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Baking bank holiday: May break set to be a hot one (unless you live in the north)

Temperatures could reach 21 degrees in the south of England

Travellers eager to get away this bank holiday weekend should set their sights on the south coast as forecasters say that temperatures could reach as high as 21C (70F).

While southern conditions will stay dry and warm, rain is expected in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

"There is high pressure to the south of England and this is giving the south generally dry and fine weather over the weekend," said Tom Tobler, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the Press Association's weather division.

Rain is likely across Scotland and Norther Ireland, he said, with some of this wet weather possibly spreading down into northern England and Wales.

Tomorrow should be dry across central and southern England, with temperatures as high as 20C.

Weather warnings have been issued for parts of west Scotland tomorrow. Outbreaks of heavy rain mean there could be a risk of localised flooding until tomorrow evening.

Saturday and Sunday should stay dry and sunny across the south, with temperatures remaining at 20C, but Scotland and Northern Ireland could see more rain on Sunday. Temperatures are unlikely to rise above 14C in Scotland and Northern Ireland during the weekend.

The west will see some cloud and patchy rain on bank holiday Monday itself, but the south is likely to escape these showers, with temperatures peaking at 21C.

The dry and sunny conditions will be ideal for those looking at getting away over the break.

Channel Tunnel high-speed train company Eurostar said it was set for its busiest weekend of the year, with more than 100,000 passengers expected to travel over the bank holiday weekend.

The company starts a new weekly direct service to Lyon and Provence in southern France on Saturday.

Train companies said six million passenger journeys were expected to be made over the bank holiday weekend.

Engineering works will mean disrupted services on some routes, although the Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc) said there would be a third fewer buses replacing trains than on the same weekend last year.

Routes affected by engineering work this weekend include all services through Lancaster, between Reading in Berkshire and Basingstoke in Hampshire, between Preston and Carlisle and between London and St Albans in Hertfordshire.

Atoc chief executive Michael Roberts said: "Across the network as a whole, bank holidays tend to be quieter than normal on the railways. But we're still expecting millions of passengers to get out and about visiting friends and family, travelling to festivals or heading to sporting events.

"The vast majority of people taking the train should experience no disruption because of improvement works taking place."