The hazy, lazy, crazy days of... October? Glorious British summer and warm autumn weather means holidaymakers are delaying their vacations with temperatures expected to hit 20C today
- Almost a fifth of Britons are going away in October, while one in three who took breaks in Britain this year visited the south west of England, says study
- 'For once we can't complain about the British weather this summer'
Last week's downpours were a rude awakening for much of the country after a largely warm and dry September.
But just when it seemed autumn was here to stay, several days of sun have raised the tempting prospect of an Indian summer.
Following a surprisingly warm weekend, the country is set to enjoy temperatures of up to 20C (68F) for a couple of days – a full five degrees higher than the average temperature for October.
It means today will be hotter than Bondi Beach in Sydney in places.
And with temperatures expected to hit 20-21C in the south-east today and the first decent British summer for seven years, many holidaymakers have delayed their main vacation until later this autumn.
Glow: Regent's Park in London is awash with a hazy glow as the sun lingers at the tail-end of summer to the delight of many late holiday-makers venturing out this month
The blue skies and warm temperatures have stunned Brits, normally ready to start complaining about chill and rain by September
Colourful image: The autumn setting of trees near Grasmere lake in the Lake District in Cumbria this morning, with their glorious reflection in the water
Country beauty: The autumn sun lights up the peaks near Grasmere Lake with vivid oranges and greens reflected
Picturesque: The Early morning mist lingers as the sun rises over Brockweir in the Wye Valley today. The weather is expected to stay settled over the next few days
Let there be light: The sun rises behind Tintern Abbey in the Wye Valley this morning
Almost a fifth of holidaymakers said they were going away this month for the first time, according to a survey.
Overall, around 60 per cent chose a UK holiday this summer, with many deciding to vacation at home due to the good weather, the poll by foreign exchange company Travelex revealed.
Elvin Eldic of Travelex said: 'For once we can't complain about the British weather this summer - and it looks like many of us wanted to be here to experience the sunshine.
'We've seen strong sales of currency in September - a sign that holidaymakers are heading abroad in the coming autumn months as families take their main break later or those without kids seek out value holidays outside peak periods.
Ghostly vision: The top of The Shard building in London pokes above early the morning mist in an image seen from Richmond Park
Early risers: Joggers on the River Cam in Cambridge this morning as the sun rises on a clear autumn morning sparking different colours in the sky
Autumn mist: A couple walk their dogs on the River Cam this morning. The warm autumn weather is expected to continue until Wednesday with temperatures reaching 22C
Glorious autumn: Last night's sunset over Reydon in Southwold, Suffolk as Britain enjoys what appears to be an indian summer
'While the pound is still down against the euro compared with last September, eurozone city breaks are a much better bet now than earlier in the year.'
Sterling is currently at a nine-month high against the euro, meaning Europe-bound Brits will receive an extra 14 euros for every £500 exchanged compared with the start of summer.
Mr Eldic added: 'Savvy Brits should also consider Turkey for an autumn break. It's also offering great value compared to the summer, with the pound up 11per cent against Turkish lira compared to the beginning of August.
'This means Brits are now getting an extra 156 Turkish lira for every £500 exchanged.'
Dawn runner: A jogger sets off across Belasis bridge in Billingham, north east England, this morning as the sun rises
Golden day: A glorious autumnal sunrise above Billingham, Cleveland this morning. Britain is set to enjoy a spell of dry and sunny weather
Misty beast: A deer stag in Richmond Park, west London this morning. The Met Office say the above average temperatures will go on until mid-week in the south-east
Misty marvels: Two deer stags lock horns while rutting in early morning mist in Richmond Park today with temperatures likely to reach 20-21 degrees
Purple sky: The scene above the hills over Tissington, near Ashbourne as dawn breaks in the Derbyshire Peak District
Both North and South will bask in 20C (68F) warmth, with a slight fall to 18C (64F) expected in the North on Tuesday, when there will be a chance of cloud and showers across the country.
The Met Office said the dry sunshine has been caused by high pressure and air coming in from the south.
As a result, gardeners have reported some late-blooming plants are making a surprise appearance well after the time when they would normally disappear until next year.
The highest temperature ever recorded in October in the UK was 29.9C (86F) on the first of the month in Gravesend, Kent in 2011 – significantly warmer than the last few balmy days.
But sadly, forecasters have warned that a late heatwave is not on the cards this week, with cloud and rain already a possibility in some areas.
Cooler temperatures, breezes and scattered showers are expected to move in from Wednesday.
Eleanor Crompton, a forecaster for the Met Office, said: 'The average temperature for this time of year is around 15C (59F) or 16C (61F), so we are around four or five degrees above normal.
The summer that keeps on giving: Ralph Livock grape picking in the autumn sunshine at Ryedale Vineyards, near Malton, North Yorkshire
Grape fun: Peter Freemantle snips off a bunch at Ryedale Vineyards - a family run business and the most northerly commercial vineyard in England
Harvest time: Row after row of grape vines ready to be picked after months of sunshine. The weather has led to a bumper crop at Ryedale
Smooth sailing: A couple relax today on the waters at West Kirby marine lake near Liverpool