Thousands of Britons took advantage of the hot weather today by flocking to beaches ahead of another week-long scorcher which will see temperatures rise to 32C.
Bookies have even slashed the odds on Britain experiencing its hottest day ever next week to just 2/1, with the current highest temperature recorded being 38.5C in Brogdale, near Faversham, Kent, in 2003.
The predictions means there will be no relief for experts who issued a warning across the UK about sunburns after hundreds were hospitalised as Britain struggles to cope with the heatwave.
Yuck! A competitor at the Whitstable Oyster Festival grimaces during today’s contest to celebrate the Kent seaside town’s oyster trade
In it to win it: Oyster-eating competitors knock back the molluscs in the sunshine today in Whitstable, south east England
Head to head: Contestants at the Whitstable oyster-eating competition race to down half a dozen oysters and half a pint beer
Focussed: Up to 36 people take part in the oyster-eating competition every year in Whitstable. Above: contestants hunch over the table while stuffing their mouths with the shellfish
Winner! Oyster-eating enthusiasts stuff their faces with the oysters and neck pints of beer during the messy annual contest
Here come the shellfish: Buckets full of oysters are carried to shore for the festival in Whitstable to celebrate the town’s trade
People are encouraged to ‘use common sense’ when enjoying the sun and protect themselves from damaging UV rays, Public Health England has urged.
The warning comes after 220 people were admitted to hospitals in Northern Ireland over the past two months for sunburn treatment.
There are now concerns that more could be hospitalised across the United Kingdom in order to treat sunburn as the hot weather continues.
Festival-goers slide down Vita Coco’s Slip N’ Slide during Lambeth Country Show at Brockwell Park, south London, today
Lambeth Country Show hosted the UK’s largest inflatable water slide today. Thrill-seekers slid down the slippery slide in south London
Scorching sun: Festival-goers at the Lambeth Country Show enjoy the Vita Coco water slide in the sunshine
No hands! Lambeth Country Show attendees took advantage of the UK’s largest inflatable water slide in south London today
I’m soaked! Festival-goers slid down the enormous Vita Coco slide at Brockwell Park today. Some bravely wore their clothes rather than swimming costumes
Steep drop: Daredevil festival-goers shoot down the near-vertical Vita Coco water slide at Lambeth Country Show today
Sunshine should return for the first weekend of the summer holidays after parts of Britain saw heavy showers on Friday evening.
Yesterday travel chaos occurred with traffic backed up for over an hour on the M25 as holidaymakers began to set off following the start of the school break.
Next week could be the hottest yet this summer, with forecasters expecting highs of 95F (35C) in the South East by the end of the week.
Temperatures today reached 27C in London, but Sunday will be the better of the two days, with England seeing ‘fine, dry weather, sunny spells’, with the mercury rising above 30C (86F).
A sunburn warning has been issued across the UK after hundreds were hospitalised as Britain struggles to cope with the heatwave (pictured: Weymouth beach)
People enjoy the warm weather on the beach and in the sea in Whitstable, Kent, as the hot weather continues (pictured)
The sun shone on competitors taking part in the 2018 Thames Barge race which started at 10am this morning in Gravesend
Crowds flock to Weymouth beach as the school holidays start and the heatwave on the Dorset coast continues
Others used the sunny day to collect oysters during the Whitstable Oyster Festival
Barges have to complete a return course between Gravesend and Southend on Sea in the competition which began in 1863
Temperatures are set to remain in the high-20s across southern parts and could climb even higher going into the weekend
Professor John O’Hagan, of Public Health England, told the Telegraph: ‘Our advice is to think about what you’re doing in the sun and use some common sense.
‘Know the limits of your own skin, don’t stay out in strong sunshine for too long, wear wraparound sunglasses, wear a hat, cover up with light clothing and if you need to, seek shade during the hottest parts of the day and use sunscreen that’s at least factor 15.’
With the sunny weather showing no signs of relenting, a reservoir near Chorley, Lancashire, has become parched and cracked.
Photographs capture the Yarrow reservoir, which was built to supply Liverpool, dry and barren – showcasing only a muddy display.
Children can be seen enjoying the start to their summer holidays by having a splash in the sea in Weymouth beach in Dorset
Many of the vessels involved in the Thames Barge Race are more than 80 years old
Plenty of people enjoyed the start of the school holidays in Weymouth beach in Dorset this weekend
The two-day festival is a celebration of Whitstable’s oyster trade
Sunday will be the better of the two days, with England seeing ‘fine, dry weather, sunny spells’, with the mercury rising above 30C (86F) (pictured: Weymouth beach in Dorset)
Pictured: The parched and cracked landscape at Yarrow reservoir near Chorley, which was built to supply Liverpool
The water feature (pictured) is owned by Umited Utilities, who are introducing a hosepipe ban on 5 August 2018
The water feature is owned by Umited Utilities, who are introducing a hosepipe ban on 5 August 2018.
Britons are apparently missing crucial areas, such as backs of knees, ears, and underarms, when applying suncream – putting them at risk of cancer.
Matthew Patey, CEO of BSF, said: ‘The rise in hospital admissions for sunburn isn’t surprising as the current heatwave continues.
‘However, it is avoidable and by following a few simple steps people can prevent not only a visit to A&E but also the harmful long term effects of sun exposure.’
