In pictures: UK's hottest July day on record

Wednesday saw the highest temperature for a July day recorded in the UK, with the thermometer hitting 36.7C (98F) at Heathrow airport.

Delays have been experienced on the railways with speed restrictions in place amid fears tracks could buckle in the heat.

But there have been plenty of ways for people to enjoy the sunshine in safety.

Temperatures are expected to drop to 25C (77F) on Thursday, with the possibility of thunderstorms.

Image copyright PA
Image caption At Wimbledon, Australian spectators showed how to cope with the heat
Image copyright PA
Image caption In the ticket queue at Wimbledon, other spectators prepared themselves for a day in the sun
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption In Blackpool, the only way to keep cool was to dive right in
Image copyright PA
Image caption Reindeer in Seaham County Durham were hosed down to help them cope with the heat
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Duchess of Cornwall used a parasol to keep the sun at bay at Hampton Court Flower Show
Image caption At the Norfolk Show, hats were the order of the day
Image caption Ice cream was another popular way of cooling down at the showground near Norwich
Image copyright Sydney Salter
Image caption Sydney Salter's dogs, Max and Sam, found it too hot to do anything strenuous
Image copyright PA
Image caption While a chimpanzee at Chester Zoo cooled down with an ice lolly
Image copyright Lorraine Taylor
Image caption Flash, from West Bridgford, near Nottingham, is staying cool with a horse-sized paddling pool

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