Although nowhere near , the Met Office is still urging people to stay “sun sensible” – drink lots of water and stay out of the sun in the hottest part of the day.

Beaches along the south coast of England – where 31C (87.8F) is forecast – are likely to be packed this weekend.

And those temperatures could also be replicated as far north as the Midlands, where it will get up to around 28C (82.4F) on Sunday.

Image: A man paddle boards near Brighton on Friday Image: A dog takes a swim in the bathing pond on Hampstead Heath in London

Scotland and Northern Ireland will miss out, with thick cloud threatening to bring patchy rain, but commuters in London may find themselves envious once the working week begins.

It could reach 32C (89.6F) in the capital and the heat is unlikely to show any mercy until Wednesday when conditions are expected to become “fresher and more changeable” because of cooler Atlantic air.

Any chance of the UK‘s heat record of 38.5C (101.3F) being broken looks to have passed for now, but it will stay warm and dry for most until the end of the week.

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For Britons abroad however, particularly in Portugal and Spain, the heat could be far tougher to deal with.

Parts of the Iberian Peninsula are nearing the mid-40s and there is a chance Saturday could come close to the all-time record for Europe, according to forecasters..

Image: Parts of southern Spain and Portugal are well into the 40s. Pic: AEMET

Emergency services have issued a red alert until Sunday, with medical staff on standby, and hundreds of firefighters are being backed up by water-dropping aircraft as they battle a wildfire in Portugal‘s Algarve region.

In Spain, heat warnings have been issued for 41 of the country‘s 50 provinces.