Brits are today flocking in their droves to beaches and parks as the glorious warm sunshine continues.
After weeks of grey skies, freezing temperatures and rain, the UK is even hotter than the Rome, Turkey and South of France - and forecasters say there's more balmy weather to come.
Most of the country is set for a second and possibly third day of sunshine, with temperatures looking set to beat Tuesday's 25C.
In coastal regions from Tenby to Bournemouth - recently voted Britain's favourite beach destination - deckchairs and sunloungers have been the order of the day.
The Met Office says: "Temperatures are likely to stay hot, and may reach 26C today (Wednesday). By Friday they may drop slightly to around 22C but this should continue into the weekend," said a spokesperson.
City Park, Bradford, Wednesday May 23/PA
But most forecasters are cautious to predict whether the sunshine will last until the Diamond Jubilee weekend.
According to the Weather Channel, sunshine will remain until next weekend, but after that the signs are that the weather will be more patchy, with clouds and possible thunder storms. Highs of around 18C are expected towards the middle of next week in the south of England.
In the north, sunshine will remain until early next week, when rain is forecast. However, there are signs that the sunshine will return in time for the weekend.
In the meantime, we've suddenly become a nation of sun worshippers. Jools Oliver made the most of the sunshine with her son Buddy Bear in Primrose Hill, London (above) while keepers at Chester Zoo gave their Indian elephants a cold shower to cool them down (below).
Even the queen (below) was enjoying the warmth. Along with 8,000 guests, she appeared to be enjoying the sunshine at the first Buckingham Palace garden party of the summer on Tuesday.
Best British seaside stays
Brits go barmy for the hottest day of the year... but will it last?
For a blissful beach break check in to the Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa in Dorset where you can wake up to incredible views over Christchurch Harbour and be pampered at the luxury spa. Dine at the Harbour Restaurant, which has a terrace and outdoor grill, or at The Jetty, which serves freshly-caught seafood. Outside the hotel you can walk to the sugar-almond coloured beach huts on Hengistbury Head and explore the spectacular coastline and countryside. Rooms from £149.
This beautiful 15th century Scottish castle in Caithness boasts a spectacular coastal setting overlooking Sinclair's Bay. At Ackergill Tower you can choose to sleep in the Tower, the Old Laundry or even the Keepers Cottage. There are five extra rooms in the secluded Beach House too. If you tire of the beach views, you can disappear into the countryside on the other side of the hotel and discover the Tree House perched high in 150-year-old sycamore trees. Great activities around the hotel include fishing, archery and kayaking, plus you won't want to leave without experiencing an Ackergill Tower beach bonfire, which comes with hot chocolate and the sounds of bagpipes! Rooms from £250 including dinner or £11,100 for exclusive use of the property for two nights for up to 52 people.
Standing out on the Aberaeron harbour with its distinctive blue facade, the Harbourmaster hotel is a lovely seaside retreat in Ceredigion, West Wales, providing the perfect setting for a nautical chic break. There are 13 rooms in three Georgian buildings - each named after ships built in the harbour in the 19th century. Locally sourced food like lobster and spider crab are served in the restaurant and the hotel's own ale is sold in the bar. A couple of doors down is a cottage you can rent with three bedrooms, a wood fuel burner and cosy interiors. Rooms from £110.
For the ultimate seaside break check in to this impressive Victorian building overlooking Kent Estuary in the Southern Lake District village of Arnside. At Number 43 you can watch amazing Morecambe Bay sunsets, sleep in a coastal chic bedroom (one even has a bath for two with stunning views of the Lakeland fells) and enjoy breakfast on the terrace, which looks out onto the estuary and the wealth of wildlife - you may spot a few oystercatchers and herons circling the sands. Expect local coastal art on the walls, a generous selection of REN products in the en-suite bathrooms and cosy king sized beds. Rooms from £120.
Go for eco luxe by the sea at the fabulous Scarlet hotel, which perches on cliff-tops looking out over the golden sands of Mawgan Porth in North Cornwall. Whether you want to go surfing, wild swimming or Nordic walking, there’s plenty to do around the adult-only hotel. There's also an amazing spa with a variety of treatments and a log-fired hot tub outside with spectacular sea views! All of the bedrooms offer views of the sea and have floor-to-ceiling windows so you can take in the wonderful setting. Rooms from £190.
As the name suggests, this gorgeous house in the pretty village of Angmering-on-Sea in West Sussex was designed in a New England style with beach lovers in mind. The inside is just as attractive as the exterior with plenty of space for 12 people, a beautiful kitchen, bedrooms with sea views and light decor. There's a hot tub in the private garden, as well as sun loungers, a barbeque and showers outside, plus direct access to the beach. A perfect British seaside escape the whole family will love! From £2,500 per week.
For luxury by the sea in the idyllic Isles of Scilly, stay at one of the new stylish Sea Garden Cottages on Tresco that offer fine sea views, a stunning landscaped garden setting and sophisticated interiors. There's spacious open-plan living and private decks for alfresco dining over the clear Tresco waters. The new Ruin Beach Cafe on the shore serves Mediterranean-style food for when you don't feel like cooking and the modern cottages have original artworks inspired by the coastal setting. Sea Garden Cottages from £150 per person per night.
With a stylish setting overlooking North Norfolk's unspoilt coast, fresh seafood caught by local fishermen served in the AA rosette-rated restaurants and a choice of classic or contemporary bedrooms, Titchwell Manor is a fabulous seaside hotel. The boutique bolthole offers uninterrupted views across open marshes to the North Sea with golden sands and plenty of wildlife at the nearby RSPB Titchwell Marsh nature reserve. It's pet-friendly too with designated rooms for guests with dogs and you'll be given a map marked with the best short walks from the hotel. Rooms from £110.
With delightful pebbly beaches, amazing sunsets and tasty native oysters, Whitstable in Kent is the ideal spot for a traditional English beach break. The Hotel Continental is perfectly located on the beach with comfortable rooms but for the ultimate seaside experience stay in one of the Fisherman's Huts, just a short walk away. The eight huts were once used for storing cockle farmers' clutter and offer superb sea views and two floors of space. The view from the first floor is over the ranks of yachts around the bay to the Isle of Sheppey and across the remains of the World War II sea forts. Huts from £75.
Fancy a taste of the Riviera lifestyle? Head to The Carey Arms, which overlooks Babbacombe Bay in Devon for a sophisticated seaside stay. It has an English pub feel with the style and comfort of a boutique hotel. Devon beef, Lyme Bay lobster and line caught seafood are served in the restaurant, there's an outdoor fireplace so you can keep warm while enjoying the views. The rooms are sea-facing with light, New England-style decor and around the hotel you can go for tea and scones at a quaint cafe, take a boat ride to a secluded bay or watch the sunset from the rugged cliff-tops. Rooms from £160.