Britain basked in scorching sunshine over the weekend after temperatures reached 36 degrees across the country on Friday.
The highest recorded temperatures that day were at Kew Gardens and Heathrow airport in London, both registering 36.4 degrees, but across the south east and up to Suffolk the mercury hit 35 to 36 degrees for large parts of the day.
On the first day of a predicted five-day heatwave people flocked to beaches and parks to soak up the sun, despite warnings from local councils and Public Health England of the potential risks to health.
Bournemouth Council issued a ‘red alert’ for six of its beaches, pleading for visitors to stay away, and Public Health England appealed for people to check on elderly and vulnerable neighbours, saying: “A lot of homes can overheat, so it’s important we continue to check on older people and those with underlying health conditions, particularly if they’re living alone and may be socially isolated.”
The RSPCA warned of the dangers for pets and urged caution by owners when out and about.
Craig Snell from the Met Office told Yahoo News UK: “Friday was the hottest August day in England since 2003. Last Friday temperatures reached 37.8 degrees but that was one hot day, this current spell is expected to last into early next week.”
The weekend continued to bring good weather, with Sunday bringing a temperature of 34C at Herstmonceux, East Sussex, and 33.8C at both Heathrow, London, and Gosport, Hampshire, the Met Office said.
However, Saturday saw HM Coastguard deal with 340 incidents across the UK, which is the highest number of callouts on a single day for more than four years.