City centres across Britain were last night teeming with jubilant revellers toasting in the May Bank Holiday as they took advantage of the first three-day weekend since Covid rules were relaxed on April 12.
Nightclubs remain closed but pubs and bars drew crowds of people seizing upon the long weekend, and a day off work, to enjoy an evening out.
Unseasonably cold temperatures did not deter drinkers in Liverpool and Leeds, who headed out into the chill wearing only light clothing.
And Britons have been warned to wrap up warm for the beer gardens tonight with rain and strong winds set to continue dampening Bank Holiday spirits this weekend.
Punters were forced to huddle under blankets and coats while dining with friends and family outside amid the torrential rain yesterday.
Revellers make the most of the Bank Holiday weekend in Liverpool last night despite chilly temperatures
The streets of Soho were teeming with Bank Holiday revellers last night as temperatures stayed unseasonably low
A group of people head out to enjoy their Saturday night with restrictions in the UK continuing to ease
Revellers arrive at Circus night club in Bramley-Moore Dock,Liverpool, to attend a Covid-19 pilot event
A group of friends are seen sitting on a stone wall smiling and having a good time in Leeds on Saturday night
Two women sit down on the pavement in Leeds on Saturday night as people headed out to make the most of their weekend
Members of the public take to the streets in Soho tonight to make the most of their Saturday night
A waiter comes attends to a table in Soho, London, tonight as tables are packed with people out enjoying their Saturday night
A group of girls pose together for a photo in Newcastle as they enjoy nightlife beginning to re-emerge after lockdown
A group of revellers hold drinks and smile together in Newcastle city centre this evening
Three girls hug each other, with one clutching a drink, as they enjoy their night out in Newcastle city centre
A group of women pose together this evening in Liverpool as they wait to enter Circus night club to attend a Covid-19 pilot event
Revellers in Liverpool are seen drinking, smiling and taking photos together this evening as they wait to enter the Covid-19 pilot rave event being held at Circus night club at Bramley-Moore Dock
In Wallingford, Oxfordshire, diners braved the conditions despite the rain lashing their umbrellas during a very wet al fresco lunch.
A weather warning is in place for Monday with gusts of up to 60mph forecast in Wales and the south coast of England, while showers will continue to batter the country.
Temperatures will remain low for this time of year with highs of 14 degrees which drop overnight to -1C and some will see patches of sun amid the wet and windy weather.
On Saturday, intermittent rain and sun swept the country and could hinder any Bank Holiday plans.
Today will see a chilly and frosty start to the day before showers break out again before Monday’s gusts kick in.
Thick cloud will build in from the west and heavy and persistent rain will push eastwards throughout the day.
Revellers in Liverpool enjoy a night out on the town despite low temperatures for this time of year
Groups of bar-goers were spotted making the most of the Bank Holiday last night in Liverpool
Groups of women were spotted in high spirits toward the end of the night as pubs and bars closed
Diners in the Oxfordshire town of Wallingford brave the pouring rain for the chance to be together and to eat outdoors on Saturday
Huge numbers of people donned coats and hats to fight off the chill today as they made their way to the beach in Whitstable, Kent, to enjoy the sunshine
Punters huddled under blankets and coats in the wet weather with diners still forced to remain outside due to Covid restrictions
The weather proved no obstacle to some who sat outside Britain’s pubs and restaurants on Saturday amid the pouring rain
Millions are set to take advantage of the first bank holiday of the year with eased lockdown rules. It is also the first weekend when travel to Wales and Scotland for leisure can go ahead, with many staycations expected.
The RAC said motorists were planning nearly 15million trips between yesterday and Monday, potentially bringing gridlock to roads. This would be the highest number of car trips for the early May bank holiday since 2016.
Met Office meteorologist Craig Snell told MailOnline: ‘Today, it’s staying the same as the rest of April, a fairly cool day for the time of year, a mixture of sun and scattered showers.
‘Temperatures at best are 14 degrees in the south, below par for this time of year. It should be nearer to 16 or 17 by now so we are a little bit down on what it should be.
‘Tomorrow, showers should fade away overnight but there will be frost in some places, especially in the countryside. Chilly start to the day, a rinse and repeat of Saturday’s weather.
