Top temperatures hit 24C on Sunday with the sunshine set to continue into Monday and the rest of next week as the UK finally gets a taste of summer.
The mercury reached 24C at Achnagart in Scotland – a marked contrast from the washout most of the month has been so far – but not quite enough to make it the hottest day of the year.
That bar was set on March 30 at Kew Gardens when the temperature hit 24.5C.
But that record is not expected to stand for much longer, with forecasters confident the bank holiday will see highs of 25C.
The fine weather and long weekend sent Britons flocking to parks and beaches as well as pubs and restaurants now that Covid-19 restrictions have mostly been lifted.
Bournemouth beach was packed with sun worshippers, while up in Edinburgh visitors to Portobello beach braved a misty morning knowing the damp air would give way to sunshine in the afternoon.
Becky Mitchell, a meteorologist from the Met Office, told the PA news agency: “We are expecting highs of 25C (77F) tomorrow, so the warmest day of the year so far, and both today and tomorrow we will see temperatures in the low 20s in most parts of the UK, even in northern Scotland.”
She continued: “The only exception is along the east coast – there is quite a lot of low cloud, mist and fog in east coastal areas and that will stay for the next few days, so highs of between 12C (53.6F) and 16C (60.8F) there – quite a lot lower than elsewhere.”
Although a fine bank holiday is a rarity, in themselves the temperatures are not unusual for the time of year, with the mercury usually sitting in the high teens and low 20s by late May.
But Ms Mitchell warned there could be some thunderstorms on the way.
“There will potentially be some thunderstorms by midweek, the first bout of showers will come into parts of the South West and there will be a few thunderstorms in that,” she said.
The storms in the South West are expected to hit on Wednesday, with the South East due a bit of a soaking by Friday.
“There’s a chance of some thundery break down in the South East and we could have some quite intense storms there,” Ms Mitchell said.
“There’s still a lot of uncertainty but with the warm and humid weather we are having we have the key ingredients for thunderstorms.”
She continued: “The warmer weather will stick around until at least Thursday in most places, that’s when we could get some slightly fresher air coming in.
“Temperatures will possibly peak on Wednesday, with highs of up to 27C.”
May was the fourth wettest on record for the UK, and the wettest ever for Wales.
Despite some bookies offering 2/1 odds on next month being the hottest June ever, Ms Mitchell said there is nothing in the long-range forecast at the moment that would indicate that will be the case.
“There are no strong signals for it to be the warmest June on record. Temperatures will come down a little by the end of next week, and it won’t be as warm from Thursday onwards, so there are no strong signals, although it is a bit early to tell.”