AMONG the things guaranteed to put a smile on the faces of Hampshire residents is the glorious summer sunshine.

After months of miserable rain, the county basked in beautiful blue skies and temperatures of 26C (78F) yesterday, but today promised to be even hotter, with the mercury set to tip 27C (80F).

With the school holidays getting off to a scorching start, thousands of sun-lovers flocked to open spaces and beaches around the county, including those cooling off in the refreshing sea of the Solent at Lepe Beach.

Forecasters say the summer sun is set to continue tomorrow, although they warn that the rain showers could return on Friday.