Britain will finally see summer arrive next week with highs of 28C

Until just recently a summer washout seemed a certainty, with June nicknamed Juneuary because of its low temperatures and wet weather.

Yesterday, however, as thousands gathered at Stonehenge to mark the solstice, sunshine prevailed over much of Britain.

And despite a downbeat start to this weekend, a heatwave is on its way, with temperatures as high as 27C (81F) for next week's Glastonbury Festival, forecasters have said.

The Met Office said there would be a 'greyer start to the weekend' today, ahead of a 'mainly nice day' tomorrow.

But next week will see the mercury finally soar as temperatures climb to possible heatwave levels in central and southern England, according to the forecaster.

britain will finally see summer arrive next week with highs of 28c

People enjoy the warm weather at Clacton beach in Essex as they play on the sand

britain will finally see summer arrive next week with highs of 28c

People enjoy the warm weather on the beach in Bournemouth, Dorset

britain will finally see summer arrive next week with highs of 28c

Sunbathers make the most of the weather by reading in Newcastle city centre

britain will finally see summer arrive next week with highs of 28c

People on rowing boats underneath the Knaresborough Viaduct in North Yorkshire

britain will finally see summer arrive next week with highs of 28c

On Monday, the temperature is expected to reach a maximum of 27C (81F) in the North and 28C (82F) in the South and South East.

Most of England will experience the hottest temperatures of the year so far next week, forecasts said.

It signals good news for the hundreds of thousands of revellers planning to attend Glastonbury Festival, with the scorching weather expected to last until next weekend – although forecasters warned it could be mixed with rain.

Met Office chief forecaster Neil Armstrong said: 'Some areas are likely to see temperatures approaching the values needed for heatwave conditions.

'Heatwave conditions need to remain in situ for three consecutive days, and by the middle of next week it is possible that some parts of the UK could be reaching heatwave thresholds – but the majority of the UK will experience the finest conditions and highest temperatures so far this year.'

Today temperatures will reach around 22C (72F) for many central and eastern areas with the odd risk of showers in the morning.

Sunday is expected to be drier with temperatures as high as 24C (75F) in the South East.

britain will finally see summer arrive next week with highs of 28c

As thousands gathered at Stonehenge to mark the solstice, sunshine prevailed over much of Britain

britain will finally see summer arrive next week with highs of 28c

Next week will see the mercury finally soar as temperatures climb to possible heatwave levels in central and southern England, according to the Met Office

britain will finally see summer arrive next week with highs of 28c

Thousands woke up bright and early to watch the sun rise over Stonehenge

britain will finally see summer arrive next week with highs of 28c

Police officers stand among revellers at during the Summer Solstice festival

britain will finally see summer arrive next week with highs of 28c

A woman dressed in red with a flower crown enjoys herself at Stonehenge

britain will finally see summer arrive next week with highs of 28c

Skinny dippers enjoy the water with their dog at Warleigh Weir on the River Avon near Bath in Somerset

Yesterday, approximately 15,000 people flocked to Stonehenge to watch the solstice sunrise, just days after the 500-year-old monument was sprayed with orange paint by eco-zealots.

Sun-seekers were quick to seize on the improved conditions on the longest day of the year, including skinny dippers at the Warleigh Wear on the River Avon near Bath in Somerset.

The sunny spell will bring much-needed relief after a cold and wet start to the month, which raised fears Britain was facing a second consecutive summer of rain-drenched misery.

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