-Warmest temperature for a March day in Scotland set in Fyvie Castle near Aberdeen with 22.8C
-Parts of UK hotter than Barcelona, Nice, Majorca and Faro in Portugal
-High temperatures and dry weather forecast to last into the week
By ELEANOR HARDING
Sunshine smile: Six-year-old Thomas Kingston surges through the vivid yellow flowers of a rapeseed field in North Yorkshire
If you thought the weekend’s glorious weather was too good to last, think again.
We’ve got at least another three days of beautiful sunshine ahead of us.
The Met Office predicted highs of 21c (70f) across the country for today, tomorrow and Wednesday.
It comes after parts of Britain enjoyed temperatures higher than those recorded in Cannes and Crete. Scotland noted a record temperature for March, 22.8c (73f), beating the previous March high of 22.2c in 1965. This was also the warmest temperature in the UK yesterday.
Forecasters predict chilly starts followed by sunshine and highs of 21c in both the North and the South over the next few days.
Melting: Sisters, Lilly Heath, 3 and Hollie Skinner, 7 enjoy icecreams in the sun on the beach in Southsea, Hampshire, today, as temperatures soared
Rebecca Sherwin, a Met Office forecaster, said: ‘The weather is reasonably unusual for this time of year.
‘We’ve got high pressure sat over the UK at the moment, causing very settled weather. It means the day warms up very quickly in the morning.’
Fun in the sun: Children didn't need much encouragement to cool off in the new Bradford Citypark fountains, as West Yorkshire was bathed in glorious sunshine
Drenched: The youngsters in Bradford got soaking wet as they tried keeping cool in the heatwave
Cooling off: Hundreds of people flocked to Brighton beach to soak up the sun today, including Londoners Rania Nafissah, left, Jessica Pearcey, centre, and Kym Shaen-Carter
Yesterday saw many beaches and parks packed as temperatures rose to more than 11c above the seasonal average. One group of charity fundraisers took advantage of the warmth to strip off for a game of naked miniature golf.
The group of 30, who raised more than £3,000 for The Prostate Cancer Charity, set a world record at Southend seafront, Essex – for the most naked people to play miniature golf in one hour.
Yesterday’s highest temperature – at Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire – beat many of those in the Middle East. It was 19c (66.2f) in Tel Aviv, and 18c (64.4f) in Tehran. Temperatures failed to get above 19c in Cannes, Majorca, or Crete.
Hot work: The heat was too much for some as the sun-seekers on Brighton beach today basked in balmy temperatures and uninterrupted sunshine
A quick dip: Student Lexi Payne, 19, wades into the sea off Bournemouth beach, in Dorset, today while enjoying the scorching temperatures which ushered in British Summer Time
But it wasn’t all fun in the sun. It was cloudy and misty in some eastern, coastal areas of Britain.
While this weekend’s warm spell was good news for many, it will add to fears of droughts this summer.
The Environment Agency says it has been the driest March since records began and hosepipe bans are due in many areas from April 5. A spokesman said: ‘What we really need is a prolonged period of rainfall.’
Taking the plunge: Biscuit the dog drenched his owner after leaping into the cooling waters of a canal in Mossley, Greater Manchester, today, for a bit of relief from the heat
The combination of soggy summer, mild winter and recent warm weather will make this year’s display of spring magnolias the most spectacular in living memory, say experts.
The trees are likely to be at their best over the next two or three weeks.
Colin Crosbie of the Royal Horticultural Society gardens at Wisley, Surrey, said: ‘We were lucky to have a wet warm summer which was great for bud formation, followed by a mostly mild winter so the buds weren’t damaged.’
Two year-old Cecily Dargan plays in the daffodils as the fine weekend weather continues at Lee-on-the-Solent in Hampshire
People enjoying the continuing fine weather in rowing boats at the Hollow Pond in Leytonstone, London
Rowers take advantage of the fine weather on the River Trent at Burton, Staffordshire
Stretching out: Personal trainer Tara Hammett makes the most of the warm weather at Langland Bay, near Swansea, south Wales yesterday
Crowds of people flock to Brighton Beach as the sun shines in Sussex yesterday. The good news is that the weather will only be getting warmer now
Hot fuss: Visitors enjoy the view of the River Cam in Cambridge in one of the traditional boats
This is the life: A student makes the most of the sunshine by putting up her feet and reading a book in one of the river boats
Easy does it: Members of the public punt around Magdalen College School playing fields in Cambridge during the warm spring weather yesterday
Hotter than California: Britain saw temperatures of 21.7C but it wasn't so warm up north
The Environment Agency says it has been the driest March since records began.
A spokesman said: ‘We’re working with farmers to keep them going through the summer. However, it’s been a very dry week and river levels are continuing to fall.
'Obviously, it’s nice to have a sunny weekend but what we really need is a prolonged period of rainfall.’
All smiles... Proud father Peter and his sunshine girl
He may have just lost his job at the Royal Bank of Scotland but Peter Phillips was all smiles in the sunshine yesterday.
The Queen’s grandson was enjoying himself with his wife Autumn and their 15-month-old daughter Savannah at the Gatcombe Horse Trials in Gloucestershire.
Enjoying the sun: Savannah goes for a stroll, then tucks into a tasty ice cream cone