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Records smashed in heatwave

Britain sizzled again today as the record-breaking mini heatwave baked the country.

Temperatures well above average for this time of year were recorded up and down the UK, with Finningley in South Yorkshire topping the afternoon's chart.

With the mercury peaking at 29.0C (84F), the hotspot smashed the previous warmest September 29, which was recorded in York in 1895 when the thermometer reached 27.8C (82F).

London enjoyed a sweltering 28.1C (83F) at Kew Gardens in the west of the capital, while the seaside village of Weybourne in Norfolk basked in 27.1C (81F) heat.

The balmy conditions are set to continue into the weekend, and sun-seekers are taking the opportunity to head to the coast, as well as parks and rivers to soak up the rays.

The unseasonably warm weather is more than 10C (18F) higher than the average temperature for the end of September.

Tom Tobler, forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "It's dry and sunny almost across the whole of Europe.

"A southerly wind across the UK is bringing warm air across England, but Scotland and Ireland are fairly cloudy."

He said there had been some rain in east Scotland, but in Wales and England there is "hardly a cloud in the sky".

The meteorologist said the weather will remain largely the same across the UK until the start of next week, before it cools off on Tuesday with a chance of showers.

Virgin Trains said services into London's Euston Station were being delayed by a few minutes because of 20mph speed restrictions imposed southbound in the Wembley area, because of the heat.

The restrictions were put in place at 2.30pm and were still in force two hours later.

Network Rail said there were some temporary speed restrictions in place over short stretches of track because of the heat.

A spokeswoman said: "There are no significant delays to any passenger services today owing to the warm weather.

"At a small number of locations there are temporary speed restrictions in place over short stretches of track but these will have little impact, if any, on journey times."