emperatures soared to 32.7C on Friday as the UK recorded the hottest day of the year so far.
The Met Office said Santon Downham, in Norfolk, recorded the highest temperature with 32.7C (90.86F) on Friday.
It was followed by London’s Heathrow Airport and Kew Gardens in west London, which both recorded 32.4C (90.32F).
The temperature record for the year has been broken for the third day in a row, with the mercury soaring to 29.5C (85.1F) in Northolt in west London on Thursday.
On Wednesday, 28.2C (82.76F) was recorded at Kew Gardens.
Met Office forecaster Annie Shuttleworth said despite predictions that Friday could be “the hottest Royal Ascot on record” in Berkshire, it just missed the title.
“The highest temperature we had for Ascot was 32.8C at Reading in 2017, but we had 32.7C today,” she said.
Thanks to the scorching heat, Ascot relaxed its dress code, allowing men in all enclosures to remove their jackets and ties once the traditional royal carriage procession had ended.
In Wales, a high of 28.4C (83F) was recorded in Cardiff, while in Northern Ireland the warmest temperature recorded was 17.5C (63F) in Glennane, Co Amargh.
As it sizzled in England, health alerts were issued for parts of the country.
The UK Health Security Agency issued a Level 3 heat-health alert for London, the East of England and the South East in order to protect health services, which remains in place.
A visitor takes a photo of the flowers of the ‘Superbloom’ garden in the moat of the Tower of London, in London (Dominic Lipinski/PA) / PA Wire
Meanwhile, Network Rail warned services may experience delays and disruption on Friday because of the heat, which can cause overhead wires to sag and the steel rails to buckle, and advised people check before they travel.
However, temperatures are expected to dip by 15C over the weekend.
Ms Shuttleworth cid: “The weekend is expected to have much cooler temperatures, with parts of the Midlands and central areas of the UK having the most significant changes.
“They’ll be closer to 16C or 17C tomorrow, so that’s 15 degrees cooler. Across parts of the Midlands there’ll be some relatively persistent rain and we’re also expecting that across parts of Wales and the southern areas tomorrow afternoon.
“The far south coast should hold on to the hot weather, so could see highs of 30C tomorrow close to Portsmouth.
“For Northern Ireland and Scotland, it’s actually going to be a brighter day than it has been today, relatively warm still.
“The sun is quite strong at this time of year, but it won’t be feeling as Mediterranean as it has been today for most of us but in the sunshine we do see over the weekend, we’ll still be feeling relatively warm.”
The highest recorded June temperature in the UK was 35.6C (95F) at Southampton Mayflower Park in June 1976, and forecasters do not expect the record to be surpassed this week.