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UK heatwave
People cool off in a fountain outside the Southbank Centre as temperatures in London reached 35°CGetty
    • Britain on high alert as it experiences once in a decade temperatures usually coped without any problems across most of mainland Europe.
    • Temperatures recorded at 23C in areas such as Southampton, Manchester and London as early as 7am.
    • Northolt, northwest London, reached 28°C
    • The village of Wittering, near Peterborough, became the hottest place in the UK ever in July, until...
    • Heathrow Airport reached 36.7°C
    • The London Ambulance Service reported a 28% increase in emergency calls on last week
    • Muslims marking Ramadan report the struggles of a 17-hour fast
    • A Wimbledon ball boy fainted on Court 17
    • A Royal Artillery soldier fainted face-first to the ground as he guarded Prince Charles at a memorial in Hayling Island, Hampshire
    • Network Rail is reporting delays on its lines as tracks buckle in the heat

IBTimes UK rounds up how the country is coping.

18:29

As the working day winds down to a clammy close, what better way to end the day than with a refreshing cocktail.

We asked Sacha Bell of The London Cocktail Club to recommend her top five tipples to cool down with after a balmy day at the office.

Bramley Apple Smash
Bramley Apple SmashLCC

Bramley Apple Smash:

50ml Bombay Sapphire
10ml Elderflower Cordial
15ml Lemon
6 Mint Leaves
50ml Apple Sauce

"This floral smash will transport you to one of London's beautiful gardens in one sip, with gin, citrus, elderflower and fresh mint it encapsulates classic Britishness and with the Custard Cream garnish, you may as well be having a picnic."

Mojito
MojitoLCC

Mojito:

50ml Bacardi Superior
6 lime wedges
12 Mint leaves
25ml Sugar syrup

"This drink needs no introduction, a true Cocktail Club crowd-puller and classic simple pleasure - rum, lime, fresh mint, soda and a touch of sugar - you can't get more thirst-quenching than that!"

Confessions of a Cucumber Salesman
Confessions of a Cucumber SalesmanLCC

Confessions of a Cucumber Salesman

35ml Finlandia Grapefruit
15ml Merlet Poire
25ml Lemon Juice
20ml Cucumber Syrup

If you're looking for true refreshment, look no further. The unusual combination of cooling cucumber paired perfectly with grapefruit and pear may just make this your new summer staple!

Rumbongo
RumbongoLCC

Rumbongo

150ml Bacardi Superior
150ml Passion Fruit Puree
150ml Apple Juice
150ml Pineapple Juice
50ml Vanilla Syrup

"Rumbongo Rumbongo, they drink it in the Congo! Designed to share, the Rumbongo is a punchy number! A rich and satisfying blend of tropical juices, this one's a summer party must - it's even served in your very own Monkey Cooler!"

Fortune Cookie
Fortune CookieLCC

Fortune Cookie

30ml Bombay Sapphire Gin
20ml St Germain Elderflower
20ml Lime Juice
20ml Passionfruit Puree
10ml Sugar Syrup

"With a clever fusion of oriental flavours, together with this scorching eastern heat, The Fortune Cookie will take you on a fragrant trip through Asia with a classic British twist... served with your very own chopstick straws and a Fortune Cookie!"

The London Cocktail Club is at: Goodge Street, Shaftesbury Avenue, Oxford Circus, Covent Garden, Islington and Shoreditch.

17:54
Soldier faints guarding Prince Charles
A soldier fainted guarding Prince Charles at Hayling Island, HampshireGetty

A soldier guarding Prince Charles has fainted at a Second World War monument in Hayling Island, Hampshire.

The man, who is in the Royal Artillery, was in full uniform as the Prince of Wales visited but fainted face-first to the ground. He was revived by volunteers from St John's Ambulance.

17:40
UK hottest day: Is it hot enough to fry an egg outside?IBTimes UK

Forget thermometers, sweat patches and wilting ice creams - everyone knows the best way of telling if it is really hot is if you can fry on egg using nothing but the raw power of UV rays.

Watch IBTimes UK science reporter Hannah Osborne attempt to crack it.

17:32

It's officially the hottest July day since records began - in celebration here is a hot dog in central London.

hot dog
A dog suns itself in central LondonGetty

17:23

IBTimes UK's top ten tunes to accompany the heat wave – in no particular order:

  1. Light My Fire – The Doors
  2. We Didn't Start The Fire – Billy Joel
  3. Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles
  4. Summertime – The Zombies
  5. Sunny Afternoon – The Kinks
  6. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina And The Waves
  7. Sun is Shining – Bob Marley
  8. Disco inferno – The Tramps
  9. Hot in Herre – Nelly
  10. Fire Starter –The Prodigy

16:37

Why are rail services suspended or closed in high temperatures?

Network Rail offers this explanation:

"On warm days, rails in direct sunshine can be as much as 20 degrees centigrade above air temperature. As rails are made out of steel, they expand as they heat up and are subject to strong compression. This expansion has to be managed to reduce the risk of track buckling.

If the track does buckle, the line must be closed and the track repaired before services can resume, causing considerable disruption. Usually, these repairs can't be done until the temperature of the rails has dropped.

If a section of track is judged to be at risk, we introduce local speed restrictions - slower trains exert lower forces on the track and reduce the chance of buckling."

16:36

Delays and partial closures are being reported on nine railway lines in the UK.

