In pictures: Britain basks in bank holiday sunshine

Spring weather May 31st 2021
Beachgoers at Boscombe in Dorset wasted no time in taking advantage of the sunshine, with a sizable crowd on Monday morning (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Britons flocked to beaches and parks on Bank Holiday Monday – which was expected to be the hottest day of the year so far.

The Met Office said temperatures could hit 25C in parts of the UK – a welcome change from what forecasters described as the fourth wettest May on record.

But people were urged to make hay while the sun shines, as despite the warm start to the week, temperatures could soon dip – with the risk of thunderstorms on the way.

Many sun-seekers made an early start on Monday…

Spring weather May 31st 2021
Busy scenes on the sea front at Boscombe beach (Andrew Matthews/PA)
A busy Bournemouth beach on Monday afternoon
A busy Bournemouth beach on Monday afternoon (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Spring weather
Daredevils brave the zip-line at Bournemouth (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Cop26 environment conference artwork
There was an interesting contrast in temperatures in Merseyside, with visitors to New Brighton Beach in Wallasey greeted by 26 ice sculptures of children as part of an environmental campaign (Peter Byrne/PA)
Cop26 environment conference artwork
Toby Heptinstall, three, with one of the ice sculptures. Campaigners are calling on world leaders to commit to net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, ahead of the forthcoming Cop26 global climate conference (Peter Byrne/PA)

Although a fine bank holiday is rare, 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.

The Met Office warned previously that levels of harmful UV light will be very high over the coming days, and advised people to wear plenty of sunscreen.

Venturing across the stepping stones at Bolton Abbey in North Yorkshire
Venturing across the stepping stones at Bolton Abbey in North Yorkshire (PA)
A woman takes her dog paddle-boarding on the canal in Paddington Basin, north London
A woman takes her dog paddle-boarding on the canal in Paddington Basin, north London (Aaron Chown/PA)
Canoeing on the colourful canal in Paddington Basin
Canoeing on the colourful canal in Paddington Basin (Aaron Chown/PA)
People ride pedalos on the Serpentine in Hyde Park, London
People ride pedalos on the Serpentine in Hyde Park, London (Aaron Chown/PA)
Cooling off in Warleigh Weir, Bath
Cooling off in Warleigh Weir, Bath (Ben Birchall/PA)
Soaking up the sun near Warleigh Weir
Soaking up the sun near Warleigh Weir (Ben Birchall/PA)