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Forecasters say the temperatures could soar to as high as 26C, which would make it the warmest since the bank holiday began in 1978.

The South East can expect the highest temperatures, while Wales and Scotland will also see those in the mid to high 70s.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: "Passengers will rightly be frustrated to find they can't travel on the bank holiday weekend". However, it's looking like a most of us will get to see some warm sunshine at times'.

She said: "It could beat that (28.6C) for the Monday in which case it would be the hottest ever early Spring bank holiday weekend".

The forecaster also indicated high UV and pollen levels for the region.

Hampshire, Worcester and Malden set the record that year, when temperatures reached 23.6C. "The record high of 32.8C looks to be in danger of being broken", said Coral's John Hill.

SCOTS reached for bottles of Factor 50 yesterday - with today predicted to become a Bank Holiday sun-day.

Met Office forecaster Charlie Powell said: "It looks like we should be prepared for some pretty changeable weather throughout the second half of May".

Miss Yeomans said the hot weather will persist in southern areas on Tuesday although conditions could break down later in the week with cooler temperatures.

On Monday, temperatures are expected to hit 27C across some parts of the UK.

Coastal fog is expected in the mornings as the weekend goes on, and there is a "low risk" of thundery showers in the south.

He said: 'It should be a relatively easy journey in terms of the impacts from weather'.

Temperatures are expected to reach a maximum of 25°C in parts of the North East tomorrow, on what could be the hottest Early May Bank Holiday on record. A fine day follows, with warm sunny spells and just occasional cloud.