July weekend in sunny weather forecast shock

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The Independent Online

The weather finally caught up with Britain's seasonal timetable yesterday, a month after summer officially began.

The weather finally caught up with Britain's seasonal timetable yesterday, a month after summer officially began.

Temperatures reached 80F (27C) and forecasters said they could do so again today before cooling a little on Sunday. A spokesman for the Meteorological Office said: "Saturday's sunshine will be more persistent on the western side of the country. Top temperatures are likely to be in the Welsh borders and Manchester area at about 25C - the high 70s.

"On the eastern side of the country we'll have low cloud coming in overnight and people will wake up on Saturday to find it a bit overcast, but this will break up during the morning.

"A similar thing will happen on Sunday. We'll have temperatures of 24C or 25C, so it will be warm, especially in the North-west, but it will be a little cooler towards the east coast as winds come in off the North Sea."

The Automobile Association said it did not expect huge delays on the roads, but warned motorists planning weekend breaks to check the latest traffic news before setting off and to work out an alternative route in case of motorway delays.

Traditional tourist destinations across the country were preparing for an influx of sun-seekers. In Blackpool, the Sandcastle, an indoor pool with wave machines and water chutes, was about to stop promoting its constant 84F temperature and substitute the slogan "it's cool in the pool".

A spokesman for the Blackpool tourist authority said: "This is a brilliant start to the school holidays. We're very busy already and we're looking forward to the sun bringing out even more visitors."

Mark Haslingden, of the Bournemouth hotel and restaurant association, said: "People are beginning to pack out the beaches ready for a really hot weekend." A spokesman for the Bournemouth tourist board said: "It has really been a mixed bag this year for the industry. The weather hasn't been great, and other resorts have complained that they have not been that busy. but here it seems to be going well."

A spokeswoman for theice-cream maker Walls said: "The sun always seems to bring smiles to people's faces and that's especially true here at our factory in Gloucester because ice-cream flies out of the freezers when the weather is hot."

There were smiles too at the Tussauds group, owners of three theme parks including Alton Towers in Staffordshire. A spokeswoman said: "The warm weather means more people want to come out, which is good news for us. We've had some pretty poor weather so far this year but our parks have been extremely busy over the last few days as the weather has improved."