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Britons enjoyed hotter temperatures than the Algarve and Madrid today – with Maldon Mud Racers baking in 18C (64F) heat during the annual crawl across the estuary in Essex.

Sunday was a dry day for most, with patchy rain clearing in the southwest and temperatures up slightly to around 18C (64F) in central and southern England, compared to just 17C (62F) in rainy Portugal. 

The glorious sunshine proved popular with the hundreds of contestants who participated in the Maldon Mud Race – as competitors caked in sludge ran, crawled and slithered their way across the bed of the River Blackwater in Essex.

Batman and the Joker suits, rabbit costumes and a newlywed bride wearing a wedding gown and veil were among the bizarre garments worn by competitors as they hauled themselves through the 400-metre mud course, which resumed today after a two year hiatus following the Covid pandemic.

Beachgoers also made the most of the glorious sunshine and headed to their favourite costal spots, with Bournemouth beach packed full of sun-seekers topping up their tans and enjoying the sea before the start of a new week. 

It comes as severe storms have been sweeping across parts of Spain and Portugal – leaving many holidaymakers in turmoil over their Easter breaks abroad. 

The glorious sunshine proved popular with the hundreds of contestants who participated in the Maldon Mud Race - as competitors caked in sludge ran, crawled and slithered their way across the bed of the River Blackwater in Essex

The glorious sunshine proved popular with the hundreds of contestants who participated in the Maldon Mud Race - as competitors caked in sludge ran, crawled and slithered their way across the bed of the River Blackwater in Essex

The glorious sunshine proved popular with the hundreds of contestants who participated in the Maldon Mud Race – as competitors caked in sludge ran, crawled and slithered their way across the bed of the River Blackwater in Essex

Competitors dressed as Batman characters (pictured) to participate in today's notorious Maldon Mud Race

Competitors dressed as Batman characters (pictured) to participate in today's notorious Maldon Mud Race

Competitors dressed as Batman characters (pictured) to participate in today’s notorious Maldon Mud Race

Newlyweds participate in today's Maldon Mud Race

Newlyweds participate in today's Maldon Mud Race

Newlyweds participate in today's Maldon Mud Race

Newlyweds participate in today's Maldon Mud Race

A newlywed bride wearing a wedding gown and veil were among the bizarre garments worn by the competitors as they hauled themselves through the 400-metre mud course, which resumed today after a two year hiatus following the Covid pandemic

A competitor wearing a rabbit costume participates in the Maldon Mud Race in Essex today, which resumed after two years’ hiatus due to the Covid pandemic

One competitor, who was covered in thick sludge, clutched his GoPro and tried to cover his modesty

One competitor, who was covered in thick sludge, clutched his GoPro and tried to cover his modesty

One competitor, who was covered in thick sludge, clutched his GoPro and tried to cover his modesty

Competitors are pictured running into the water at the start of the Maldon Mud Race earlier today

Competitors are pictured running into the water at the start of the Maldon Mud Race earlier today

Competitors are pictured running into the water at the start of the Maldon Mud Race earlier today 

Britons enjoyed hotter temperatures than the Algarve and Madrid today - with beachgoers baking in 18C (64F) heat on Bournemouth beach

Britons enjoyed hotter temperatures than the Algarve and Madrid today - with beachgoers baking in 18C (64F) heat on Bournemouth beach

Britons enjoyed hotter temperatures than the Algarve and Madrid today – with beachgoers baking in 18C (64F) heat on Bournemouth beach

Sunday was a dry day for most, with patchy rain clearing in the southwest and temperatures up slightly to around 18C (64F) in central and southern England, compared to just 17C (62F) in rainy Portugal. Pictured: A field of bright yellow rapeseed in Ipsden, Oxfordshire

Sunday was a dry day for most, with patchy rain clearing in the southwest and temperatures up slightly to around 18C (64F) in central and southern England, compared to just 17C (62F) in rainy Portugal. Pictured: A field of bright yellow rapeseed in Ipsden, Oxfordshire

Sunday was a dry day for most, with patchy rain clearing in the southwest and temperatures up slightly to around 18C (64F) in central and southern England, compared to just 17C (62F) in rainy Portugal. Pictured: A field of bright yellow rapeseed in Ipsden, Oxfordshire 

A member of the public cycles past  cherry blossom trees in full bloom in The Meadows in Edinburgh on Sunday morning

A member of the public cycles past  cherry blossom trees in full bloom in The Meadows in Edinburgh on Sunday morning

A member of the public cycles past  cherry blossom trees in full bloom in The Meadows in Edinburgh on Sunday morning 

Britons out enjoying the warm weather on Sunday whilst out punting on the River Cam in Cambridge before cooler weather is forecast for next week

Britons out enjoying the warm weather on Sunday whilst out punting on the River Cam in Cambridge before cooler weather is forecast for next week

Britons out enjoying the warm weather on Sunday whilst out punting on the River Cam in Cambridge before cooler weather is forecast for next week

Beachgoers made the most of the glorious sunshine today and headed to their favourite costal spots, with Bournemouth beach packed full of sun-seekers topping up their tans and enjoying the sea, before the start of a new week

Beachgoers made the most of the glorious sunshine today and headed to their favourite costal spots, with Bournemouth beach packed full of sun-seekers topping up their tans and enjoying the sea, before the start of a new week

