There's little respite for Britain after the Big Freeze, as the Big Thaw brings gale-force winds and heavy downpours.
The good news? Temperatures this week will increase significantly, with highs of around 14C predicted at Heathrow on Wednesday, and up to 12C further north.
Leon Brown, meteorologist at The Weather Channel, says severe gales are expected for Wednesday morning for the north of Scotland. Whilst it will be a blustery day for most of the UK on Wednesday, the south and east will remain largely dry.
He told Aol Travel
that the gales and heavy rain will hit harder further south on Friday (1 February), with south west England and Wales set for 70mph gusts.
He explained: "The main story is what happens on Friday. A deepening low pressure system will move east from the Atlantic and on a more southerly track. It looks like it will move across the south of Ireland to South Wales and then south east England during the day. The track is a little further north than earlier forecasts and will bring a lot of precipitation across the south of Ireland to Wales and central and south west England. These areas are likely to see 25 to 50mm.
"Also, Friday will see strong to gale-force winds and severe gales over parts of Wales and south west England in the evening from the north. Gusts could be in excess of 70mph, and may reach more than 50mph across the Midlands and northern England from the north east."
But, he adds, there could even be a return of the white stuff on Friday: "A cold undercut from the NE will turn the rain to sleet and snow, especially above around 200m in Wales, Midlands and northern England in the evening. Potential for some heavy snowfalls over the higher parts of Wales, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Yorkshire with 10 to 20cm and significant drifting above 300m."
The weekend is set to be calmer but more snow and blizzards may be possible next week.
Leon added: "Early next week, strong north western winds may bring heavy snowfalls and blizzards to higher ground in Scotland with snow showers spreading south to central Britain by Tuesday."
The end of the Big Freeze has seen some devastating effects, with large parts of the country on flood alert.
Buildings have flooded and travel chaos ensued as the meltwater was swollen by rain, and rivers across the country broke their banks, according to the Daily Mail
The paper adds that the Met Office has issued weather warnings for south west England and much of Scotland this week, predicting Devon and South Wales will suffer with "localised flooding and disruption to travel".
Britain is on flood alert
Cheer yourself up by planning a romantic Valentine's getaway:
- Enjoy ultimate privacy in Paris
Looking for the last word in privacy? Call off the search. One by The Five is a luxurious and hedonistic single-suite hotel with a number of sexy extras, including a cocktail station with all the ingredients for a special "love elixir" (champagne, cognac, berries, cinnamon and sugar), as well as a choice of five sensual fragrances to be diffused into your room. Clouds and fibre-optic stars surround the suspended "floating" designer bed, while a 24-hour concierge will be on hand during your stay to cater to your every need.<br />
<strong>Price: </strong>Starts from £396.00 per room, per night. Visit <a href="http://www.onebythefive.com " target="_blank">onebythefive.com</a></p>
- Get 'kitted out' in Barcelona
The helpful staff at Hotel Barcelona Princess - on the world-famous Avenida Diagonal- have whipped up the perfect sensual Valentine's package, including accommodation in a Junior Suite with special romantic decoration, a sumptuous breakfast, a bottle of Cava and chocolate-covered strawberries, a free mini-bar and access to the sauna and pool. But the best bit? The offer also includes an “erotic kit” (plume, mask, lubricant, massage gel, condoms and lollipop included) to ensure a more-than-pleasurable stay.The hotel also boasts a sun terrace with pool on the 23rd floor with spectacular views of the city.<br />
<strong>Price:</strong> £121 per room per night from 18 January to 22 February. Hotel Barcelona Princess is a member of Great Hotels of the World Premium Collection. Visit <a href="http://www.ghotw.com/hotel/offer/14497/hotel-barcelona-princess.htm" target="_blank">ghotw.com</a>.</p>
- 'Stay and play' in Brighton
With frisky couples in mind, myhotels has partnered with erotic lifestyle brand 210th to create a naughty-but-nice package available at myhotel Bloomsbury, myhotel Chelsea and myhotel Brighton. All three hotels offer a cheeky box from 210th including a luxury vibrator, massage oil and pleasure balls, satin blindfolds and 25 saucy assignments to surprise each other. The package also includes an overnight stay and an energy-boosting (!) continental buffet breakfast for two the morning after.<br />
<strong>Price:</strong> From £175, based on two people sharing, valid for stays between 1 February and 29 February 2013. Visit myhotels.com or call 020 7637 2000.</p>
- Strip off in your own private spa in Switzerland
Grand Hotel Kronenhof, a neo-Baroque property tucked away in a pretty Engadine valley, is offering a "Time for Two" Valentine's package that starts with a trip to Pontresina on a magical train ride from Zurich. A chauffeur-driven car will then take you to the hotel, where you can sip Champagne and dine at the hotel's Michelin-star restaurant. Relax for two hours in a private spa suite, where you can take a hydrojet bath together, before lounging on a double waterbed overlooking the snow-capped mountain peaks, followed by a simultaneous 25-minute aroma massage and a rasul ceremony in the steam bath. Sounds steamy, alright...<br />
