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Thousands flock to the coast as Britain enjoys temperatures above 20C

But enjoy it while it lasts, because temperatures are expected to tail off into the week

England and Wales might not see the hottest day of the year so far, but thousands have basked in the Bank Holiday Monday sun, with highs of 21C in London and 21.3C in Lincolnshire.

Despite hopes of the temperature climbing above 23C - the record set on April 25 - cloudy skies mean the record should remain intact.

Following the coldest Easter on record, the sunshine has gradually increased over the weekend and temperatures are expected to peak at 22C in many areas.

But Scotland and Northern Ireland remained cooler, with highs of 17C along with spells of cloud and rain.

Earlier Billy Payne, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "It doesn't matter where you are in England and Wales today, it's going to be lovely.

"It's going to be at least 20C in most places and up to 22C in some areas in East Anglia, London, Midlands and Lincolnshire.

"There's a chance it may beat our predictions and end up being the hottest day of the year so far.

"There will be a risk of some showers but I don't want to spoil the message that it's going to be a very sunny day."

This year's expected sunny Bank Holiday will be a big improvement on last year, which saw rain and a high of 16C.

On Saturday temperatures reached 18C in Lincolnshire and 18.3C in Cambridge before climbing to 20.9C at Hol Beach in Lincolnshire and Aberdeenshire yesterday.

But temperatures are expected to tail off tomorrow before turning cloudy and unsettled on Wednesday.