AFTER enduring months of rain, Hampshire enjoyed a burst of summer- like conditions at the weekend as the UK celebrated the highest March temperatures for years.

Clear blue skies and wall-to-wall sunshine left the county basking in 16C heat – hotter than Turkey.

T-shirts and sunglasses were the order of the day as thousands flocked to beaches, beer gardens and parks to lap up the warm weather.

Inland attractions such as Exbury Gardens in the New Forest also welcomed a large number of visitors.

The 200-acre site opened on Saturday and enjoyed a bumper start to the season.

Pub gardens were full to capacity as customers finally got the chance to soak up some sunshine.

Two jet skiers provided an action-packed show for families sitting outside the Anchor Inn, which overlooks Eling Creek.

The hottest temperature recorded in Britain over the weekend was 19.3C in London’s St James’s Park.

That was two degrees warmer than Greece, where it was 17C, and six degrees hotter than Turkey, where it was 13C.

However, the good weather is unlikely to last.

Forecasters are warning that the next few days are increasingly cloudy, with rain arriving on Thursday.