Britons are bracing for the hottest Easter for 70 years as parts of the UK bask in temperatures warmer than some of the Mediterranean’s most popular tourist spots.
The heatwave is expected to see temperatures rise day on day over the long weekend, eventually peaking with record-breaking highs of 26C on Sunday and 27C on Monday.
Good Friday temperatures hit 24C in the warmest parts of the country, warmer than Rome (22C), Barcelona (21C) and Malta (18C).
The warmest temperature recorded on an Easter Friday was 26.9C at St James’ Park in London in 2011, with the mercury reaching 25.3C on Easter Sunday and 24C on Easter Monday that year.
The hottest Easter weekend was back in 1949 when 29.4C was recorded at Camden Square, in London, the Met Office said.
Highs of 25C are predicted for Saturday with plenty of clear blue skies and sunshine around, although forecasters have warned it will turn cool quite quickly after sunset.
Not everywhere will see blue skies, however, with northwest Scotland and the Northern Isles expected to have some clouds and rain on Saturday.
Met Office meteorologist Sophie Yeomans said: “It won’t be one of the hottest temperatures we have had in April, the only thing it is going to break is some of the records for Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
“Into Sunday we may get a 26C somewhere across the UK and for Monday probably up a degree or two again, 26C or 27C for Easter Monday.”
Hayfever suffers have also been warned of a “deadly pollen bomb” which could put people with asthma at risk of a potentially life-threatening attack.
The pollen count is forecast as high for most places until Tuesday and in the South East until Wednesday.
Sonia Munde, head of services for Asthma UK, warned sufferers to take hay fever and prescribed medicines and to keep their blue reliever inhaler with them at all times in case of an emergency.