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Summer bank holiday weekend in Kent: Travel, weather and events

It's set to be a sizzler in Kent this weekend, with temperatures expected to reach around 30C.

As the summer bank holiday is a popular time to go away for the weekend, or at least take a little day trip, traffic may be heavier than usual.

So we have put together a guide with everything you need to know about coping on the roads and in the sun.

Make sure you miss the worst traffic when heading to the beach
Make sure you miss the worst traffic when heading to the beach

When should I travel?

People heading off for bank holiday weekend have been urged to wait until later this evening to travel.

Five million drivers are expected on Britain's roads today, with major routes due to be busiest between 11am and 6.30pm.

Traffic information supplier Inrix suggests leaving after 9pm to avoid queues on popular tourist routes.

On Saturday, it will be busiest between 10.30am and 2pm, 12.30pm and 2pm on Sunday, and 12pm and 2.30pm on Monday.

Those going away for bank holiday are advised to set off later this evening
Those going away for bank holiday are advised to set off later this evening

What roads will be the worst?

The longest delays today are expected to be on the M25 anti-clockwise from junction 4 at Orpington/Bromley to junction 1 at Swanscombe/Dartford at around 3.15pm, with journeys taking 55 minutes longer than usual.

Inrix also predicts there will be particular heavy traffic on the M2 between junction 3 and junction 7 on Monday.

Are there any road works planned for this weekend?

Highways England said it is keeping 97% of England's motorways and major A roads free from roadworks this weekend to help people get away, which will hopefully help ease the traffic.

Highways England is trying to keep roadworks to a minimum this weekend
Highways England is trying to keep roadworks to a minimum this weekend

But roadworks will still remain in place on the M20 from junction 2 for Wrotham to junction 7 for Maidstone/Sittingbourne.

There will be lane closures on the M26 eastbound between the M25 and junction 2A at Wrotham including the slip road, and on the M25 anticlockwise between junction 6 for Godstone and junction 5 for the M26, from 11pm today until 5am tomorrow.

This is to for emergency barrier repairs and litter clearance.

And there will also be some emergency barrier repairs on the A21 southbound from 8pm tonight and 6am tomorrow.

This is between the junctions with the A25 and the A225, and the A26 Tonbridge West and the junction with the A26.

Rail travel in Kent should hopefully run quite smoothly this weekend
Rail travel in Kent should hopefully run quite smoothly this weekend

Will there be any major rail disruption?

Several major engineering projects are closing sections of railway around the country but luckily, none are in Kent.

However, if you are heading to London this weekend, there will be no trains to or from London Kings Cross on Saturday and Sunday, and reduced services on Monday.

How can I avoid getting hot and flustered on the road?

With temperatures forecast to reach around 30C this weekend, things could get a bit stuffy if drivers don't take travel advice.

To cope with the jams, Inrix advises to think carefully about when you are travelling, with the best time being early morning or later in the evening.

Harley Street Skin Clinic's Dr Aamer Khan gives his top tips for staying safe in the sunshine

Check your air conditioning is working properly to keep as cool as possible and have lots of food and drink on board to prevent 'carguments'.

Temperatures are set to reach at least 30C this weekend
Temperatures are set to reach at least 30C this weekend

How hot is it going to be?

Kent may be in for its hottest ever summer bank holiday Monday.

On Saturday and Sunday temperatures are expected to reach around 30C.

This could continue into next week, which may set a new record for the August bank holiday.

Heatwave in Kent with potentially record breaking temperatures

The current highest UK temperature on this day is 31.5C in Heathrow, London in 2001.

The Met Office has issued a level two yellow heat warning for the county.

This means there is a 70% probability of heat health criteria being met between 6pm on Saturday and 9am on Tuesday.

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From tomorrow, south easterly winds will draw the warm air from Europe towards the UK, bringing rising temperatures along with dry and settled weather.

Deputy chief meteorologist, Dan Harris said: “August has been mixed so far with some rather unsettled spells for many, however that’s going to change this weekend as we see high temperatures, sunshine and light winds return."

KentOnline has some tips on how to stay safe in the sun here.

What's on in Kent this weekend?

To make the most of the sunshine this bank holiday, there are plenty of events being held in the county.

Knights will be jousting at Dover Castle or you can enjoy a refreshing mint choc chip smothered in toffee sauce while listening to live music at the Ice Cream Festival at Kent Life in Maidstone.

Boing! free festival will return to Canterbury, with theatre workshops and performances from artists across the globe.

Make friends with a fluffy alpaca at Kenward Trust in Yalding on Monday, or embrace your inner nerd during Brainiac Live Week at Dreamland in Margate.

There's an ice cream festival at Kent Life
There's an ice cream festival at Kent Life

To find out what else is on this weekend click here.

Kent's outdoor swimming pools open this summer

Read more: All the latest news from Kent


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