Railway tracks have buckled. Scottish roads are melting. One sunbather’s skirt caught fire.
Not everyone would call temperatures in the high 80s a heat wave. But to the fair-skinned British, more used to drizzle and chill, summer has arrived with a vengeance.
“We’ve got to make the most of it, this could be the only summer we get,” said Linda Beecham as she exposed pale arms to the sun in London’s Trafalgar Square on Friday. Her 11-year-old son Neil wore a baseball cap with a battery operated fan.
There wasn’t even a chance of a cooling dip in the square’s famous fountains, which were turned off for a face lift.
In central London, the temperature at midday Friday was 88, the hottest June day in the capital since 1976.
Temperatures elsewhere in the country were expected to top 90 on Friday - but cooler weather, with highs in the 70s, was predicted for Saturday.
Sunbather Kim Bullock, 18, suffered slight burns when metal tassels on her skirt heated up in the sun and set the fabric alight.