Much of the UK is at risk of snow and ice as temperatures plummet this weekend and into next week, warn weather experts.
On its National Severe Weather Warnings page, the Met Office has issued a 'Yellow: Be aware' weather warning of snow and ice in much of Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as north west England, north east England, Yorkshire and Humber, the West Midlands, and the East Midlands.
Describing what the 'Yellow: Be aware' warning level means, the Met Office writes: "Severe weather is possible over the next few days and could affect you.
"Yellow means that you should plan ahead, thinking about possible travel delays, or the disruption of your day to day activities.
"The Met Office is monitoring the developing weather situation and Yellow means keep an eye on the latest forecast and be aware that the weather may change or worsen, leading to disruption of your plans in the next few days."
And Leon Brown, meteorologist at The Weather Channel, agreed, telling Aol Travel that later in the weekend the snow risk is also high for areas further south. He said: "There's a cold Arctic flow from today (FrIday) and below normal temperatures lasting through next week. There's widespread ice and a risk of snow in many areas too.
"Later tonight we could see as much as 10cm of snow over the western Pennines and 5cm of snow over inland mid-Wales.
"On Saturday night, there's a further risk of snow across mid-Wales and spreading to the Midlands. Around 5cm to 10cm is possible over the high parts of mid-Wales, and places in the West Midlands to Staffordshire and Derbyshire could wake up to 2cm to 5cm.
"On Sunday afternoon and night there is a snow risk for South East England. The higher parts of Kent to Sussex may see a spell of moderate snow with 5cm to 10cm accumulating, especially the North and South Downs.
"Some snow could also move south across East Scotland to North East England during Sunday with 2cm to 5cm accumulations inland.
"At the moment, Monday looks like a dry and bright day for much of the UK, but frosty and icy. A severe frost is likely over the Scottish Highlands with temperatures in places below -10C.
"Another snow risk develops over the west during Tuesday and Wednesday, possibly moving further east to central Britain. The detail is uncertain at the moment. There's another snow threat from the north west later on Thursday, too."
Echoing the Met Office, Leon added: "Be well prepared for snow and ice later this weekend and next week whereever you are."
Cheapest holiday destinations for 2015
UK weather warning: Widespread risk of snow and ice
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Affordable winter sun holidays
UK weather warning: Widespread risk of snow and ice
For a warm winter break in Europe, head for Malta where temperatures rarely fall below 15C and you can enjoy the city of Valletta and the Maltese islands in a relaxed setting you won't find in the summer months. Explore the cobbled streets and sun dappled squares of Valletta, go hiking in the countryside and explore the beautiful coves and beaches without the crowds. easyJet Holidays offers a seven-night holiday at the three-star Blue Sea St George's Park & La Vallette Resort in the town of St Julian's, just north of Valletta, for £289 per person, based on a 4 February 2016 departure from Gatwick.
Ideal for a short city break or week-long holiday, Morocco's Red City is the place to go for an exotic winter shopping trip in winter. Just under four hours from the UK, Marrakech has plenty of sunshine, temps of up to 18C and an exciting culture to explore. lowcostholidays.com offers seven nights in Marrakech from £155 per person, based on a 20 January 2016 departure from Stansted and a B&B stay at four-star Blue Sea Marrakech Ryads Parc and Spa in La Palmeraie.
Bali is a top long-haul winter sun destination for a bargain, where 10 holiday items including an evening meal, sun cream, a bottle of water and glass of wine can cost just £40. The spectacular Indonesian island boasts kilometres of powder soft sand, swathes of lush rice paddies and an engaging native culture. Travelsupermarket compares holidays to Bali and has found a seven-night holiday to Bali with ebookers staying at the four-star Umalas Residence on a room-only basis from £556 per person, based on 22 February 2016 departure from London Gatwick.
The Caribbean is a classic winter sun destination offering sunshine, a laid-back island vibe and some of the best beaches in the world. While it's a go-to place for luxury travellers and may not be the first destination you think of for a cheap getaway there are plenty of affordable options. A cruise, for example, allows you to take in not one, but a number of islands and covers your travel, accommodation and food costs so you only have to spend on souvenirs! P&O Cruises offers a 14-night Caribbean fly-cruise visiting nine islands (Barbados, Aruba, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, Amber Cove, Tortola, St Maarten St Lucia and Dominica) from £1,329 per person in February, including flights from various UK airports, full board accommodation, entertainment and round the clock kids' clubs.
