tourists in the popular holiday destination of Ibiza were spotted sheltering under their umbrellas as the island was hit with heavy downpours today and temperatures reached 73F.
The sizzling weather, which comes after a May that has been the wettest on record for some areas, could see temperatures reach 77F in London and East Anglia later today.
The UK’s previous warmest day had been on March 30, when Kew Gardens in West London hit 76.1F (24.5C).
A Met Office spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Many parts of the UK will be dry, warm and sunny today. We do have showers across parts of Northern Ireland and west Scotland where it is a little more cloudy. Where it is dry, warm and sunny, we expect temperatures to reach 25C today.
BOURNEMOUTH: Hundreds of people pour onto the beach in Bournemouth, Dorset, to enjoy the sizzling temperatures as mercury levels rise across the nation
BLACKPOOL: Britons descend upon Blackpool beach today as the sizzling sun makes a return following a week of heavy downpours across the nation
LYME REGIS: Sun-seekers flock to the seaside resort of Lyme Regis in Dorset as mercury levels rise in the UK today
LONDON: People lie down on the grass at Wimbledon Common, in London, as hot weather once again returns to the capital
IBIZA: Meanwhile in the popular holiday destination of Ibiza, people were spotted sheltering themselves from the rain as the island was hit by heavy downpours
IBIZA: Groups of people cover their heads with their umbrellas as the island of Ibiza was hit with heavy downpours this morning
IBIZA: In Santa Eulària des Riu, Ibiza, people carry umbrellas as the party resort is hit by heavy showers this morning
LONDON: A group of people enjoy a boat ride along Regent’s Canal in Little Venice, west London, as the capital enjoys warm weather
‘Tomorrow we’ve got cloudy skies in the South with outbreaks of rain but sunny spells in the south east. Top temperatures tomorrow will be 24C.
‘On Monday, we expect sunny spells and scattered showers across England. Some of the showers could be heavy across parts of the south. Overall there will be showers at times but also some warm sunny spells.’
Last month, wet weather dominated forecasts, with Wales recording 200.7mm of rain – double the monthly average – making it the wettest May in records dating back to 1862.
But the positive forecast could now see throngs of holiday makers racing to the coast in an effort to enjoy the balmy weather.
This week parts of Surrey and Kent saw temperatures between 81F (27C) and 82F (28C) while the village of Hawarden in Flintshire reached 79.9F (26.5C) to become Wales’ own warmest day of the year.
And Scotland also recorded its hottest days of 2021, with Achnagart reaching 75.9F (25.4C).
Meanwhile the 73.9F (23.3C) in Ballywatticock, Northern Ireland, matched its previous warmest day of the year.
The scenes of Britons flocking to the outdoors comes amid a spike in cases of the Indian ‘Delta’ Covid variant.
Yesterday, Professor Neil Ferguson warned the Indian ‘Delta’ variant could be 100 per cent more infectious than the Kent variant as official data showed it’s also twice as likely to put unvaccinated patients in hospital.
Professor Ferguson – a senior SAGE modeller dubbed ‘Professor Lockdown’ for his death predictions that prompted the first shutdown last March – warned the emerging evidence about the Indian ‘Delta’ variant was not positive ‘in any respect’.
NORTH TYNESIDE: In Cullercoats Bay, in North Tyneside, paddle boarders and canoeists enjoy the sunshine and sparkling seas
IBIZA: A beach in Santa Eulària des Riu, Ibiza, appears deserted as the popular holiday destination is hit with heavy showers
NORTH WALES: Paddle boarders splash into the sea in Colwyn Bay, North Wales, as they prepare for a sizzling weekend ahead
IBIZA: A beach appears empty in Santa Eulària des Riu as the popular holiday resort is hit by heavy downpours this morning
LYME REGIS: People take to the beach in Lyme Regis as the nation gears up for mercury levels to reach 77F today
LEEDS: Members of the Rainbow Carnival Stilt Walkers perform in Roundhay Park, Leeds, ahead of the AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Series
DORSET: Two men sit on the rocks as they take in the sea air and enjoy the sun at a beach in Swanage, Dorset
DORSET: People paddle board in the water in Swanage, Dorset, as hundreds across the country flock to the nation’s outdoor spaces
LONDON: People enjoy the sun as they sit on the grass of Parliament Square, in London, following a week of showers
DORSET: A man takes a dip in the sea in Swanage, Dorset, as the nation gears up for a warm and sunny weekend
LONDON: People sit on a boat and enjoy a ride along Regent’s Canal, Little Venice, London, as temperatures soar to 77F
DORSET: A man runs along the sands in Swanage, Dorset, as temperatures rise across the country today
LONDON: A group of people enjoy a boat ride along Regent’s Canal in London as forecasters predict a balmy weekend ahead
POOLE: Hundreds of vehicles fill the car park near Sandbanks beach in Poole, Dorset, as temperatures soar across the country
POOLE: A sign informs visitors that the car park near Sandbanks beach is full as hundreds flock to the tourist destination in the UK
He said the mutant Covid strain was between 30 and 100 per cent more virulent than the previously dominant Kent variant and that ‘a good central estimate’ would be 60 per cent.
A study published last night also suggested that the Pfizer vaccine worked less well at preventing infections of the Indian version, with people given that jab producing fewer antibodies targeting the virus compared to other strains.
Public Health England for the first time this week confirmed the new variant was dominant in the UK, replacing the Kent version.
Asked about whether the new evidence would put England’s June 21 ‘Freedom Day’ in jeopardy, Professor Ferguson said the data ‘is pointing in a more negative direction than it was last week.’
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘It points towards the direction of being cautious. I think balancing, clearly, people’s desire – and there clearly is a built-up desire to get back to normal – against the potential risk is a very difficult judgment call.’