Great Bank Holiday getaway begins as Britons look to soak up 20C weekend sun

With temperatures set to peak at 20C over the weekend, Britain's motorways were already filling with traffic as families took advantage of the sunshine.

The best weather so far this year will arrive in time for the Bank Holiday weekend, with temperatures on Monday higher than in holiday destinations Majorca and Cote D'Azur.

Temperatures will get gradually warmer throughout the weekend and will creep above 20C (68F) for much of the country on Monday, compared to just 16C (60.8F) on Spanish island Majorca and 18C (64.4F) in the South of France Cote D'Azur, according to the Met Office website.

In Britain, eastern areas will see the best of the weather but even parts of Scotland will reach high teens, according to a forecaster from MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association.

Sean Penston, forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: "I think it's going to be a more prolonged warm spell than what we've had so far this year.

"Even in parts of Scotland it's going to get into the high teens, in the eastern parts of Scotland."

Trevor Williams begins filling the 100-yard-long pool in Bedfordshire ahead of the sunny Bank Holiday weekend  …

On the move: The south-bound M42 near Birmingham saw solid traffic on Friday as families looked to get away. ( …

The warm weather is expected to see a surge in demand for barbecues, with Asda reporting a sales increase of 142% while Marks and Spencer report sales of its barbecue range 'The Grill' are expected to double on last year.

Meanwhile Superdrug has reported an increased demand for beauty products such as false toe nails, wax strips and fake tan.



This year's expected sunny Bank Holiday will be a big improvement from last year, which saw rain and a temperature high of 16C (60.8F) at Exeter Airport.

The weekend weather will have a cloudy start on Saturday with some light rain in the south but should then clear into temperatures in the mid teens, according to the Met Office.

Beachgoers in Woolacombe, Devon, were quick to hit the sand on Sunday (PA)
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Press Association Images | Photo by PA / PA
Mon, May 6, 2013 14:00 BST

Sarah Holland, of the Met Office, said: "That will gradually clear away and dry up and actually become brighter as well, so for many people a dry, fine and sunny day on Saturday.

"Gradually we'll see temperatures pick up as we go through the weekend."

Sunday will also have a misty start but will once again give way to a dry day and sunny spells.

Ms Holland said: "I think the best of the weather is certainly going to be in the Midlands and eastern areas and we could see temperatures again sort of creeping up to mid to high teens, maybe highs of 18C (64.4C), 19C (66.2) on Sunday."

Mr Penston said temperatures could be even warmer, adding: "It will be warm actually throughout the whole of the UK, particularly in eastern areas. You'll be looking at temperatures getting into about 20C (68F), maybe a little bit above and sunshine."

But Bank Holiday Monday will see the warmest weather of the weekend.

Ms Holland said a cloudy morning will clear away quickly and the warm day could see temperatures as high as 23C (73.4F).

She said: "For many people it's going to be a pleasant Bank Holiday weekend with some bright spells around and temperatures creeping into the low 20s by Monday."