SCOTLANDERS flocked to beaches and parks as a sizzling 20C heatwave rolled in.
Spring will get off to a mild start in much of the country, as temperatures are expected to stay warm for up to a fortnight.
Today was the hottest day of the year so far in Scotland, with Kinlochewe, Highlands, registering 20C.
Scottish cities enjoyed the sun, with 16.9°C in Glasgow and 14.7°C in Edinburgh.
Spring will officially start tomorrow in the UK, and today Scots made the most of the warm weather.
People headed to beaches and green spaces, including parks, to enjoy blue skies and sunshine.
In Glasgow, Kelvingrove Park was full of locals eager to make the most of the hosting conditions.
In Kinlochewe, Leigh Davies, commercial engineer from Dumbarton, and Jo Paige, 44, digital manager from Inverness, found themselves in the hottest spot in the country.
Leigh, 38, said: “The weather was supposed to be great this weekend so we decided to be away for a few days before starting my new job next week.”
Jo added: “It’s such a stunning view here, overlooking Kinlochewe and Loch Maree, that we just had to stop and enjoy the sunshine as well as the view.”
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Mairi McCluskey, 72, a retired nurse from Inverness, was on a day trip to Gairloch with friends.
She said: “The flowers here at ‘Sitooterie’ looked beautiful in the sunshine today and it’s the perfect place for a cup of tea and a sandwich.”
Ross Thomson, 35, his wife Catherine, 32, and son Lewis, three, from Glasgow, are on holiday in Torridon for a week.
Ross said: “The weather is glorious today so we decided to come to Gairloch beach.
“Lewis loves to play in the sand and the water is warm enough to paddle a bit.”
Remarkably, this is the second year in a row that Scotland has recorded the UK’s hottest day of the year up to the last third of March.
Scotland’s March record temperature was recorded 10 years ago on March 27, 2012, when Aboyne in Aberdeenshire hit 23.6°C (74°F).
Forecaster Marco Petagna said: “Scotland had impressive temperatures today. It’s not uncommon to have good weather in March but it’s very welcome after what we experienced last winter .
Scots will bask in 20C sunshine this weekend as the hottest region in the UK thanks to the ‘foehn effect’
“It just shows how temperatures can suddenly rise unexpectedly. In the past, hot weather seemed to take a while to build up, but now it’s happening so suddenly.
The good news is that the high should stay in place until next weekend, signaling a spell of good weather for another week.
Tomorrow, Scots can expect drier and sunny weather, with an off-season 14C possible in the northwest, with some low cloud in the east.
At 2pm, the Met Office took to social media to show an image of the UK from space.
The post read: “It’s not often we see the UK like this, virtually cloudless.”