Much of Britain is already in limbo as the country prepares to endure its hottest day on record, with temperatures expected to reach 106F (41C).
From hastily purchased fans to wading pools in the back garden, people do everything they can to stay cool when the mercury rises.
The scorching heat means the UK will be warmer than Nassau in the Bahamas (32C), Kingston in Jamaica (33C), Malaga in Spain (28C), Athens in Greece (35C) and Albufeira in Portugal (28ºC).
But unlike many of these sun-kissed destinations, buildings in Britain simply aren’t built to withstand intense heat. It means that any time in the house can quickly become oppressive.
While installing air conditioning at home is expensive — and not environmentally friendly — it exists Some public buildings where the cool air blows to give you a precious few hours escape from the heat.
Here, FEMAIL shares some of Air Conditioning’s unexpected pullbacks…
Stay cool at the cinema: Treat yourself to a cool drink and an ice cream while you indulge in the air-conditioned oasis of the local cinema
It might sound counterintuitive to sacrifice a day in the sun to sit in a dark room, but a visit to the cinema also gets you two (or three) hours of gloriously cold air conditioning.
Maximize your time out of the heat by arriving well in advance of your scheduled start time (the lobby is also cold) and treat yourself to cold drinks and an ice cream.
Crucially, it’s also a way to keep the kids busy. Minions: The Rise of Gru and The Railway Children are great for little ones but smart enough to entertain adults too.
Are you planning a child-free trip? The latest Marvel installment Thor: Love and Thunder is currently showing, and Top Gun: Maverick is lingering on certain screens.
Cheap and Cheerful: A visit to the supermarket is far from glamorous, but it’s a way to beat the heat without breaking the bank (unless you want to stop and do the week’s shopping).
Glamorous? no Cold? Yes. It’s so chilly in some supermarkets that walking down the freezer aisle can feel like a brief arctic blast.
Break out of the routine and do your weekly grocery shopping today. Take the time to peruse the items on each individual shelf to maximize your time in the frigid air.
Or, if you’re really struggling to do something, you can even go to the supermarket without buying anything.
Kids might have trouble getting excited about rows of vegetables or frozen peas, but maybe it’s a chance to play a family version of Supermarket Sweep. Or just force them to follow you and reward them with an ice cream cone on the way out.
Less is more: Take a leisurely stroll on the treadmill and feel virtuous knowing you’re taking your steps without putting yourself at risk of heat stroke. Image from a photo agency
This is definitely the week to make the most of that gym membership you haven’t touched since January.
Take a leisurely stroll on the treadmill and feel virtuous knowing you’re taking your steps without putting yourself at risk of heat stroke.
Hard-core gym-goers may choose to do a more intense workout, but remember to stay hydrated afterwards.
Remember to use all the facilities and treat yourself to a refreshing shower before heading back out into the heat.
No gym membership? It might be worth checking to see if there’s an introductory offer worth signing up for, even if it’s only for the next month. Or try your local recreation center.
Window Shopping: Take your time and browse the shops in your local air-conditioned mall. If you have a few hours to kill, take a trip to the movies
If there was ever a day when you could wander aimlessly through the shops at your local mall, it’s today.
Start by picking up any summer essentials that might still be missing from your wardrobe, then branch out to window shopping of high-end pieces just to pass the time.
If you’ve got several hours to kill, why not make a day out of it and have lunch at an indoor restaurant before seeing a movie at the cinema (see above).
Or save money by bringing your own packed lunch and then stealthily eat it somewhere quiet.
Take a trip down memory lane: many of the larger museums have air conditioning to protect their exhibits. There are many free museums and galleries to choose from, such as the V&A (above)
Museums can be hit-and-miss when it comes to air conditioning, so be sure to check before you plan a visit, but many institutions will stay cool to protect the exhibits.
Londoners have the greatest choice and can easily spend a day hopping between different galleries and museums (although then you’ll struggle to get between them).
The British Museum is particularly cool and free to visit, as are all of Britain’s national museums, including the Tate and the National Portrait Gallery.
The V&A Dundee, the National Railway Museum in York and the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry are all worth visiting.
SEA LIFE AQUARIUM LONDON
Cool Clients: Spend some time with the gentoo penguin colony at Sea Life London Aquarium and you’ll have a hard time remembering just how hot it is outside
Spend some time with the gentoo penguin colony at Sea Life London Aquarium and you’ll have a hard time remembering just how hot it is outside.
The penguins are just one of more than 500 species housed in 14 themed areas in exhibits that teach visitors about the animals and the importance of preserving their natural habitats.
The entire aquarium is air conditioned and shaded from the sun, providing an ideal escape from the heat.
But be warned: it’s not a cheap day trip. Prices for a standard adult ticket start at £28.
RESTAURANTS AND COFFEE SHOPS
Once again, air conditioning will be hit-and-miss at your favorite restaurants, but larger coffee shop chains like Starbucks and Costa will almost certainly have them.
Bring your work laptop to recover from the heat of your home office—even if it’s just for a few hours—or treat yourself and have lunch somewhere with air conditioning.
Opt for an iced coffee for extra cooling or keep things simple with a refreshing sparkling water.
Time to stay? A night in the hotel is a luxurious way to beat the heat. Image from a photo agency
Have you been looking for a way to treat yourself to a little stay? This could be the perfect night for it.
Many hotels, even the cheaper ones, have air-conditioned rooms, allowing you a night away from the sweltering heat of your own bed.
Try browsing last minute websites for the best deals. You might even be lucky enough to find one with a swimming pool if you’re willing to spend a little more.
Support Local Businesses: Browse books and escape the heat at a local bookstore where you can happily while away the hours. Pictured, Daunt Books in London
Support your local bookstore and stop by the air conditioner.
Unlike other retailers, bookstores often encourage customers to relax — and even read — in-store, so you don’t have to feel pressured to leave the store.
Check out the new releases or grab a title by your favorite author and spend a leisurely few minutes flipping through the pages before you buy.
If you are really concerned about the air conditioning then call ahead as smaller independent shops may not have it.