UK has its hottest March day for 53 years as temperature tops 24C

Ross McGuinness
·3-min read
People make their way past beach huts on the sea front on Boscombe beach in Dorset. Picture date: Tuesday March 30, 2021. Temperatures in parts of the UK are expected to be significantly warmer this week as families and friends are reunited and sporting activities are allowed to resume in England.
Two women make their way past beach huts on the sea front on Boscombe beach in Dorset. (PA)

The UK has enjoyed its hottest March day for 53 years as temperatures topped 24C on Tuesday.

Britons have been enjoying the sunshine and the easing of the coronavirus lockdown on the warmest day in March since 1968.

The Met Office said temperatures had gone over 24C "in places", with 24.4C recorded at Kew Gardens in London, making it "provisionally" the warmest March day in 53 years.

A temperature of 24.2C was recorded at St James’s Park in central London.

The warm spell of weather this week coincides with England easing out of lockdown.

Sports facilities such as tennis courts, golf courses, football and cricket pitches and swimming pools reopened on Monday.

Visitors enjoying the sun at Kew Gardens in south-west London. Picture date: Tuesday March 30, 2021. Temperatures in parts of the UK are expected to be significantly warmer this week as families and friends are reunited and sporting activities are allowed to resume in England.
Visitors enjoying the sun at Kew Gardens in south-west London. (PA)
Two paddle boarders in the sea off of Boscombe beach in Dorset. Picture date: Tuesday March 30, 2021. Temperatures in parts of the UK are expected to be significantly warmer this week as families and friends are reunited and sporting activities are allowed to resume in England.
Two paddle boarders in the sea off Boscombe beach, Dorset. (PA)

Organised sports events are also permitted for the first time since the beginning of England’s third national lockdown in January.

Groups of six people, or two households, can also meet outside in parks or gardens.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

On Monday, golfers teed off just after midnight and swimmers splashed in outdoor pools from dawn to make the most of the new rules.

And on Tuesday, many people spent their days at the country’s beaches and parks under the sun.

Temperatures in March had not gone above 24C since 29 March, 1968, when 25.6C was recorded in Mepal in Cambridgeshire.

Steven Keates, a meteorologist at the Met Office, had said earlier: “If we do get above 24C it will be the highest UK March temperature in 53 years. It seems a reasonable chance that’s going to happen.”

“It’s an exceptionally warm spell of weather with potential for some records to be challenged.”

Anna Heslop, 25, paddleboarding during sunrise at Cullercoats Bay on the North East coast. Picture date: Tuesday March 30, 2021. Temperatures in parts of the UK are expected to be significantly warmer this week as families and friends are reunited and sporting activities are allowed to resume in England.
A paddle boarder at sunrise on Tuesday at Cullercoats Bay on the North East coast. (PA)
Tanya Szavejcsuk and her daughter Mia, aged 2, pose next to a magnolia tree at at Kew Gardens in south-west London. Picture date: Tuesday March 30, 2021. Temperatures in parts of the UK are expected to be significantly warmer this week as families and friends are reunited and sporting activities are allowed to resume in England.
Tanya Szavejcsuk and her daughter, Mia, aged two, pose next to a magnolia tree at Kew Gardens in south-west London. (PA)
BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 30: People take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and relaxing of lockdown restrictions to go to the beach on March 30, 2021 in Brighton, England. Parts of the UK are set to see the warmest day of the year so far as forecasters are predicting temperatures of 22C (72F). With the easing of pandemic lockdown rules, many people will be heading for the outdoors. (Photo by Chris Eades/Getty Images)
People enjoy the sunshine in Brighton, East Sussex, on Tuesday. (Getty)

Met Office spokesman Oli Claydon said clouds will “start to thin” and give way to clear skies and sunshine for much of the week.

However, by the Easter weekend, cold air from the north may bring a “notable” dip in temperatures down to mid-single figures, with showers forecast to spread to most areas.

The coldest Easter weekend on record was in 2013 when -12.5C was recorded at Braemar in Aberdeenshire on Easter Sunday.

People enjoy their lunch in the sun at the Victoria Embankment Gardens in Central Lodnon. Picture date: Tuesday March 30, 2021. Temperatures in parts of the UK are expected to be significantly warmer this week as families and friends are reunited and sporting activities are allowed to resume in England.
People enjoy their lunch in the sun at the Victoria Embankment Gardens in central London. (PA)
BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 30: Members of the University of the Third Age iPhone photography group take advantage of the easing of lockdown and unseasonably warm weather to have an impromptu get together at Roses beach hut at Hove Lawns on March 30, 2021 in Brighton, England. Parts of the UK are set to see the warmest day of the year so far as forecasters are predicting temperatures of 22C (72F). With the easing of pandemic lockdown rules, many people will be heading for the outdoors. (Photo by Chris Eades/Getty Images)
A group having a chat under the sun in Brighton. (Getty)

Keates said conditions would turn “cooler” through Thursday ahead of the arrival of the Easter weekend.

Scotland’s highest temperature of the year was equalled by the 19.3C at Aboyne in Aberdeenshire on Monday and a new top temperature for 2021 so far in Northern Ireland was set by the 17.3C recorded at Helen’s Bay in County Down.

Watch: Surfing, golf and relaxing in the park as England's lockdown eased