29 September 2011
Last updated at 03:22
Many areas of the UK have been experiencing unbroken sunshine and unseasonably high temperatures for late September. The hottest place in the country on Wednesday was Gravesend in Kent, which reached 27C (81F). Many people took to the water to cool off, like these three in Cullercoats, North Tyneside.
Temperatures in London and south-east England are expected to remain in the mid to high-20s until next Tuesday. In the capital, the balmy conditions brought people out in the parks and by the Thames.
Temperatures in Edinburgh reached 24C - the warmest day for this time of year in the city for almost half a century. On the coast, walkers on the beach in St Andrews made the most of the day.
Bathers were also out on the beach in Eastbourne, East Sussex. Forecasters say the hottest temperatures will continue to be seen in the south and east of England, where highs in many areas could reach 27C on Friday.
The Met Office says the hot weather is caused by a high pressure system pushing warm air north across France and towards the UK. The high pressure is holding rain and wind coming in from the Atlantic away from the west.
These men felt the need to cool down in the fountains of Trafalgar Square. However, the conditions are not setting any UK records. Temperatures exceeded 28C on 21 September 2006 and the all-time high in the month of 30.6C was achieved in Hampshire in 1895.
The "mini-heatwave" is expected to deliver sunshine across the whole of England and Wales for the rest of the week.
The hot temperatures should continue through the weekend, although rain is predicted for western Scotland and Northern Ireland in the next few days, where the highs will be closer to the seasonal average of 17C.