For a family-friendly getaway in the sun, look no further than Portugal's Algarve, where you can enjoy cultural festivals, sandy beaches and winter sunshine. The 16C winter temperatures make the Algarve ideal for outdoor activities, such as hiking, golfing and kayaking. Don't miss a day at the beach as winter is the best time to see the coastline's natural beauty without the crowds. On the Beach offers a seven-night holiday at the three-star Club Dos Arcos Apartments, including flights from Stansted on 17 January 2016 and B&B accommodation from £114 per person.
For a touch of the exotic and temperatures of up to 25C during the day, head for Red Sea destination Eilat in Israel, where you can swim with dolphins, go on a Jeep tour in the mountains and relax at the beach. Monarch offers a seven-night holiday to Eilat from £448 per person, including a stay at the three-star Astral Palma in a junior suite on a B&B basis and return flights from Luton on 21 January 2016.
Looking for an affordable week in the sun somewhere off the beaten path? The Cape Verde islands are located 500km off the coast of West Africa and share African and Portuguese influences. They're not as touristy as the Canary Islands and have gorgeous beaches in Sal and Boa Vista. Cape Verde is also a paradise for surfers, hikers and divers. Sunshine.co.uk offers a seven-night holiday at the Pontao Hotel for £450 per person, including flights from Gatwick departing 13 January 2016 and half-board accommodation.
Think Canaries, think bring on the Full English? Think again. Lanzarote, an island of brooding volcanoes, has managed to contain its tourist development, allowing its natural beauty to break through. Black volcanic fields, deep green cacti, whitewashed cottages: it’s a landscape to gladden the cool designer’s eye. December may be the beginning of the rainy season but don't let that put you off! The island experiences less than 20 days of rain in an entire year. Stick to the south for warm sunny days on the beach. lowcostholidays.com offers seven nights at three-star Blue Sea Costa Teguise Gardens on a B&B for £223 per person based on 11 Jan 2016 departure.
With average temperatures of 32C across the winter months and soft sandy beaches, Goa is the ideal destination for escaping the cold and discovering a new culture. Visit the exhilarating local markets stacked with spices and silks, relax on the vast sandy beaches lapped by the Arabian Sea and explore the unique local cuisine. Head to Central Goa for water sports and diving, North Goa for the lively atmosphere and nightclubs and South Goa for spotless white sand, baroque churches and bazaars. Monarch offers a 14-night holiday at Palmarinha Resort in North Goa for £615 per person, departing Gatwick on 28 February 2016.
Want winter sun without the long-haul flight? Cyprus is an excellent choice for warm temperatures (20C), sightseeing and gorgeous beaches. Nature lovers will be in their element throughout the winter months when the landscapes are lush and green. You can visit the Troodos National Forest Park, enjoy a camping holiday and go strawberry picking. Limassol boasts quiet beaches, fascinating historical attractions and museums, while Paphos is known for its ancient ruins, unspoilt beauty and bustling centre. easyJet Holidays offers seven nights at the luxurious Amphora Hotel & Suites in Paphos for £239 per person, based on a 2 February 2016 departure from Gatwick.
UK weather warning: Widespread risk of snow and ice
Looking for an affordable week in the sun? The Cape Verde islands are located 500km off the coast of West Africa and share African and Portuguese influences. They're not as touristy as the Canary Islands and have gorgeous beaches in Sal and Boa Vista. Cape Verde is also a paradise for surfers, hikers and divers. Sunshine.co.uk offers holidays to Cape Verde in Sal, Boa Vista, Santiago and Sao Vicente.
Spend your festive break exploring the wonderful colonial architecture of Havana and Trinidad, wandering the famed tobacco fields in Vinales, climbing the beautiful Cuban mountain ranges and lounging on Baracoa’s laid-back Caribbean beaches. Prices for a December Cuba holiday with Intrepid start at £689 (excluding flights) for accommodation, city tours and excursions and the services of a tour leader.
Think Canaries, think bring on the Full English? Think again. Lanzarote, an island of brooding volcanoes, has managed to contain its tourist development, allowing its natural beauty to break through. Black volcanic fields, deep green cacti, whitewashed cottages: it’s a landscape to gladden the cool designer’s eye. December may be the beginning of the rainy season but don't let that put you off! The island experiences less than 20 days of rain in an entire year. Stick to the south for warm sunny days on the beach. TravelSupermarket compares cheap holidays to Lanzarote with prices starting from £166 per person in December.