‘Monday doesn’t get much better with rain coming through from the Atlantic. By the afternoon, most of us will have a pretty miserable day.
The afternoon sunshine illuminates this field of bluebells in the ancient woodlands across the Chilterns earlier today
Fans of Norwich City FC braved the weather to celebrate their side winning the sky Bet Championship title outside their groudns
Norwich City FC players celebrate outside of their stadium earlier today after claiming the Sky Bet Championship title
Norwich City fans gathered outside their stadium in large crowds to celebrate their side’s title win, with many donning coats to beat off the chills
Green smoke is let off by one fan outside the grounds of Norwich City FC earlier today as many fans gathered to celebrate their side’s title win
A rower travels towards the Maidenhead Bridge along the River Thames in Berkshire before the rain sets in for the Bank Holiday weekend
A runner makes the most of the Saturday morning sun in Bushy Park, London. Britons have been warned to wrap up warm for the beer gardens with rain and strong winds dampening the Bank Holiday spirits this weekend
The RAC said motorists were planning nearly 15million trips between yesterday and Monday, potentially bringing gridlock to roads
Yachts and sailboats bob on the water during sunrise on the first day of May in the Kent town of Gravesend on Saturday morning
‘We have enforced a weather warning, the first for a while, in parts of Wales and the south coast of England with gusts reaching 40 to 50 mph, even up to 60 in some places.
‘There could be travel delays and temporary structures need to be tied down because the winds will be strong enough to move them. Not the best of Bank Holiday Mondays.
‘Farmers might welcome the rain because it has been a very dry April but anyone trying to make plans might not.’
An RAC survey asking more than 1,000 drivers about their bank holiday plans suggests today will be the busiest with around 2.63million journeys planned.
A further 1.64million are due tomorrow and nearly 2million on Monday. And 6.2million trips are to be made by those unsure of when to travel. Around 2.3million car trips were expected to be made yesterday.
Temperatures will remain low for this time of year with highs of 14 degrees which drop overnight to -1C and some will see patches of sun amid the wet and windy weather
A weather warning is in place for Monday with gusts of up to 60mph forecast in Wales and the south coast of England, while showers will batter the umbrellas. Pictured: rowers on the Thames in Maidenhead
The busiest roads are expected to be holiday routes including the M5 from the Midlands and Bristol towards Devon and Cornwall, and the M6 to Cumbria.
The RAC’s Rod Dennis said: ‘After what was one of the quietest Easters on the roads in years, our figures suggest the easing of Covid restrictions has made a dramatic difference with millions more drivers planning to hit the roads.
‘It remains to be seen what effect the weather will have as meeting up in soggy parks and gardens may not prove quite so appealing. And if it’s too cold for a trip to the beach, then there could be a big uplift in visits to shops, cafes and restaurants with covered outdoor areas.’
Jack Cousens, the AA’s head of roads policy, said: ‘The May Day weekend will be the first test of post-lockdown leisure travel with Scotland and Wales not only unlocking at a faster speed than England, but allowing travel between other parts of the UK.’
Meanwhile Network Rail plans to carry out a series of big engineering projects, with one rail firm warning train users not to travel during the three-day weekend.
Until Monday the West Coast main line to and from London Euston is closed. An Avanti West Coast spokesman said: ‘We strongly advise you to travel either side of the bank holiday weekend.’
Last week on Tuesday main line rail use reached 44 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, the highest for months. It stayed at 40 per cent or above for six days in a row. Bus use across the country also hit 60 per cent while Tube journeys in London hit 45 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
Millions of Britons are set to take advantage of the first Bank Holiday this year for which lockdown restrictions will be eased.
Many intend to embark on shopping and day trips or mini breaks following the re-opening of non-essential shops, zoos, theme parks and stays in self-contained accommodation.
It will also be the first weekend when cross-border travel into Wales and Scotland for leisure trips can go ahead, with many staycationers expected to take advantage.
Authorities in Snowdonia national park have asked visitors to ‘be kind’ if they choose to visit.
‘Do not park on roadsides or across entrances, it is dangerous and can cause problems for our farmers, communities and emergency services,’ they said in a statement.