Today will be the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures to climb as high as 27C.

Temperature around Hertfordshire, north London and east London will reach 26C, making it the hottest day of the week and the year so far.

And the hot weather is here to stay. Over the next few days, most parts of the UK will see warm sunshine and clear skies as the mercury climbs into the mid-20s. Parts of the UK will be warmer than some of Europe's top holiday destinations, including Marbella and Ibiza.

The mini heatwave will continue into Friday for some, testing the nation's resolve as people are asked to avoid crowded outdoor spaces so two metre social distancing can be observed.

On Monday and Tuesday next week, there will be continued sun with temperatures around 22°C.

Matthew Box, a Met Office meteorologist said: "It's going to be very hot for large parts of England for most of the week, reaching highs of 27°C on Wednesday, which would make it the hottest day of the year so far.

"This will occur due to large areas of high pressure, combined with southerly winds from the continent, bringing with it, pleasant sunshine, dry skies and warmer air."

There is a possibility of thunder and bands of rain across the south and east of England and Wales on Thursday while Friday could be windy, mainly for western areas, with heavy downpours.