Britons swarm to beaches and parks as UK records hottest March day since 1968

Temperatures topped 24°C on Tuesday and it's expected to stay warm on Wednesday

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Britons have flocked to beaches and parks across the country as the UK basked in warm weather.

Temperatures topped 24°C on Tuesday, with the south of England experiencing the warmest weather.

Crowds flocked to beaches in Brighton, Bournemouth and Weston-super-Mare as the weather turned and restrictions were relaxed.

Temperatures in parts of the UK are expected to be significantly warmer this week as families and friends are reunited and sporting activities are again allowed.

But experts say the warmer weather could be responsible for a surge in Covid-19 as people gather.

Highs of 24.2°C were recorded in St James's Park, London, for the first time in March since 1968.

"Temperatures have exceeded 24°C in places," the Met Office tweeted. "This makes it provisionally the warmest March day in the UK for 53 years."

The bureau tweeted that there would be "some exceptional warmth" and "massive" temperature contrasts as the month ended.

Chief meteorologist Steve Ramsdale said: "The UK will see a few days of notably warm weather to end March, with a maximum of 24°C on Wednesday in the south and east of England.

"There will also be plenty of sunshine across England and Wales, however parts of Scotland will see some persistent rain over the next couple of days.

"Conditions will start to change through the day on Thursday as cooler air moves in from the north-east, highs will fall to the mid-teens before falling further by Friday, especially along the east coast.

"With pressure building from the north, however, conditions are expected to remain dry for the majority."

Monday was the warmest day of the year so far for England and Northern Ireland, with temperatures hitting 20.4°C and 17.3°C respectively.

Mr Ramsdale said cold air would push across the UK through Sunday, bringing a "notable" change in temperature and the chance of strong wind and wintry showers.