Bank Holiday warning for motorists
Millions of people were taking to the roads early this morning to beat the hordes - only to find themselves facing the worst of the bank-holiday traffic.
Congestion, which began to build up on major routes on Friday afternoon, was predicted to increase steadily until midday on Saturday.
And as weather conditions showed signs of improving, thousands made for the coastal regions.
Graham Smith, of AA Roadwatch, advised those setting off on a long weekend break to avoid the queues by leaving after lunch.
"We will probably have a morning rush, so after 12pm is probably the best time to set off," he said.
This weekend is traditionally one of the busiest of the year with some 16 million cars expected on the roads.
On Friday the M25, west of London, the A303 and the M5 experienced heavy traffic, along with the M6 north of Birmingham and parts of the M1 and A61.
On Saturday morning, those who already braved the roads were soaking up the atmosphere at music festivals in Reading and Leeds - complete with wellies and waterproofs.
Meanwhile, estimates suggested some 1.8 million Britons would leave the country over the weekend.
Around 840,000 people were expected to pass through Heathrow - most travelling to New York, Dubai, Paris, Dublin and Los Angeles. Another 120,000 passengers were expected to travel with Channel Tunnel train company Eurostar over the weekend.