Temperatures peaked on Saturday at 31.9C (89.4F) in Southampton, making it the hottest July day for seven years.
The hot spell of weather will last into next weekend when many schools break up. Forecasters predict the mercury will hover in the mid-20s in Yorkshire in the coming week, although it could go higher on Wednesday in some parts of the country.
Yesterday’s sun saw record crowds pack the grounds of Scampson Hall near Malton for the 127th annual Malton Show, which attracted livestock entries from all parts of the country, many having been winners at last week’s Great Yorkshire Show.
Chairman Michael Cleary said: “We are delighted with the success – the weather was ideal and we had large crowds coming from a wide area.
“We have literally had world-class stock exhibiting in the livestock sections which has enhanced the show’s reputation as one of the leading shows in the North.
“It must have been one of the most successful Malton Shows for years.”
Retailers and supermarket giants are reporting booming sales as the heatwave has seen shoppers spend thousands on the high street and in an online blitz on barbecues, food, sunscreen and garden furniture.
Leeds-based Asda said sales of barbecues have soared 204 per cent in the last two weeks and paddling pool sales are up 446 per cent, while sales of garden furniture have risen 44 per cent.
Health chiefs issued a heatwave warning in Yorkshire for the weekend, with hot days followed by warm nights leaving people at risk of dehydration and illness.