Parts of UK 'hotter than Ibiza'

Mia Ford eats an ice cream on what could be the hottest day of the year so far, on Southend Beach in Essex. Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

Parts of the United Kingdom have been basking in sunshine as the country enjoyed the hottest day of the year so far.

A couple enjoy the hot weather in Durham on the River Wear. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Today's top temperatures peaked at 26.3C (79.3F) at London's Heathrow Airport, compared to around 22C (71.6F) on the Balearic party island Ibiza.

Met Office spokesman Dan Williams said: "Gravesend in Kent saw a maximum of 26C (78.8F) and there were a few other places close to that around the South East.

"A good chunk of England has seen temperatures of 20C (68F) and above today."

The mercury is not expected to reach as high tomorrow, although East Anglia and the East Midlands should get maximums of around 22C (71.6F).