The UK is set to bask in the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures in London predicted to climb as high as 27C this week.

Weather experts predict that Londoners are set to enjoy a mini-heatwave in the capital, with temperatures rising above some of Europe's top holiday destinations including Marbella and Ibiza.

Over the next few days, most parts of the UK will see warm sunshine and clear skies as the mercury climbs into the mid-20s.

But by Wednesday, the temperature in London and the South East of England could surpass the 26C (78.8F) recorded in Treknow, Cornwall, on Good Friday.

The mini heatwave will continue into Friday for some, testing the nation's resolve as people are asked to avoid crowded outdoor spaces so two metre social distancing can be observed.

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There will be a "north-south divide" on Monday and Tuesday, according to Met Office meteorologist Matthew Box, with spells of rain in north-western parts of the UK while southern areas will reach highs of 24C (75.2F).

But it will begin to clear going into the middle of the week, as warm southerly winds from the Mediterranean start to move north, Mr Box said.

Mr Box told the PA news agency: "It's going to be very hot for large parts of England for most of the week, reaching highs of 27C (80.6F) on Wednesday, which would make it the hottest day of the year so far.

"This will occur due to large areas of high pressure, combined with southerly winds from the continent, bringing with it, pleasant sunshine, dry skies and warmer air."

Day by day

Monday, May 18

12pm - 18C, Sunny intervals

5pm - 22C, Sunny

10pm - 17C, Cloudy

Tuesday, May 19

7am - 17C, Cloudy

12pm - 20C, Sunny

5pm - 24C, Sunny

10pm - 20C

Wednesday, May 20

7am - 15C, Sunny

12pm - 24C, Bright and sunny

5pm - 27C, Bright and sunny

10pm - 19C

Thursday, May 21

7am - 17C, Cloudy

12pm - 22C, Light showers

5pm - 22C, Light showers

10pm - 18C, Cloudy

Friday, May 22

7am - 16C, Cloudy

12pm - 19C, Cloudy

5pm - 19C, Cloudy

10pm - 16C, Cloudy