Beachgoers made the most of the glorious sunshine today and headed to their favourite costal spots, with Bournemouth beach packed full of sun-seekers topping up their tans and enjoying the sea, before the start of a new week

One man was pictured in the sea on Bournemouth beach today enjoying the water. It comes as severe storms have been sweeping across parts of Spain and Portugal - leaving many holidaymakers in turmoil over their Easter breaks abroad

One man was pictured in the sea on Bournemouth beach today enjoying the water. It comes as severe storms have been sweeping across parts of Spain and Portugal - leaving many holidaymakers in turmoil over their Easter breaks abroad

One man was pictured in the sea on Bournemouth beach today enjoying the water. It comes as severe storms have been sweeping across parts of Spain and Portugal – leaving many holidaymakers in turmoil over their Easter breaks abroad

The Met Office said: ‘On the cloudy side first thing with a northeasterly breeze, however a fine day should develop, with variable cloud and some sunny spells.

‘Feeling warm in shelter from the breeze, with winds generally easing a little later. Maximum temperature 20C.’

However, forecasters have warned of a cold snap this evening and temperatures dropping to a minimum of 3C (37F) – with morning frosts across sheltered parts of the north and west of Britain. 

Scattered showers are also expected in some areas in England at the start of the week and will feel cooler for most, but will otherwise be dry with sunny spells. 

However moving towards the end of the end of the week, forecasters have said Britons can expect wintry mornings and ‘colder nights’ for inland and rural areas.

But most of the UK is set for mild week of spring sunshine ahead as ‘most areas remain dry’ with possible showers in the north and later the far south.

However, forecasters have warned of a cold snap this evening and temperatures dropping to a minimum of 3C (37F) - with morning frosts across sheltered parts of the north and west of Britain. Pictured: Britons walk past stunning cherry blossom trees in The Meadows in Edinburgh

However, forecasters have warned of a cold snap this evening and temperatures dropping to a minimum of 3C (37F) - with morning frosts across sheltered parts of the north and west of Britain. Pictured: Britons walk past stunning cherry blossom trees in The Meadows in Edinburgh

However, forecasters have warned of a cold snap this evening and temperatures dropping to a minimum of 3C (37F) – with morning frosts across sheltered parts of the north and west of Britain. Pictured: Britons walk past stunning cherry blossom trees in The Meadows in Edinburgh

A cyclist riding in the bright morning sunshine on Wimbledon Common, south west London earlier today

A cyclist riding in the bright morning sunshine on Wimbledon Common, south west London earlier today

A cyclist riding in the bright morning sunshine on Wimbledon Common, south west London earlier today 

Sun-seekers enjoy the summery weather on Bournemouth beach as families lined up along the coast

Sun-seekers enjoy the summery weather on Bournemouth beach as families lined up along the coast

Sun-seekers enjoy the summery weather on Bournemouth beach as families lined up along the coast 

A couple walk their two dogs in the bright morning sunshine on Wimbledon Common, south west London earlier today

A couple walk their two dogs in the bright morning sunshine on Wimbledon Common, south west London earlier today

A couple walk their two dogs in the bright morning sunshine on Wimbledon Common, south west London earlier today 

A couple top up their tans on the sandy beach of Bournemouth before a cold snap is expected from tomorrow

A couple top up their tans on the sandy beach of Bournemouth before a cold snap is expected from tomorrow

A couple top up their tans on the sandy beach of Bournemouth before a cold snap is expected from tomorrow 

Pictured: A cyclist rides through Wimbledon Common, south west London this morning

Pictured: A cyclist rides through Wimbledon Common, south west London this morning

Pictured: A cyclist rides through Wimbledon Common, south west London this morning 

Pictured: Sunbathers enjoying the glorious sunshine weather on Bournemouth Beach this morning

Pictured: Sunbathers enjoying the glorious sunshine weather on Bournemouth Beach this morning

Pictured: Sunbathers enjoying the glorious sunshine weather on Bournemouth Beach this morning

Pictured: A couple sit with their dogs on a park bench on Wimbledon Common, south west London as temperatures reach 18C in the UK

Pictured: A couple sit with their dogs on a park bench on Wimbledon Common, south west London as temperatures reach 18C in the UK

Pictured: A couple sit with their dogs on a park bench on Wimbledon Common, south west London as temperatures reach 18C in the UK

The Met Office said: ‘The start of this period is most likely to be dry with variable cloud and some clear and sunny spells. Frosty mornings possible after colder nights for inland and rural areas. 

‘Most areas remaining dry, but showers possible in the north, and later the far south. Likely to be breezy in the southwest, and the south at times. 

‘The start of May is most likely to be settled across much of the UK with clear or sunny spells under an area of high pressure. 

‘Most places remaining dry, but a few showers are likely at times particularly for the north and east, where they could be heavy. 

‘Winds generally light with the greatest chance of strong winds probably along the east coast. Temperatures near to or slightly below normal.’

This comes after the hottest day of the year was recorded last Friday, with a high of 23.4C (74.12F) at St James’s Park in London.

Saturday saw another warm day, not far shy of the year’s record, with 21.2C (70.16F) recorded in Cardiff.

Then, Easter Sunday brought the start of the decline in temperatures, with a slightly cooler high of 20.2C (68.36F) in Northolt, west London.

Source: dailymail

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