In pictures: Lightning and hail storms across northern England

Bolton at about 22:36 BST on Wednesday Image copyright Rhys Bradley
Image caption Rhys Bradley used his phone to capture lighting over Bolton at about 22:30 BST on Wednesday

Storms have swept across northern England in the wake of what for many places was the hottest July day on record in the UK.

Up to 40,000 properties in the north-east were left without power after the violent storms struck.

Some properties have been damaged by lightning and vehicles were hit by golf ball-sized hailstones.

Here is a selection of photos shared by BBC News readers and viewers.

Image copyright Jason Wright
Image caption Jason Wright said he "just happened to have my camera ready" when thunder and lightning struck Oldham, Greater Manchester, at about 23:00 BST on Wednesday
Image copyright Nikola O'Hara
Image caption Nikola O'Hara said "the best lightning storm I've ever witnessed" struck the skies over Oakworth in West Yorkshire at about 23:00 BST on Wednesday, but the hail "ruined my lovely garden"
Image copyright Mick Ormiston
Image caption Mick Ormiston photographed the thunderstorm over his home in Consett, County Durham, at about 00:40 BST
Image copyright Ryan Omann
Image caption Ryan Omann took this photo in his back garden in South Shields at about 00:15 BST
Image copyright Katrina Lumley
Image caption Katrina Lumley photographed "the best thunderstorm we have had in years" from her house in Barnard Castle, County Durham, at about midnight
Image copyright Hannah Robinson
Image caption Hannah Robinson took this photo in Seaham, County Durham, at about 01:15 BST
Image copyright Tim Mason
Image caption Tim Mason, from Halifax in West Yorkshire, saw hailstones falling at about 23:00 on Wednesday that were bigger than two pence pieces
Image copyright NAomi Little
Image caption Naomi Little took this photo from her bedroom window in Torpenhow, Cumbria, at about 23:30 BST on Wednesday as her two friends watched the storm pass over
Image copyright Axton Gray
Image caption Axton Gray, 15, photographed the lightning from his garden in Buxton, Derbyshire, at about 23:00 BST on Wednesday
Image copyright Siobhán Alderson
Image caption Siobhán Alderson took this photo of a large hailstone that fell in Keighley, West Yorkshire, at about 23:00 BST on Wednesday
Image copyright Simon Williams
Image caption Simon Williams, who lives in Preston, Lancashire, photographed lightning at about 22:45 BST on Wednesday
Image copyright Lee Hanson
Image caption Lee Hanson used his mobile phone to photograph the storm over Sale, Greater Manchester, at about 22:20 BST on Wednesday
Image copyright Debbie Todd
Image caption Debbie Todd took this photo in Greencroft, County Durham, at about 15:40 BST on Wednesday
Image copyright Scott Martin
Image caption Scott Martin was in Darlington, County Durham, when a storm came over at about 15:00 BST on Wednesday and lightning appeared to strike the town clock

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