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Suffolk/Essex: Country’s hottest temperature of the year, nearly 28C, recorded in Writtle, Essex

PUBLISHED: 18:37 03 July 2014 | UPDATED: 18:37 03 July 2014

People in Southwold enjoy the sunshine.

People in Southwold enjoy the sunshine.

Archant

It’s been the hottest day of the year so far with parts of Essex nearly hitting 28C.

The village of Writtle just outside Chelmsford saw the highest temperature in the country at 27.7C (81.9F), beating Portugal, Turkey and Spain.

Temperatures were expected to nudge up to 28C by the end of the day.

In Cavendish in Suffolk they weren’t far behind with temperatures soaring to 26.6C (79.9F), while in Heathrow in London temperatures hit 26.8C (80.2F).

The South East enjoyed the best of the glorious weather, and sunseekers flocked to parks and beaches to soak up the rays.

British hopes for Wimbledon might have been dashed with the exit of Andy Murray yesterday, but tennis fans who turned out for today’s action at the All England Club were consoled with baking sunshine.

Met Office spokeswoman Laura Young said: “We have had the hottest temperature of the whole of the UK so far, and it might even push up a bit more than that and hit 28C.

“The glorious sunshine has been across the South East.”

But she said there had been a “north south divide” with temperatures cooler in the north and scattered showers over parts of Scotland.

The sizzling sunshine meant the South East was warmer than Faro in Portugal, Barcelona in Spain, and much hotter than Istanbul in Turkey.

Passengers coping with the heat had to contend with a series of delays caused by broken-down trains and signalling problems.

One of the train breakdowns was at South Croydon in south east London which caused hold-ups to travellers on services run by the First Capital Connect, Gatwick Express and Southern trains companies.

The sun is set to shine on Wimbledon tomorrow where tennis players will have to compete with temperatures of up 25C (77F).

But forecasters said things will cool over the weekend, and could drop to 20C (68F) on Saturday and Sunday, while finalists could have to contend with some showers.

Ms Young warned the crowds flocking to the tennis tournament to pack their umbrellas and brace themselves for scattered showers.

She said: “It is cloudy and breezy with outbursts of rain Saturday morning. we can see some dry spells on Saturday afternoon but there is a chance of some rain.

“On Sunday we are expecting sunny spells with scattered showers which could be heavier later in the day. But there will still be good periods of sunshine.”

Kebab fans will be excited to hear a new fast food outlet that prides itself on making top quality versions of the takeaway staple is opening in Ipswich soon.

Firefighters were sent to tackle a blaze that broke out in a flat in Ipswich this afternoon.

Drivers in Woodbridge have faced long delays this afternoon after a major route through the town became flooded.

The shocking prevalence of rape in Ipswich has been uncovered in an EADT and Star investigation.

Police wants to speak to two teenagers about an attempted murder in Colchester in the early hours of this morning.

Ed Sheeran has got engaged to his partner Cherry Seaborn, the Framlingham singer has confirmed on Instagram.

Emergency services have been called to the scene of a car having gone into a ditch on the A12 near Darsham

Snow could fall in parts of Suffolk on Sunday morning as temperatures are set to drop overnight.

Tourism leaders in Suffolk have teamed up to entice high-spending younger visitors to the county and place it on their “must-visit” list.

Few of us can imagine what it feels like to be born in a body that you do not recognise as your own.

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