It was time to ditch the winter hats, gloves and scarves this weekend as Britain basked in its hottest weekend of 2017 so far. Wherever you went over the past 48 hours in England and Wales, you were likely to be treated to blue skies and hazy Sunshine. However, will it stay for the upcoming Easter weekend?

Grand National Heat

Sunday was the hottest day of the year-to-date. Parts of Cambridge were recorded to have temperatures hitting 25.5 degrees. Many other areas within England and Wales reached a minimum of 20 degrees. Many couldn't resist taking the rare opportunity to top up their tan and enjoy the warm weather, with Brighton beach being packed out and others enjoying some of the picturesque parks in Central London.

It was Grand National weekend and those who were lucky enough to be at Aintree on Saturday for the greatest spectacle in horse racing got the nicest weather of the three-day festival. The race, won by 14/1 shot "One For Arthur" was fitting for the beautiful occasion. Aintree officials weren't taking any chances with the warm blast though and all jockeys were told to dismount from their rides after finishing so the horses could go down to a cooling area to get and water. For the fifth successive year, all 40 jockeys and horses got back safely on an enjoyable day for horse racing in general.

Cooler in Scotland

"One For Arthur" was only the second Scottish-trained horse to win the Grand National and that was the hottest property this weekend from this area of the UK.

Whilst they and Northern Ireland also took a slice of the sunshine, temperatures were much cooler, peaking at 16 degrees in the warmest areas.

It was the East Midlands and East Anglia where the sunshine was at its highest prominence. The Met Office warned people not to get caught out by the sun, especially at this time of year.

Temperatures in April can be very warm and the sun is often as strong as it is in the traditional British summer months of July and August.

Despite the lovely break in the weather, temperatures were still down compared to the most recent glorious April which was in 2011. The Heatwave then lasted for practically the whole month and was the warmest in over a century.

Drop expected

Forecasters have warned though that this will be the nicest of the weather this week. Although Monday is expected to be another dry day, a cold wind snap should bring temperatures back down to the usual average for this time of year, approximately 16 degrees in most parts of the UK.

It is likely to stay that way for the truncated working week for most, with the Easter weekend looming and many offices shut for an extended four-day break. Although too early to confirm, the Easter weekend looks like it will be a traditional mixture of sunshine and showers and definitely cooler than this weekend.

There is no doubt that the April heatwave beats the misery weather we normally experience in January and for many, they will be hoping that this weekend's baking weather will be a sign of things to come in 2017.

Knowing the UK weather we normally get, don't be too surprised if next weekend now becomes a complete washout. This was a time to enjoy and indulge in one of those weekends when many UK cities were competing with European capital hotspots for top of the temperature charts.