People trying to enjoy the bank holiday weekend will have to contend with some dismal weather conditions, forecasters have confirmed.
While around 1.8m Britons will head off abroad for the break, conditions for those staying at home will not be too pleasant.
Gareth Harvey, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: “It won’t be the best of Bank Holiday weekends. There’s an Atlantic depression heading in towards the UK, bringing spells of quite heavy rain today, spreading north east during the day, and there could be some thunderstorms mixed in with that.
“That depression is going to be hanging around on Saturday, with some quite heavy downpours, sometimes with thunderstorms, pretty much everywhere.
“By Sunday the depression will have moved away to the North Sea, and there will be a westerly or north-westerly flow across the country, but that will also bring some lengthy spells of rain, especially across England, though there will be some sunny interludes.
“Monday may start off sunny in some areas, particularly in the east, which will hold on to it for a good part of the day.
“Winds will pick up from the west, and there may be some gale-force winds in the far North West late in the day, which is quite unusual for this time of year.”
Temperatures are not expected to reach much higher than 20C (68F) over the weekend - a stark contrast with last weekend when the thermometer touched 32C (90F).
Travel organisation Abta said Spain and its islands were the most popular overseas destinations for Britons this weekend.
Paris, Amsterdam and Dublin were among the most popular city breaks, while domestic tour operators reported the south and south west coasts of England were favourite spots for those taking breaks in the UK.
An estimated 400,000 people will fly from Heathrow over the weekend, with 250,000 leaving from Gatwick, 150,000 from Manchester, 124,000 from Stansted, 68,500 from Luton and 62,500 from Birmingham.
The Highways Agency said about 194 miles of roadworks will be completed before the weekend and 59 miles of further works will be suspended over the holiday period.
On the railways there will be some engineering work but 94 per cent of services will run as normal, with replacement bus services reduced by 58.5 per cent compared with last August bank holiday.
Network Rail and the Association of Train Operating Companies said about 6.1m passengers were expected to travel on main line trains between Saturday and Monday.
Among the events this weekend are the music festivals at Leeds and at Reading in Berkshire.