Sizzling Britain has basked in the warmest temperatures of the year, with the prospect of the mercury rising even higher on Sunday.

But the heatwave - forecast to continue into next week - has claimed it first life, after a boy died while swimming in a disused quarry in Worcestershire.

The boy, who has not yet been named, failed to resurface after swimming in Gullet Quarry near Malvern. His death is not suspicious, West Mercia police said, although Detective Inspector Richard Rees reiterated warnings about swimming in rivers, lakes and canals.

He said: "We are privileged to live and work in a beautiful part of the country with a huge area of water. However, this comes with its dangers and we would appeal for people to recognise the risks associated with water and act responsibly."

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency also repeated warnings over the use of inflatables at sea, after crews were called to more than 150 incidents today - including some people stranded on lilos - as many flocked to the coastline.

Forecasters said highs of 27C (80F) were measured in pockets of England early on Saturday afternoon, with the year's record temperature of 27.5C at London's Heathrow Airport. It put the previous high of 27.2C, also at Heathrow last month, in the shade.

Tom Tobler, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said several areas have recorded highs of 27C. "Parts of London have seen 27C, while the east Midlands, Yorkshire and East Anglia have all been past the mid-20s," he said.

Most of the UK has experienced widespread sunshine, although people in parts of northern Scotland were left clutching their umbrellas under rain and drizzle.

Those enjoying the sunshine today, thanks to a period of high pressure, can expect further balmy conditions for at least next week.

Mr Tobler said: "Tomorrow will be around 30C, if not 30C, and there is potential for it to be the hottest day of the year. The high pressure is just staying in place for the next week or so at least. Tomorrow might well be the warmest of that period."