Temperatures soared in central London on Monday (July 18), as Britain braced itself for its potentially hottest day on record.
A thermometer reading in Trafalgar Square showed temperatures reaching 35 degrees Celsius at around 1330 GMT.
Weather experts have forecast temperatures to hit 40C for the first time, forcing train companies to cancel services and some schools to close while ministers urged the public to stay at home.
Passersby dipped their hands, feet and heads in the fountain pools of Trafalgar Square to seek respite from the hot weather. One man poured water from the pool over his dog to cool him down.
“I want to be by the sea… Global warming is really (points up) a thing. Pollution is pretty bad, everything else is pretty bad,” one Londoner who just gave his name as H said when asked about the soaring temperatures.
“It’s not even the hottest point of the summer yet so it’s going get hotter. I don’t know what next year is saying so that’s going to be pretty mad as well.”
Much of Europe is baking in a heatwave that has pushed temperatures into the mid-40s Celsius (over 110 Fahrenheit) in some regions, with wildfires raging across tinder-dry countryside in Portugal, Spain and France.
“It’s not quite as humid as it is back home when it’s hot but it’s, it’s doable,” tourist Laurie Anderson from Ontario Canada said.
“It’s better than, you know, Rome or anywhere else that’s been really hot. But there’s no air conditioning here which is what surprises me.”