Good news for half-term holidays: snow will clear for 'getaway Saturday'

Good news for half-term holidays: snow will clear for 'getaway Saturday'PA


Half-term holidaymakers may now breathe a sigh of relief: the latest weather forecast is that the snow that threatened to cause travel chaos this weekend is set to ease off.

Weather forecasters have predicted that Britain will face a fresh bout of snow tonight (Friday), but that by the weekend, warmer air is expected to move in, meaning it will have cleared up enough to keep public transport running reasonably smoothly.

In a press statement this morning, Heathrow Airport's owner BAA said: "A light fall of snow overnight was cleared by Heathrow's snow team with no disruption to the airport... A normal schedule is planned for Friday with no anticipated disruption. After clearing snow overnight, airside teams took the opportunity to carry out two practice drills. Heathrow continues to monitor the weather and will respond if mor adverse conditions are expected."

According to the Telegraph, around 90,000 people are expected to fly on Saturday alone.

Airports are currently on alert for freezing rain - rain that freezes on impact with cold objects like planes - which is reportedly the most dangerous weather threat to aircrafts.

The Express reports that Britain is set to receive up to eight inches of snow tonight, and that temperatures could fall to -15C in some places.

But as it is thought that there will be some respite at the weekend, there is hope for holidaymakers that Heathrow won't end up cancelling half of its flights, as they were forced to do when six inches of snow hit last weekend.

Met Office spokesman Dan Williams told Aol Travel: "We're not expecting any significant snow over the weekend. There's a slight risk we may see 1cm in parts of the south east on Saturday night, but that's it.

"Obviously with the ice risk and low overnight temperatures, particularly in the south east, we'd advise people to take particular care on the roads and keep up to date with the latest weather forecasts and warnings."

Travel chaos was widespread, with celebrities even taking to Twitter to complain about the lack of salt gritting. Gabby Logan wrote: "London, you forgot to grit the roads – no salt anywhere!"

Met Office forecaster Sarah Holland told the Telegraph: "Over the weekend, we're gradually going to see some milder air trickling through down to the south of the country. This snow isn't here to last for long but the cold conditions remain."

Fingers crossed for a smooth getaway...

Still haven't booked your half-term holiday? Check out these great short breaks around the UK:

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Good news for half-term holidays: snow will clear for 'getaway Saturday'

For an alternative affordable half-term getaway, families sail off on a scenic boating holiday on the River Severn - and save 15 per cent on the week’s hire of selected narrowboats with Waterways Holidays  until the end of January. Seven nights’ hire of Omniscient – a fully equipped 58ft narrowboat (sleeping up to eight) - with oak-panelled interior – is reduced to £638 (saving £112) for the week commencing 11 February. In addition, up to four well behaved pets are welcome free of charge.

For a half term adventure on the water's edge, hop across the Solent to the Isle of Wight with Wightlink. Enjoy a four-star break at Harbour Farm Lodge in Bembridge, set within an RSPB Nature Reserve and just a short walk to the beach where at low tide there is a vast number of rock pools home to a multitude of curious creatures including porcelain crabs, sea anemones and periwinkles and other-worldly marine algae. The log cabin sleeps four in two en-suite bedrooms. On 11 February, a one-week Wightlink Green Getaway costs from £450 for a family of four (£113 per person) including self-catering accommodation and return car ferry crossings from Portsmouth or Lymington.

Harewood House is launching a fabulous half term week to celebrate nature and raise awareness of conservation. Join in a week of fun activities and demonstrations for all the family to highlight the beauty of nature and raise awareness of conservation. Enjoy the walks featured in the release Harewood's new 'Love Nature' walks booklet, engage in activities such as alpaca wool spinning, pottery painting, craft making to name a few. You can also watch countless birds take flight over the lake while hidden in the brand new bird hide. 11 - 19 Feb 2012, 10am - 4pm. Adult £10.00 Senior £9.00 Child £6.00 Harewood Members free (10 per cent pre-booking discount applies, see website for details). 

Others may be jetting off to the Alps for half-term, but you can avoid all that airport chaos by heading instead to the St George's Hotel in Llandudno. The hotel is just a short distance from a scenic dry ski slope, where you and the kids can learn to ski or snowboard from scratch or work on that freestyle, all with fantastic views of the sea and Snowdonia. While you're there, try out Britain's longest toboggan run or sno-tubing before heading back to the seafront hotel. Three nights in February half-term cost from £372 in total, based on a family of four sharing a premier king sized room, including breakfast. Group ski lessons cost from £27.

Take the kids to watch newborn lambs being fed by their mothers and enjoy entertainment including sheep-shearing at The Big Sheep, near Bideford, Devon. Family-friendly entertainment will include the rather wacky sheep races (complete with knitted jockeys) and duck trials - where border collies round up perplexed ducks. BlueChip Holidays is offering guests half-price entry when they book a self-catering holiday over the February Half Term. A selection of high quality self-catering cottages, apartments and houses are available nearby starting from as little as £53 per person for three nights at The Decks on the outskirts of Bideford.

This picturesque property offers the opportunity for the kids to get down with the animals, feeding newborn calves and collecting eggs for breakfast. It costs just £280 per week starting on 11 February and sleeps five with Holiday Cottages.

Yes, even in February! Just don a wetsuit and you're away. Retreat to the wild beauty and rugged coastline of north Cornwall with contemporary self catering experts Beach Retreats. Think meticulously stylish properties, all in spectacular settings, close to the beach and an amazing array of places to eat, drink, play, relax and shop. The beach in front of Waves apartments,offers three miles of perfect sand at low tide. Prices from £570 for a week at half term.

Located in over four acres of secluded gardens and mature woodland, Trigony House Hotel in Dumfries, Scotland, offers a great base for families to explore the surrounding countryside, with activities including horse riding, land rover safaris, falconry and archery. Falconry experience courses include handling, learning about and flying these beautiful birds. Courses are priced from £65 per person for a half-day course (there's currently a 20 per cent discount until the end of March if you pre-book). A superior room accommodates two adults and two children and is priced from £155 per night b&b.

Take a four-night break at Derwent Bank Country House, set in woodland on the shores of Derwentwater. Organised guided walks tailored for families with kids are on offer during half term, with beautiful walks taking in the amazing scenery with stop-offs including Peter Rabbit's garden (altogether now: awww). HF Holidays is offering kids go free deals on these walking breaks, which start at £329 per adult.

The Slimbridge Wetland Centre, set within 325 hectares against the backdrop of the Severn Estuary, offers a vast array of fun and wildlife watching, with special events such as children's introductions to bird watching (£12 - pre booking required) on selected dates, where wardens will give some expert tips on how to learn and develop bird watching skills and knowledge. Visit wwt.org.uk for details.

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