Britons have been basking in Good Friday sunshine as the country is set for its warmest Easter weekend for 70 years, after enjoying the hottest day of the year so far yesterday.
Temperatures of 74F (23C) were recorded in West Sussex, and things are expected to heat up even more as the bank holiday continues, with London likely to hit 25C (77F) on Saturday.
A Met Office forecaster said: ‘It’s going to be dry, bright and sunny for nearly everybody this weekend. Temperatures are expected to reach into the 20s every day of the four-day break.
Lucy Laphan, 21, enjoys an early-morning punt down the River Cam in Cambridge as the UK basks in Bank Holiday sunshine
Tierney Rocks, 17, plays volleyball in the water at Bournemouth beach in ice-cream melting temperatures on Good Friday
Three-year-old Sophia Rickaby plays in a bluebell wood in Hampshire while enjoying the warm Good Friday weather
The Easter heatwave caused thousands to flock to Bournemouth beach as the holidays get off to a scorching start
A couple bask in the Bank Holiday sunshine and read the newspaper at Weymouth beach on Good Friday afternoon
A father and daughter throw a Frisbee at Portobello in Edinbugh facing the Firth of Forth
Families and couples on Weymouth beach enjoy the holiday sunshine on Good Friday ahead of Easter weekend
The sun rise over the English Channel in Selsey, East Sussex, on Good Friday morning illuminates the water ahead of a scorching bank holiday weekend
Beachgoers at West Bay on the Dorset coast enjoy the early morning sunshine on Good Friday as temperatures are expected to soar beyond 20C
Visitors to West Bay wasted no time on Good Friday morning as they flocked to the beach for some sunshine
A family-of-four pitch up their camping chairs for a day of sun on the beach at West Bay in Dorset on Good Friday
Dog walkers seize the early-morning sunshine on Good Friday by going for a stroll along the Long Walk in front of Windsor Castle, where there wasn’t a cloud in the sky
Role reversal: As the UK basks in Bank Holiday sunshine (left, Staffie ‘Flake’ with owner Makenzi on Bournemouth beach), Spain is drenched with rain and hit with winds (right, a couple on the beach of the Malvarrosa in Valencia)
A woman plays with her dog on the sand at Bournemouth beach on Friday morning amid the Bank Holiday heatwave
A woman rides her recumbent bicycle along the promenade on Bournemouth beach on Good Friday
A beachgoer reads her book and tans her legs in the sun at Portobello beach in Edinburgh
Families flocked to Bournemouth to make the most of the warm spring weather on Good Friday afternoon
‘It is likely to be the warmest Easter Sunday since 2011 and the warmest Easter weekend since 1949.’
Back then, temperatures in Camden Square, London, reached a sweltering 29.4C (84.9F) over the Easter weekend.
Supermarkets are predicting big demand for barbecue items as householders enjoy time in the garden.
The 2019 temperature record so far was set yesterday at Wiggonholt in West Sussex, at 73.9F (23.3C).
Smeaton’s Tower, a centerpiece on Plymouth’s Hoe, is bathed in sunshine on the Devon coast this morning
People enjoy a morning coffee in the Good Friday sunshine at Plymouth seafront in Devon today
Walkers enjoy a morning stroll at Plymouth seafront in Devon today as the UK expects warm weather over the bank holiday
Swans at the River Thames in Windsor this morning as Britain prepares for a warm Easter bank holiday weekend
The Diamond Jubilee Fountain at The Goswells park in Windsor, which was inspired by the crown jewels, is pictured today
The Long Walk in front of Windsor Castle is pictured this morning on a warm start to Good Friday for the country
The iron and granite Windsor Bridge over the River Thames is pictured in the sunshine in the Berkshire town today
Red sky at night! A yoga class stretch on Formby beach in Merseyside as the bright red sun illuminated the waterfront
Yesterday’s weather brought out sunseekers across the country, with one donning a swimsuit and straw hat to lounge among the tulips at the Botanical Gardens in Swansea.
But there were problems too, with a huge fire breaking out at Lyme Park, a National Trust site in Cheshire.
Dozens of firemen from Greater Manchester and Cheshire were called to the park in Disley, on the southern outskirts of Stockport, just after 4pm.
The blaze was said to have engulfed a large area of moorland, with crews trying to stop the flames spreading to nearby woodland.
A spokesman for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘There are no reports of any injuries, however Lyme Park has been closed to the public and visitors are advised to stay away.’
Those living nearby were urged to keep windows and doors closed because of the smoke.
In Cornwall, more than 80 firemen worked through the night to tackle large gorse fires on Bodmin Moor which were feared to have been started deliberately.
Four fires were discovered over a distance of two miles, with one witness saying that flames ‘very close’ to homes, livestock and a busy road.
A Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said early indications were that the fire was of a ‘suspicious nature’.
Emergency services first received calls shortly before midnight on Wednesday and the blaze was finally extinguished at around 7.30am.
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