A 200 mile-wide heatwave heading from the Netherlands will send temperatures soaring to 26C in the UK as the Indian summer continues.

Conditions will be hotter than the Mediterranean with the Met Office predicting the mercury will jump 7C above average for this time of year.

An out-of-season rush to the coast will be triggered this weekend after millions of Brits were unable to enjoy 31C weather on Tuesday because they were at work and school.

Britain will be hotter than 24C Barcelona.

Temperatures in the UK will be slightly cooler in the North but it will still enjoy highs of 20C.

Brits are expected to pack the beaches to make the most of the Indian summer

The Met Office forecasts long sunny spells for most through the weekend and into next week, with just scattered showers in the South late on Saturday, which will ease by Sunday morning.

Hundreds of thousands of weekend beach visitors are expected to make the most of one of the last scorching weekends of 2020, with resorts including Brighton and Bournemouth braced for an early autumn rush.

Daytrippers may clog the roads with heavy traffic due on coastal routes including the A23 to Brighton, A31 to Dorset and A30 to Cornwall.

Temperatures could be as high as 26C on Saturday

The Met Office said Monday is due 25C heat, with 21C on Tuesday and highs easing to 18C from Wednesday, with sunshine and showers.

Autumn's heat follows weeks of cool washouts which spoilt the end of school holidays.

The Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze said: "Warm air will move into Britain from the region around Holland, with warm conditions and highs into the mid-20s.

The pleasant conditions are expected to stretch into next week

A Met Office forecaster said: “Easterly winds develop. Temperatures will probably be warm in the South into next week.”

While Aidan McGivern, of Met Office, said: “It will be a mostly fine weekend, with just some showers in the South later on Saturday and petering out on Sunday, with high pressure holding on.”