London weather: Londoners bask in glorious sunshine on hottest March day for five years

Fiona Simpson
Lauren Hurley/PA

Londoners basked in the sun during the hottest March day in five years.

Scorching temperatures in the capital were warmer than Barcelona and Athens as the mercury soared above 21C on Thursday.

The Met Office confirmed temperatures of 21.7C in Heathrow and 21.6C at Kew Gardens.

Gravesend, in Kent, was crowned the hottest place in the country as thermometers hit a balmy 22.1C.

Craig Snell, from the Met Office, said temperatures had not hit such dizzy heights since March 2012.

Sunrise: The sun reflected in the Walkie Talkie building (Jeremy Selwyn)

Sun worshippers were snapped enjoying the heat in parks and beer gardens across the capital.

Mr Snell added that temperatures looked set to plummet into the late teens overnight with showers expected on Friday.

He said: “Temperatures will drop back to around 17 or 18C by Friday with some clouds causing showery spells.

“By the afternoon there will be some outbreaks of sunshine.”