Find out how your commute will be affected here:

Extremely high temperatures are forecast for today and because of this Network Rail will be introducing speed restrictions on various parts of the network, throughout the day.

The following train operating companies are currently expected to be affected by these speed restrictions:

15:41
UK heatwave strikes Wimbledon
A ballboy collapsed at court 17 at WimbledonGetty

Wimbledon has seen the effects of the heatwave after a ball boy collapse on Court 17.

Paramedics rushed to assist the boy who was conscious when he was taken away on a stretcher.

14:59
Rocky IV
Wittering (L, played by Sylvester Stallone) squares up to the enormous Heathrow (R, played by Dolph Lundgren)

Not to be outdone, Heathrow just hit a mind boggling 35.7°C! Reports London Mayor Boris Johnson contributed to the searing conditions by petrol bombing the airport in the wake of today's Airports Commission decision are wide of the mark.

How will Wittering respond? What a showdown we have on our SPF 15-slathered hands. Could Heathrow vs Wittering be the UK's very own 'hot-war' social-commentary, like Rocky IV was the Cold War?

14:32
wolf of wall street
How everyone in Wittering, near Peterborough, feels right nowParamount

It's official, today is the hottest day since 2006! Go UK! Go sun!

And which Peterborough village has been bestowed the title being of said uninhabitable sweltering place?

Why, that would be Wittering, which has just seen the mercury in thermometers there (yes, residents there still use thermometers) rise all the way to...35.3°C.

14:16

As you guzzle back litres of hydrating water, spare a thought for Muslims marking the month of Ramadan by observing a fast.

As part of the commemoration, many Muslims will abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours, which today means going without water for approximately 147 hours.

Here is how some of those observing the 30-day period have reacted on Twitter to today's conditions:

13:38

Heathrow Airport has reached a whopping 34°C and that, according to my 'C' in GCSE maths tells me, is just one degree Celsius away from forecasters' prediction of 35°C.

Come on, sun, you can do it!

13:05
UK heatwave
A young boy does what every grown up wants to do as the UK copes with a heatwaveGetty

With some impressive back-sweat on display across London, here are ten locations the capital is hotter than and their pathetic temperatures:

Amsterdam, the Netherlands - 31°C
Athens, Greece - 26°C
Beirut, Lebanon - 27°C
Cairo, Egypt - 30°C
Dubai - 34°C
Lisbon, Portugal - 22°C
Lagos, Nigeria - 30°C
Madrid, Spain - 34°C
Moscow, Russia - 24°C
Zagreb, Croatia - 29°C

11:56
Judy Murray
Judy Murray was spotted handing out coffees to spectators in the queue at Wimbledon Getty Images

As Wimbledon is set to be the hottest on record today, Judy Murray, called for the men to be allowed to implement the "heat rule" - where play is stopped in very high temperatures to give the players a 10 minute break – which in line with the woman's tour.

The Mother of British number one Andy Murray said: "I think the men should adopt it as well, especially because they have to play best of five sets and a slam is such a tough thing to play.

"I know you get a day between the matches but if you're going to win a slam you need to win seven matches in 13 days."

Temperatures on courtside at the All England's Club hit 40C yesterday and could be even hotter today.

wimbledon
People in the queue to get into The All England Tennis Club fill water bottles on day three of WimbledonGetty

11:21

And the excitement is rising just as fast as the heat is

11:15

Met Office confirmed at 11am today is already the hottest day of the year as temperatures hit 33.5°C in Heathrow

11:12
lorry drivers
Trucks queue up as part of Operation Stack in Dover, EnglandGetty

Kent County Council has handed out around 7,000 bottles of water and 750 snacks to lorry drivers caught up in the disruption caused by striking ferry workers in Calais.

The Red Cross, the Maritime Coastguard Agency, Kent Police and Kent Fire and Rescue Service has also been brought in to assist those caught in the grid lock along the M20.

KCC Senior Resilience Officer Steve Scully said: "These arrangements are part of the ongoing responsibilities of KCC during an emergency. We'd like to thank our partners for helping us to deliver the items and to Tesco for providing thousands of bottles of water."

10:34

If you are still unsure how to stay cool during the heat, IB Times UK has compiled its own handy guide as well as important information regarding heatstroke and dehydration.

UK heatwave: Five easy ways to stay cool and healthy during the hottest day of year

10:16

It's getting hotter

09:54

BREAKING: People like cold stuff when its warm.

Some hard hitting truths being expelled by the good folk over at Blue Yonder, who have revealed that during a heat wave, people are more likely to buy ice cream, cold drinks and suncream.

According to the survey of 2000 people, more than 80% of 'Millennials' (basically a hideous buzz marketing word for people born somewhere between 1983 and 1994 and no longer pay for music) are happy to spend more for ice cream and cold drinks during a heatwave, compared to just 40% for ages 55 plus.

monkey
A monkey cools off by eating a popsicle during a heatwave in Lahore 9 May 2006. Not known if it took part in the survey.Getty

So there we have it, kids of today love ice cream when it's hot more than their unhip, embarrassing parents.

09:26

The Met Office issued this handy graphic to illustrate the end of the word as we know it.

heatwave

09:24

As of 9am, the current hottest place in the UK is Northolt in northwest London, which reached 28C.

09:13
theo walcott
Theo Walcott being sensibleGetty

Figured I'd type 'sunburn' into our Getty archive and found this pic of Theo Walcott leading by example on how to protect yourself from the rays.