Ice snow and frost: the north Pennines today (Friday)/ North News
The Met Office has issued a weather warning as a severe icy blast is expected to hit the UK, triggering fears of travel delays and hazardous driving conditions.
Many parts of England and Wales will experience temperatures well below zero, with freezing rain, sleet, hail and snow forecast.
The recent wet weather has increased the risk of dangerous icy patches. Met Office forecaster Helen Chivers said: "The main risk this weekend is going to be ice on the roads and it is going to feel very cold", and the AA is warning motorists to watch out for black ice over the next few days.
Plane being de-iced at Heathrow/PA
The first dustings of snow will start to appear on Friday night and Saturday morning, initially spreading across the north and north Wales.
It will then spread across central and southern England and Wales. The east of England is also expected to experience freezing weather.
Snow of up to 4cm is likely across Cumbria and the Pennines and will continue throughout the weekend, with temperatures plummeting as low as -5C in rural areas, well below the December average of 3C.
The Met Office says the severe cold snap and icy conditions will last until the beginning of next week.
There are also concerns that more heavy rain could worsen the damage already done to flood-hit areas in the South West.
The Environment Agency is warning that many rivers remain at very high levels. These include the Thames, Trent and Severn.
Around 80 flood warnings are still in place, mainly in the Midlands and the South East.
Temperatures have already dropped sharply in the past few days. On Thursday night, parts of Cumbria recorded temperatures as low as -7C, and local authorities are bracing themselves for what some fear could be Britain's coldest winter for 100 years
. The Department of Health has already warned of the dangers the freezing conditions pose to the very young and elderly.
Drivers furious after getting parking tickets in waterlogged town
- Stowe Landscape Gardens, Buckinghamshire
Originally designed as a tourist destination, Stowe’s temples, lakes and monuments remain as fascinating as ever through the seasons. The newly restored coaching inn is the perfect place to enjoy a winter warmer, from hot drinks to soups and main courses.</p>
- Killerton, Devon
Six miles from Exeter, this relaxed 18th-century estate makes an ideal place to stop off for a few hours. Rare trees, woodland walks and a the quirky “Bear’s Hut” are just some of the highlights to be found outside. Pop into the Killerton Kitchen restaurant for a hearty meal, or take tea in the Stable tea-room. Award-winning Killerton cider, chutney, flour or honey can be bought here too as a tasty reminder of your day.</p>
- Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
This former Ducal park is open all year and home to nearly 4000 acres of parkland and gardens, peaceful woodlands and open spaces to explore on foot or by bike.</p>
- Mottisfont Winter Garden, Hampshire
Mottisfont contains the National Trust’s newest winter garden, and specialises in exploring the potential of plants that are at their most beautiful and interesting when other plants are in hibernation. It combines a number of unusual plants, but also some familiar species for visitors to view in a new light.</p>
- Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, Yorkshire
Magnificent 12th-century ruins combine with beautiful landscaped Georgian water gardens at this lovely World Heritage Site, which also boasts its own medieval deer park. To make a weekend of it, stay in one of the 11 holiday cottages here, including apartments in the luxurious Fountains Hall and five cottages converted from a group of eighteenth century farm buildings, there’s something for everyone.</p>
- Dunham Massey, Cheshire
This seven-acre winter garden is home to more than 700 different plant species and a further 1,600 shrubs to admire, providing plenty of colourful distractions from the cold.</p>
- Stourhead, Wiltshire
Take in the fresh winter air surrounded by a world-famous landscape garden, where a magnificent lake reflects classic temples, mystical grottos and swathes of surrounding trees. Make a weekend of it at 89 Church Lawn: set at the entrance to the magical landscape garden, this pretty stone cottage is an idyllic country hideaway. Enjoy bracing walks around the ornamental lake before the crowds. Sleeps seven.</p>
- Dinefwr Park and Castle, Carmarthenshire
From the ruined castle to deer park and woodland, there is plenty to discover in this iconic part of the Welsh countryside. Visitors can enjoy walks, spot nature or simply take in the sights before warming up with fine local fare in the tea room.</p>
- Anglesey Abbey, Garden and Lode Mill, Cambridgeshire
Well worth a visit for its plethora of scenic delights, with statues and columns scattered across the atmospheric grounds. And the winter garden will be a delight for gardening fanatics, as it contains over 150 species of plants....</p>
- Gibside, Tyne & Wear
This beautiful 18th-century landscape park and nature reserve offers a taste of the country on the edge of the city. Discover fine Derwent Valley views, winding paths and refreshing open spaces to stretch tired legs while exploring elegant buildings and ruins. Escape along the avenue for miles of tranquil walks or enjoy family adventures at the woodland playscape and challenge trail.</p>