This Indian Ocean island has a formidable reputation for great service wherever you go. Its white-sand beaches, sparkling in the heat in December, are hard to leave, yet there’s so much more to see. This island was an important trading post for merchants - and pirates - over the centuries and the influence of a league of nations lives on, from the bustling streets of Chinatown, in the capital Port Louis, to the serene shores of the sacred Hindu lake Grand Bassin. Turquoise Holidays is offering seven nights at Anahita Golf & Spa Resort, Mauritius from £1,650 per person.
The weather in the Cayman Islands from mid-December is hot and dry with cooling winds making it perfect for long days at the beach. An 80-minute flight from Miami, the Caymans encompass three beautiful islands in the western Caribbean. On Grand Cayman, stroll along coral-sand Seven Mile Beach and swim with yearling green sea turtles in the saltwater lagoon at Cayman Turtle Farm. For an all-in-one Cayman getaway, make family-owned Brac Reef Beach Resort your home base for beachfront lodging, diving, snorkelling, kayaking and birding.
For a Christmas family getaway in the sun, look no further than Portugal's sunny Algarve, where you can enjoy cultural festivals, sandy beaches and winter sunshine! Surrounded by the natural Costa Vicentina Park and a beach on its doorstep, the five-star Martinhal Hotel is perfect for families wanting all the Christmas trimmings as well as some sunshine. The resort will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland with fairy lights, Santa Claus, yuletide food and festive cheer. Take advantage of 27.5 per cent off seven-night half-board stays with Christmas dinner and Christmas day brunch included at just €113.50 (£90) per adult per night in a Hotel Room for a family of two adults, one child under 12 and one baby.
It's an old winter sun favourite and Barbados is the classic Caribbean island for a beach holiday. It's only eight hours away and temperatures reach up to 29 degrees in January with 10 hours of sunshine a day. The island is the culinary capital of the Caribbean and there are spectacular diving sites, as well as idyllic beaches. Virgin Holidays offers Barbados winter deals from £779 for seven nights.
Bali has been revealed as the top long-haul winter sun destination for a bargain by Post Office Travel, with 10 holiday items including an evening meal, suncream, a bottle of water and glass of wine, costing just £40. The spectacular Indonesian island of Bali boasts kilometres of powder soft sand, swathes of lush rice paddies and an engaging native culture. Travelbag offers holidays to Bali from £569 per person.
Cruise holidays are ideal for winter sun seekers who want to experience a variety of sandy beaches, characterful cities and historic harbours, and with its diverse islands, the Caribbean is perfect for a winter break. P&O Cruises offers 15-night Caribbean fly cruises starting from only £1,399 per person, including return flights, resort transfers and 14 nights in an inside cabin with full-board meals and entertainment on board. Departing from and returning to Barbados, the cruise itinerary includes visits to Grenada, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Tortola, Curacao and Bonaire.
With temperatures nearing an unbearable 50 degrees in summer, the winter months are ideal for exploring Dubai, when you can escape the cold UK weather and enjoy sunnier climes. If you're a shopaholic, the annual Dubai Shopping Festival takes place from 5 January until 5 February. Around the city, there are great golf clubs, stunning beaches and a buzzing nightlife scene. British Airways offers seven nights in the Melia Dubai from £615 including flights.
The magnificent temples of Angkor have attracted visitors from all over the world for thousands of years. Built from the 9th to 14th centuries - when the Khmer regime was at its most creative - these sites are architectural wonders. Angkor Wat is the largest and most well-preserved monument, and the colonial-style Siem Reap is the nearest town... Stay in the capital, Phnom Penh, which has vibrant nightlife, beautiful pagodas, and the humbling Cheong Ek. Elsewhere, there's beautiful jungle, stunning beaches (try Sihanoukville) and national parks to soak up. Check out the range of holidays on offer from Kuoni, where you can choose from an array of package holidays or organise your own tailor-made trip.
February sees Cape Town in its quieter months, but still in the height of summer - so it's hot (average 27C) and crowd-free! Head to the beautiful V&A waterfront for mooching and shopping, and to get the boat over to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison. Take a cable car up to the top of Table Mountain, then, after dark, check out Long Street for great clubs and bars. For something a bit swish, check out the popular beach suburb of Camp's Bay - full of shi shi cocktail bars with a view. And don't leave without visiting one of the beautiful vineyards, like Stellenbosch, for a spot of wine-tasting. TripAdvisor features reviews of hotels, attractions and restaurants in Cape Town.