What are the UK's hottest days on record?

People flocked to the beach in Felixstowe to soak up the sun as temeperatures soar in Suffolk.

The UK is in the midst of a heatwave, with temperatures expected to peak on Monday and Tuesday next week. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Temperatures are expected to soar over the next few days – but how hot can the UK actually get? 

Although some outlets have predicted temperatures could reach a record-breaking 40C, East-Anglian based forecaster Weatherquest have said that it is more likely that figures will remain in the mid-thirties. 

As the county – and country – prepares for a scorching few days, we’re looking back at the UK’s top ten hottest days that have ever been recorded by the Met Office.

UK Top Ten Hottest Days

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, July 25, 2019 – 38.7C 

Neighbouring county Cambridge currently holds the medal for the UK’s hottest day on record so far. The Cambridge University Botanic Garden reached an incredible 38.7C, with staff saying they felt “as if we’d melted.” 

The Met Office have revealed the UK's ten hottest recorded temperatures. 

The Met Office have revealed the UK's ten hottest recorded temperatures, although none of them have been in Suffolk. - Credit: The Met Office

Faversham, Kent, August 10, 2003 – 38.5C 

A fellow coastal town's hottest temperature stood strong for more than 15 years before Cambridge recorded just 0.2C hotter.

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Heathrow, London, July 31, 2020 – 37.8C 

Although the pandemic continued to rage, this was the hottest summer on record for 17 years.

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, August 3, 1990 – 37.1C 

Taking fourth place in this list is the South West regency town. The hot temperature occurred in the year that Margaret Thatcher was replaced by John Major, after over ten years as Prime Minister.

Heathrow, London, July 1, 2015 – 36.7C 

During this month in history roads were melting, and strikes at Calais meant that truck drivers were stuck in huge tailbacks on the M20.

Raunds, Northamptonshire, August 9, 1911 – 36.7C 

The UK's sixth highest temperature was recorded over a century ago. This was one year before the Titanic set sail, three years before WWI was declared - and the first year that International Women's Day was celebrated.

Worcester, Worcestershire, August 2 1990 – 36.6C 

This was briefly the hottest day of the year in 1990 - before being beaten the very next day.

Wisley, Surrey, July 19, 2006 – 36.5C 

England's World Cup journey had ended just two weeks ago in the quarter-finals, when they lost on penalties to Portugal after a goalless draw.

Kew Gardens and Heathrow, London, August 7, 2020 – 36.4C 

This was another scorching day for 2020, as we entered the sixth month of living with the coronavirus.

Gravesend, Kent, August 6, 2003 – 36.4C 

Another town in Kent rounds off the list of the hottest temperatures. This was the year that the Iraq war began, with combined forces from the USA, UK, Australia and Poland having invaded in March.