Britons who have braved a long, cold winter can look forward to a mainly sunny early-May bank holiday weekend with temperatures as high as 21C (70F).

The southern half of Britain should see the best of the conditions, with Scotland and Northern Ireland getting some rain from time to time.

"There is high pressure to the south of England and this is giving the south generally dry and fine weather over the weekend," said Tom Tobler, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the Press Association's weather division.

He said that there could be some rain across Scotland and Northern Ireland on Friday and some of this wet weather could spread into northern England and Wales.

But Friday conditions in central and southern England are expected to be fine with temperatures as high as 20C (68F).

The southern half of England should continue to be dry and sunny at times on Saturday and Sunday, with temperatures possibly reaching 20C on Sunday. But Scotland and Northern Ireland could get some rain on Sunday.

There will also be some cloud and patchy rain in northern and western areas on bank holiday Monday but the south should get a good deal of sunshine with temperatures as high as 21C.

The good forecast - at least for the southern half of the country - is good news for those planning to make trips. Drivers will be able to take advantage in the latest round of supermarket petrol and diesel reductions.

Meanwhile, a survey of 2,000 parents by insurance company found that children who get ill travelling in cars are likely to feel sick just 22 minutes into a journey.

The poll found that two in five families with children who get car sick avoid long journeys altogether.