Snow blankets parts of UK as temperatures plunge in lead up to Christmas

People up and down the UK woke up to a frosty start this morning as snow blanketed parts of the country.

Snow dusted towns and cities as far south as Essex and Kent to northern England and the Scottish Highlands.

The postcard-perfect scenes brought joy to some hoping for a white Christmas just weeks away – but brought misery for early morning commuters.

The first widespread snow fall of winter brought a string of Met Officeweather warnings and frustration on the rail and roads.

Traffic ground to a standstill in Edinburgh overnight as falling ice and snow from cables shut the key Queensferry Crossing.

Rail passengers were also affected, with ScotRail warning of “significant disruption to services on multiple routes” due to heavy snow.

Vehicles crawled carefully along slippery roads in Cambridgeshire and Essex.

And in the North East, police warned of dangerous driving conditions on the A93 and the B993.

But the chilly weather delighted many, as families awoke to snowy scenes and children piled outside to build the first snowmen of the festive season.

People snapped pictures of the snowfall outside their windows from areas stretching from Suffolk up to Durham this morning.

Snowflakes settled on Christmas decorations decking out pubs, gardens and shops.

A garden centre in Sudbury, Suffolk delightedly posted a picture on Twitter of its reindeer sculptures coated in snow.

People in Dartmoor, Cambridgeshire and Huddersfield captured snaps of snow blanketing streets and gardens.

The Met Office said wet snow fell on Friday morning across parts of Kent.

Rain, sleet and snow was also expected across a broad swathe of Scotland and northern England.

The forecaster’s weather warning for snow and heavy rain through to Friday at 10am was issued for the east of England, London and the South East.

And yellow warnings for ice and snow remained in place across large areas of Scotland and Northern Ireland and stretch down into North Yorkshire which suggest possible travel disruption.

The forecaster warned heavy rain and snow could lead to tricky travel due to surface water and “possible slushy accumulations”.

It added: ” In a few places 1-2cm of snow could accumulate, mainly on grassy surfaces over the North Downs and Chilterns.”

Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern described early Friday as being that “awkward mixture of cold rain, sleet and falling snow” for many areas of Britain.

The Met Office said the cold spell is expected to last through Friday.

The weekend is forecast to see brighter weather and even some sunshine.

The forecaster added that temperatures going into next week would be lower than the average annual temperature, which is usually about 7-9C.