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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.”

A man who capsized off the coast of Felixstowe owes his life to his life jacket, quick thinking witnesses and the efforts of coastguard and the RNLI.

A music festival has been set up to celebrate the life of a “larger than life character” who died suddenly earlier this year.

A loving Ipswich couple who have been together for more than 60 years celebrated their 90th birthdays today – after the pair were remarkably born on the same day.

Firefighters have returned to scene of a straw fire, which has re-ignited just outside a village near Stowmarket.

Police are investigating a spate of break-ins at allotments in Ipswich.

A 58-year-old carer has appeared in court today charged with stealing items totalling more than £10,000 from seven women she was caring for.

Burglars ransacked an Ipswich family’s home while they were on holiday in Mallorca – killing their pet dog in the process.

The popular ITFC family day out will return on Thursday, July 27, at Portman Road.

A popular community café which transformed into a hub for vulnerable people in Ipswich has left its home in the heart of the town centre.

A notorious drug-trafficking cartel linked with hundreds of gruesome murders is reported to have teamed up with Romanian criminals to flood the UK with cocaine through ports including those in Suffolk and Essex.

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