Persistent rainfall threatens to put a major dampener on Bank Holiday plans as motorists are warned of unpleasant driving conditions on one of the busiest days of the year for travellers.

A yellow weather alert has been issued by the Met Office, as some parts of the UK prepare for up to 1.5ins (40mm) of rainfall over the course of the day.

As predicted, today is set to be the worst of what has been a disappointing three-day long weekend weather-wise, with rain moving eastwards across south west England and Wales, and heavier rainfall in the south east from lunchtime.

Temperatures, which fell to freezing in some parts last night, will not get much higher than 19C (66F), forecaster Simon Partridge said, adding that it will feel cooler during spells of rainfall.

"Most places will see between 15 and 20mm of rain today with some areas, mainly in south east England, seeing between 30 and 40mm," he said.

"In the south west it will feel a little warmer because of the south westerly winds.

"Temperatures look set to recover to around average for this time of year, maybe with highs of around 20C (68F)."

Scotland, where it is not a bank holiday, will enjoy the best of the weather, with a bright and dry forecast.

Those returning from weekend breaks have been warned to take extra care on the roads.

The Met Office said: " The public should be aware that there may be some impacts to holiday traffic and other outdoor activities.

"The spray (from the rainfall) will probably be made worse by strong winds across some southern areas; gusts to around 40mph may occur at some coastal locations although this will depend on the exact track of the low pressure."