The muddy gulley is where the small River Yarrow should be, it normally flows through the bridge
The RAC claimed that some nine million people could be on the roads over the weekend during the major getaway
|DAY||LEISURE TRIPS BY CAR||WORST TIMES TO TRAVEL ON MAJOR ROADS||BEST TIMES TO TRAVEL ON MAJOR ROADS||WORST ROADS FOR LONG DELAYS|
|FRIDAY||3.8million||Between 2pm and 5.30pm||Between 7pm and 9pm||M40 south, J3a to J1a: 1hr 30min delay at lunchtime // M5 south, J12 to J31: 1hr 17min delay late afternoon // M5 north, J31 to J12: 1hr 9min delay mid-afternoon // A303, M3 to A37: 52min delay late afternoon|
|SATURDAY||3.2million||Between 11.30am and 1pm||Between 7am and 9am||M25 anticlockwise, J23 to J16: 40min delay early afternoon // M1 north, J6 to J23a: 20min delay late afternoon|
|SUNDAY||2.2million||Between 12pm and 1pm||Between 7am and 9am||M25 anticlockwise, J23 to J16: 30 minute delay at lunchtime // M40 south, J3a to J1a: 20min delay late afternoon (Source: The RAC/ Inrix)|
What are the RAC’s tips on avoiding (or coping with) traffic jams?
1) Think carefully about when you’re travelling: Most traffic queues are caused by too many cars on the same roads at the same time. If you can travel outside the peak times – think early in the morning or later in the evening – you can easily miss them.
2) Make sure your car, and anything you are towing, are up to the job:Many summer breakdowns are avoidable – punctures for instance can be caused by a tyre that is in poor condition or just not inflated properly. And ageing batteries can struggle in lots of stop-start traffic – consider replacing it if you have any concerns. And check your air conditioning is cooling properly – if it’s not, it might need re-gassing, an easy job for a good garage.
3) Make sure you and your passengers are as well: Hungry, thirsty or tired passengers are recipes for in-car irritability – and ‘carguments’. So when setting out, pack enough food and water to keep your passengers happy, and plan in enough breaks along the way.
More than a quarter of British people don’t feel the need to wear suncream at all, a new YouGov study found.
Twenty-seven per cent of respondents don’t wear it and 26 per cent stick to factor 30.
Over this weekend the South East and parts of Wales will experience temperatures in the mid-20s, rising on Sunday, while north-west Scotland will see cloudier and wetter conditions.
A couple enjoy the warm weather on the beach in Whitstable, Kent, as the hot weather continues
Man’s best friend: This photograph shows a dog and his owner enjoying a splash in the sea in Weymouth beach, Dorset
Thunderstorm warnings were in place across most of south-east England until the end of Friday, the Met Office said.
Forecasters ‘probably won’t need’ to extend them into Saturday although heavy rain was persisting in the South West and Wales.
Meteorologist Steven Keates said: ‘We have got some heavy showers around in a line from South West towards Dorset, Hampshire way at this point – nothing especially disruptive.
‘In Wales and south-west England there are some clusters of showery rain which could bring some heavy bursts very locally – probably not to the extent mentioned in the warning.’
Mr Keates said: ‘There will still be dribs and drabs of drizzly rain in places but the amount of rain at this stage should probably not be much.
‘Most places will see some sunshine by the afternoon but there still will be quite a lot of cloud in some places – it won’t be wall-to-wall sunshine.’
As of Wednesday, the UK had just 1.85in (47mm) of rain, making it the driest start to summer in modern records which date back to 1961, followed by 2013 with 2.3in (59mm) of rain.
More than nine million people are expected to take to the roads on leisure trips between Friday and Sunday
How does this year’s UK heatwave compare with 1976?
The heatwave that hit the UK in the summer of 1976 was one of the longest in living memory and triggered the most significant drought for at least the last 150 years. How does this year’s hot spell compare so far?
- In 1976, there were 15 consecutive days when temperatures reached 89.6F (32C) or higher somewhere in the UK, according to the Met Office. So far this year, there have been only two consecutive days when temperatures have hit 89.6F (32C) or higher: June 28 and June 29.
- By this point in 1976 (July 17), Northern Ireland had seen 12 days since the start of June with no recorded rainfall. This year, Northern Ireland clocked up 15 days of zero average rainfall just in June.
- Scotland had seven days of no recorded rainfall between June 1 and July 17, 1976. In 2018, Scotland saw seven days of no rainfall in June alone.
- In England and Wales, an average rainfall of zero was recorded on 16 days between June 1 and July 17, 1976. By contrast, eight days of no rain were recorded between June 1 and June 30, 2018 (the latest available data).
- Temperatures during the heatwave of 1976 peaked at 96.1F (35.6C) in Southampton on June 28 and then 96.6F (35.9C) in Cheltenham on July 3. So far this summer the highest temperature recorded anywhere in the UK is 91.4F (33C) at Porthmadog in Gwynedd on June 28.
- June 2018 was sunnier than June 1976. An average of 239.9 hours of sunshine were recorded across the UK in June 2018, compared with 205.5 hours in June 1976.
- June 2018 was also drier than June 1976. Average rainfall across the UK totalled 37.5mm (1.47in) in June 1976. The provisional figure for this year is 35.4mm (1.39in), which would make June 2018 the ninth driest on record.