May Day Bank Holiday confirmed as hottest on record

Sunrise at Graveley in Hertfordshire on the hottest Early Spring Bank Holiday on record. Credit: Carla Sears

The UK has enjoyed its hottest Early Spring Bank Holiday on record when temperatures passed 24°C (75°F) by 10am.

The previous record for first Bank Holiday in May was a relatively modest 23.6°C (74.5°F) set in 1999.

The record by broken in the morning on Monday 7 May 2018 when thermometers in the south of England were at 24°C and above.

The highest temperature in the UK by noon was 25.1°C (77.2°F) at Gosport in Hampshire. By 3pm the temperature reached 28°C (82°F) at Heathrow airport and St James's Park in London. The highest temperature of the day was achieved at Northolt in London when it reached 28.7°C (83.7°F)

The hottest place in the Anglia region was Santon Downham on the Suffolk-Norfolk border where the temperature reached 27°C (81°F)

A warm and sunny Bank Holiday at Burton Latimer between Kettering and Wellingborough in Northamptonshire. Credit: Jan Crofts-Brawn

The May Day or Early Spring Bank Holiday has been in existence in the UK since 1978 so the record temperature is not particularly long standing.

It is also something of a statistical quirk that the record for the Bank Holiday Monday itself was so low. Every day in early May has at some point exceed 27°C (81°F) in the past - it just hasn't coincided with a Bank Holiday.

The highest temperature ever reached in the UK on 7 May was 29.0°C (84.2°F) back in 1976.

And there have been hotter Early Spring Bank Holiday weekends.

For instance, the highest maximum recorded over early Spring Bank Holiday weekend is 28.6°C (83.5°F) which was been recorded three times:

  • Cheltenham in Gloucestershire on 6 May 1995

  • Kinbrace in Sutherland, Scotlandon 30 April 1988

  • Grantown-on-Spey in Scotland on 2 May 1981

This has been the hottest Early Spring Bank Holiday on record in the UK Credit: Jo Clarke

It has been a warm Bank Holiday weekend across the Anglia region giving an early boost to the tourist industry.

The average maximum temperature in early May in the East of England is around 15-16°C (59-61°F) but this weekend most places have exceeded 21°C (70°F).

The UK record maximum temperature for any point in May is 32.8°C (91.0°F), registered at Camden Square, London on 22 May 1922 and equalled on 29 May 1944 at Horsham in West Sussex, Tunbridge Wells in Kent and Regent's Park in London.

Sunrise at Graveley in Hertfordshire on Bank Holiday Monday 7 May 2018. Credit: Carla Sears

Highest temperatures in the Anglia region on Monday 7 May 2018

  • 27.0°C in Santon Downham, Suffolk

  • 26.5°C in Cavendish, Suffolk

  • 26.4°C in Marham, Norfolk

  • 26.2°C near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

  • 26.0°C in Cambridge

  • 26.0°C in Writtle, Essex

  • 25.9°C in Harpenden, Hertfordshire

  • 25.9°C in Wattisham, Suffolk

  • 25.8°C near Braintree, Essex

  • 25.1°C near Bedford

  • 25.0°C in Stowe, Buckinghamshire

  • 24.8°C in Northampton

  • 24.8°C in Wittering, Cambridegshire

  • 24.0°C in Tibenham, Norfolk

  • 22.1°C in Shoeburyness, Essex

  • 20.9°C in Holbeach, Lincolnshire

  • 17.3°C in Cromer, Norfolk

  • 16.9°C in Weybourne, Norfolk

An oranga tip butterfly at rest taking in the warm sunshine on Bank Holiday Monday. Credit: Joanne Joyce
A Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Ecstasy' figure enjoying the glorious sunshine on Felixstowe seafront taking part in the Ipswich to Felixstowe Historic Vehicle Road Run on Sunday 6 May 2018. Credit: Simon Birnie
Temperatures reaching 28°C in the Anglia region on Bank Holiday Monday. Credit: Carla Sears