People enjoy the warm weather in Bournemouth, Dorset (Image: Vagner Vidal/Hyde News & Pictures Ltd)

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Beaches have been packed today as Brits headed out to enjoy the warm weather, with the mercury reaching 27C in some parts of the country.

A heatwave is on the cards for this weekend and next week, with temperatures expected to peak above 30C.

Today, people have been pictured relaxing on the beach and going for a swim to bask in the sun.

Locals gathered in Bournemouth, Dorset, to make the most of the warm weather before visitors are expected to visit the area at the weekend.

Groups of friends were also seen enjoying the heat in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, after days of wet and cold weather.

A group of friends enjoys the sunny weather in Barry Island, South Wales
(Image: WALES NEWS SERVICE)

In Polzeath, Cornwall, beachgoers and surfers were seen making the most of the sunny weather.

Met Office meteorologist Alex Deakin said: "Hot and sunny pretty much sums up the rest of today and indeed the weekend for the vast majority."

He added some clouds may form throughout the day, especially in parts of Scotland, but temperatures are rising.

The forecaster said tonight there may be clouds forming in the Irish Sea and East Anglia.

A two-year-old baby makes a sandcastle with his parents on Blackpool beach
(Image: James Speakman/Mercury Press)

But he warned: "It's going to be a warm and humid night for many, temperatures in many towns and cities are staying in the mid-teens."

The weekend is expected to remain warm and Sunday is tipped to be the hottest day, with highs of up to 31C.

Most areas of the UK, including Scotland and Northern Ireland, are set to be bathed in warm temperatures.

Crowds of holidaymakers flocked to the beach at the picturesque seaside resort of Lyme Regis in Dorset
(Image: Alamy Live News.)

On Saturday and Saturday, London and the South East are set for the warmest temperatures, according to the Met Office.

The national forecaster is predicting a mostly dry weekend with plenty of sunshine for most parts of the UK.

Mr Deakin explained that sea breezes will make temperatures will a little lower on coasts, but many inland areas will experience temperatures in the high 20s.

Two people relax on Weston-super-Mare beach
(Image: Tom Wren / SWNS)

The forecasted added that UV levels, as well as pollen levels, will continue to be high or very high over the weekend.

The Met Office said: "With temperatures rising over the weekend it is likely to be the hottest weekend of the year so far."

Due to the heatwave, Public Health England has issued a warning, urging people to take measures to keep cool and support those who may be at risk in the warm weather.

Dr Owen Landeg, scientific and technical lead at PHE, said: "Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense and for many people spells of warmer weather are something they very much enjoy.

The beach at Durdle Door in Dorset was also busy today
(Image: Graham Hunt/BNPS)

"However, for some people, such as older people, those with underlying health conditions and young children, the summer heat can bring real health risks.

"That's why we're urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be at risk. If you're able, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any support.

"Also take water with you when travelling and keep up to date with weather forecasts.

"It's also worth remembering the practical steps to keep homes cool during the day as this can aid sleeping at night and give the body time to recover from the heat."

UK 5 day weather forecast Today

The far southeast of England may start cloudy, while across parts of western Scotland cloud burns back towards coasts. Many other areas sunny and very warm, just some patchy cloud around by afternoon.

Tonight

After a sunny, warm evening, temperatures falling after dark, as it stays fine for many with long clear spells and light winds.

Saturday

Sunny and very warm for many, hot in parts of England and Wales. A few coasts cooler and misty, while parts of the northwest cloudier; some drizzle in northwest Scotland.

Outlook for Sunday to Tuesday

Largely settled and warm or very warm with plenty of sunshine. Cloudier and cooler across parts of the north on Sunday and into Monday with some rain in places.