Parts of Britain enjoyed temperatures comparable to areas of Greece as sunshine made a welcome appearance on the Bank Holiday.

Temperature were expected to rise to a high of 21 Celsius (70F) in areas of eastern of England, with warmer than average conditions in the south and south east. The figures compare with temperatures of 18 or 19C in some of the northern and coastal areas of Greece.

But the rest of the UK was cooler and unsettled in some areas with Northern Ireland failing to reach double figures and outbreaks of rain in western Scotland.

Nick Prebble, meteorologist at MeteoGroup, warned that it could be the last chance to have a barbecue for the next few days as the weather begins to deteriorate. The Bank Holiday was probably going to prove the warmest day of the week for many, he said.

"There is fairly patchy rain, with some heavier bursts moving into western Scotland at the moment. I think today will be the last of the completely dry weather so far in some areas.

"It is going to be unsettled with showers and longer bursts of rain. It is going to be quite changeable. You might see sunshine one minute and then showers the next.

"Tonight, rain already in western parts will spread eastwards. Showers or rain will move eastwards across the UK."

A Met Office spokesman said rain overnight would be followed by a fine day with many areas enjoying bright and fairly sunny conditions.

"We have got showery outbreaks and rain across many western fringes now, it will be going into Wales, the north west of England in the next few hours and western Scotland and that will gradually work its way eastwards."