For many Londoners, it was a perfect Sunday today as people relaxed in the city's Hyde Park under a brilliant sun which, for many, made the summer official.
GV Crowds walk beside Serpentine
MV Queue for ice cream
GV people sunbathing beside Serpentine
SV Two girls sunbathing at water's edge
SV Dog bathing in Serpentine
LV Rowing boat on the Serpentine with crowds on far bank
GV Crowds sunbathing
SV Girl bathing in Serpentine with her clothes on
GV Children bathing in pool
GV Crowds with toy boat, PAN TO boat
GV People sunbathing beside Serpentine
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Background: For many Londoners, it was a perfect Sunday today as people relaxed in the city's Hyde Park under a brilliant sun which, for many, made the summer official. The "mini heat wave" brought temperatures in the London area up to 83 degrees Fahrenheit (28/3 degrees C.) this afternoon, making it one of the hottest places in Britain. Countless people took advantage of the weather to bask in the warmth and participate in one of the major national sports -- getting a tan.
One of the focal points of today's activities was the Serpentine, a lake in Hyde Park. People spent many hours sunbathing by its edge and were, at one point, joined by a dog. For one girl, the urge to cool off was too strong, and she tumbled in fully clothed.
The more energetic took out boats and rowed about in the heat.
Although always popular, the ice cream men did a roaring trade today and long queues built up around their vans.
Elsewhere, some children were able to take advantage of bathing pools and others took their toy boats out for trial runs.
Most places in England took on an air of a national holiday today, as thousands fled to beaches and elsewhere in an effort to take advantage of the weather. But, as often happens at the end of a weekend, roads were packed in the evening, as drivers made for home in preparation for Monday morning.