<strong>Price:</strong> Grand Hotel Kronenhof’s “Time for Two” three-night package costs from CHF 1240 (approx £815) per person and includes accommodation, gourmet half-board (including breakfast buffet and dinner in the one-star Michelin restaurant Kronenstübli), welcome Champagne, a private horse-drawn carriage to Val Roseg and exclusive use of the private spa suite for two hours. Visit <a href="http://www.kronenhof.com/" target="_blank">kronenhof.com</a>.</p>
- Hot oils and hot tubs in Hampshire
Swap the sofa for a fabulously sophisticated treehouse at the upmarket spa hotel Chewton Glen in Hampshire. Your wrap-around balcony comes complete with its own hot tub, perfect for a night of romance. Relax in front of the wood burning stove and enjoy a candlelit dinner for two, as well as a sensual 90-minute couple's hot oil candle treatment in the luxury of your floating pavilion. You'll also receive a Champagne and spa treats hamper on arrival, together with a breakfast hamper on both mornings.<br />
<strong>Price:</strong> The 'Height of Romance' package starts from £865 per room, per night, and also includes full use of the spa and leisure facilities. Available from 8 to 17 February. Visit <a href="http://www.chewtonglen.com/whats-on/valentines-break.aspx" target="_blank">chewtonglen.com</a>.</p>
- Have a magical moment in the Maldives
A three-day jet set to the Maldives? Very flash. The Beach House at Iruveli Maldives offers a host of sexy treats, including a private beach dinner for two under the stars, a free coconut truffle spa treatment for two, breakfast in bed, and a castaway gift experience on a deserted island. <br />
<strong>Price:</strong> $1,950.00 per room per night (approx. £1,210) plus taxes and service charge. Valid for selected departures during February. Visit <a href="http://www.beachhousecollection.com/ " target="_blank">beachhousecollection.com</a>.</p>
- Soak up the souks in Marrakech
Exotic Marrakech just oozes sensuality, and a stay at the Dar Jaguar, an ancient riad that has been lovingly restored as a beautiful private guesthouse, will not disappoint. Get cosy in your room with Champagne and strawberries upon arrival; enjoy a full body massage; take an exotic excursion beyond Marrakech to the waterfalls of Ouzoud; have a cooking lesson followed by a three-course candlelit dinner on the terrace overlooking the medina; and receive a private professional guided tour of the souk.<br />
Price: From £600 per couple not including flights. Visit <a href="http://www.mantiscollection.com/dar-jaguar/" target="_blank">mantiscollection.com</a></p>
- Bathe under the stars in Botswana
Falling asleep under the spectacular African night sky after an indulgent bush bath in beautiful natural surroundings is a seductive, intimate experience. Lie back and reflect on an incredible day of game viewing in Botswana’s Okavango Delta in a private bath for two under the stars at the five-star Sanctuary Baines’ Camp. Each suite has a four-poster “sky bed” that can then be rolled out onto the candlelit wooden deck for an intimate night under the star-filled African sky.<br />
<strong>Price:</strong> Rainbow Tours (<a href="http://www.rainbowtours.co.uk/accommodation/botswana/baines-camp/ " target="_blank">rainbowtours.co.uk</a> or call 020 7666 1250) offer three nights at Sanctuary Baines' Camp from £2795 per person. Price is based on two people sharing and includes international flights from the UK to Maun, light aircraft flights from Maun to the camp's private airstrip, an Elephant interaction excursion, all meals and scheduled game activities. Visit<a href="http://www.sanctuaryretreats.com/" target="_blank"> sanctuaryretreats.com</a> or call 020 7190 7728.</p>
- Go skinny dipping in Dorset
If you can't afford to star-gaze in a bath in Botswana, there's a wonderfully romantic - and purse-friendly- alternative in picturesque Dorset. The Bothy is a stylish self-catering sanctuary for "grown ups only, please", according to its website. With its private courtyard and copper bateau tub, this is the place for skinny dipping under the stars. Valentine’s visitors also get a goodie bag with locally made massage balm and homemade chocolate truffles, to warm things up even more.<br />
Where:, Launceston Farm, Tarrant Launceston, Blandford Forum, Dorset.<br />
<strong>Price:</strong> £325 for a three-night break for two. Visit <a href="http://www.sawdays.co.uk/special-places/britain/england/dorset/the-bothy-launceston-farm" target="_blank">sawdays.co.uk</a> or call 01258 830528</p>
- Be a real-life Victoria's Secret angel in London
For a Valentine’s Day with a real 'frisky' factor, St. James’s Hotel & Club have teamed up with Victoria’s Secret to offer a seductive package that includes a personal shopping experience in the Angel Suite at Victoria’s Secret’s flagship store (pictured) on London’s New Bond Street. Armed with a £70 gift card you can stock up on come-and-get-me lingerie and accessories. The "Seduction" package includes a one-night stay at St. James’s and lots of indulgent treats, including breakfast in bed, and a box of Victoria’s Secret Pink Champagne Truffles by Charbonnel et Walker.<br />
<strong>Price:</strong> The package is £492 and is available throughout Valentine’s week (11 to 17 February). St. James’s Hotel & Club is a member of Great Hotels of the World Luxury Collection. Visit <a href="http://www.ghotw.com/hotel/offer/14489/st-james-hotel-club.htm" target="_blank">ghotw.com</a> or call 020 7380 3658.</p>