Scorching temperatures across Britain are expected to continue today, as the Government issued advice on how to cope with the heat.
Yesterday, the temperature was 32C at Heathrow airport, coming close to breaking the record for this year, set last month, of 32.4C. Cloudless skies across the Midlands and the South-east ensured it remained around 10C above the average for the time of year.
In Scotland it was much cooler and stormy, while storms were also predicted across the western fringes of the UK. There were showers in Devon, Cornwall, Cheshire, Lancashire and Wales.
The Department of Health is advising people, particularly the very young, old and those with chronic diseases, to take steps to prevent the adverse effects of hot weather.
Its Heatwave leaflet suggests staying indoors during the hottest part of the day and drinking water or fruit juice regularly. Alcohol, tea and coffee should be avoided as they make dehydration worse.
The hot weather and the World Cup quarter-finals saw shops empty as people enjoyed barbecues or stayed in front of their televisions. The retailer John Lewis reported an 11 per cent drop from last year in sales on the first day of its summer clearance.