Spectacular lightning lit up the night sky last night (July 3) as boiling Britain exploded.

Heavy rain, thunder and lightning battered on, with reports of cars and houses being struck in south east London.

Meanwhile, people in London and Kent got snapping the storm.

Here are some of the best pictures - and a video by Michael Snasdell, on the backdrop of a Forest Hill church:

Tom L captured a pink sky over Blackheath

This Is Local London:

Forecasters had predicted a stormy night, before a return to sunnier weather today - with highs of 25C in south east London and Kent.

It follows a week which saw the hottest July day on record and similar storms featuring golf ball-sized hail which caused an estimated £1.5 million in damage to cars.

David Blackwell shot this scene from Eastnor Road in New Eltham

This Is Local London:

John Griffiths, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, said: "Thundery showers covered from the north of England down to London and there have been quite a few lightning strikes in London and the south coast, as well as in Wales.

"It will continue to push northwards into Scotland and the north of England, which will have heavy rain early on Saturday but they should clear by evening.

"In the South it will be mainly dry.

This Is Local London: Summer Storm Over Bexley

Picture by Rebekah Scott, in Bexley

"The front came in an arc through Ireland to London via the north of England.

"It's going to stay pretty showery on Sunday with sunny spells and thundery outbreaks most likely in the South West and most of the west coast."

The fresh storms come as some householders and businesses in the north of England and Scotland are counting the cost of the wave of freak weather that followed Wednesday's record-breaking temperatures.

The AA said it took dozens of claims for cars wrecked by hailstones, and estimated around 1,700 cars worth up to £1.5 million could have suffered.

Snapped in Crystal Palace

This Is Local London:

And the Met Office said the 34-hour period to 10am Thursday saw 19,525 lightning strikes, 15,273 of which were in Scotland.

On Wednesday, the highest temperature recorded was 36.7C at Heathrow, breaking the record for a July day.

Think your pictures were better? Send them to josie.griffiths@london.newsquest.co.uk