Snow blankets the UK – in pictures

Snow, ice and freezing conditions caused mass disruption in parts of the UK earlier this week

London buses stuck in snow
(Image credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Parts of the UK were blanketed with snow this week while icy conditions and freezing temperatures caused disruption in severely affected areas.

“Schools from Cornwall to the Scottish Highlands were forced to close,” said the BBC, and “widespread travel disruption” caused havoc on Monday morning.

Trains, including Tube services in London, were either cancelled or severely delayed, and 140 flights serving UK airports were cancelled. Motorists faced a “nightmare scenario” as snow and ice made for extremely hazardous driving conditions that saw crashes, people stuck in their cars for hours, or in some cases simply abandoning their vehicles to find refuge.

In Burwash in East Sussex, “stranded travellers” were welcomed into The Bear Inn pub for the night because of the conditions, with some motorists trekking two miles to get there from their cars, reported Sussex World.

The snow resulted in the “all too predictable disruption” the UK normally faces, wrote Mary Dejevsky in The Spectator. For the often short-lived snow experienced by London and the Southeast, in particular, it is right “not to invest taxpayers’ money in pre-empting winter”, she argued. However, the government should address the need for “better insulation of buildings” adding that “roads and pavements should be salted and gritted when a freeze is forecast”.

But while travel chaos and disruption are unfortunate consequences of the weather, many people still took the opportunity to enjoy a picturesque day in the snow. “Maybe it is time to recognise that the popular instinct – to enjoy a ‘snow day’ – was right”, said Dejevsky. “Tomorrow, the trains will be running or back on strike, and the snow? Well, the snow will be gone.”

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Richard Windsor is a freelance writer for The Week Digital. He began his journalism career writing about politics and sport while studying at the University of Southampton. He then worked across various football publications before specialising in cycling for almost nine years, covering major races including the Tour de France and interviewing some of the sport’s top riders. He led Cycling Weekly’s digital platforms as editor for seven of those years, helping to transform the publication into the UK’s largest cycling website. He now works as a freelance writer, editor and consultant.