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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 July 2006, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
In pictures: Britain basks in heat

Woman walking past temperature gauge

The record for the hottest July day in the UK since records began has been set, after temperatures hit 36.3C - and they are expected to climb further.

Mother and child playing in fountain near Tower Bridge, London

With the capital among the hottest parts of the UK, Londoners made use of its amenities to combat the heat.

Maya and Euan, Asian elephants.

Elephants in Whipsnade Zoo also took to the water in an effort to cool down, while keepers across the country fed other animals ice lollies.

Dog cooling down with ice-cream

In Bournemouth, Dorset, Lola the dog cooled down with a vanilla ice-cream as temperatures continued to soar.

Children jumping off the rocks at Ballycastle

At Ballycastle in Co Antrim, children took the fastest route into the water as other coast-goers stuck to the beach.

A rare heat loving 'solanum aviculare'

The heat saw a rare visitor to the UK when solanum aviculare - known as the Kangaroo Apple plant - appeared in the Churchill Gardens housing estate in central London.

Vered Zaada

The oven-hot temperatures were so sweltering chef Vered Zaada was able to fry an egg on her car bonnet.

Sign in Yorkshire National Park

And in the Yorkshire National Park, wardens were warning of an extreme fire risk with signs posted throughout moorland areas.




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