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In Pictures: Sunseekers see out the heatwave as rain makes a return

Racegoers were equipped with fans but also umbrellas on a day of contrasting weather.

Thunderstorms and showers have arrived after a hot spell that has had few equals with Britons left to cope with extreme ends of the weather spectrum.

Glorious sunshine and heat made it perfect weather to be out for some people after a summer that has reminded those old enough to remember of the 1976 scorcher.

But storms and rain meant some had to rush for cover while transport was also disrupted by the conditions.

The grass tells the story of the summer as racegoers enjoy the warm weather during the King George Weekend at Ascot (Steve Parsons/PA)
The lush green of the artificially watered racetrack contrasts with the bleached condition of the natural grass after a long spell without rain (Steve Parsons/PA)
But one racegoer had prepared for all eventualities with an umbrella to hand when a shower came (Steve Parsons/PA)
A racegoer at Ascot fans herself in the hot conditions (Steve Parsons/PA)
A horse is cooled down with water (Steve Parsons/PA)
Clacton-on-Sea in Essex was one of many beaches that benefited from the prolonged heatwave (Nick Ansell/PA)
Seagulls on the beach at Clacton-on-Sea (Nick Ansell/PA)
But further north an empty beach (below) at Cullercoats in North Tyneside was in marked contrast to Wednesday when it was packed with sunseekers (Owen Humphreys/PA)
A ship is seen in the mist off the north east coast near Whitley Bay as storms move up the coast (Owen Humphreys/PA)
A departure board at York railway station with cancelled and delayed services, with the weather conditions impacting travel (daviddunninguk/PA)
Mother Roseanne Dowling enjoys the sun with Kieran, 14 and nine-year-old Emilie at Ilkley Lido (Danny Lawson/PA)
Alex Hodgkins swims under water at Ilkley Lido (Danny Lawson/PA)
Olivia Batty taking a dip (Danny Lawson/PA)
Tourists take a selfie in the sunshine the Millennium Bridge in London (Jonathan Brady/PA)
While a hot car was far from ideal for those queuing for the Eurotunnel in Folkestone (Gareth Fuller/PA)

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