Hundreds of holidaymakers are expected to head abroad this weekend as the UK sees its earliest snowfall for 17 years.
The Met Office are expecting the current cold spell to get worse as the weekend approaches with temperatures expected to drop as low as -5°C. They issued severe weather warnings for the eastern side of the country with parts of Wales and Northern Ireland also affected. The Scottish Highlands have already seen 8 inches of snow, with roads severely affected.
The AA received over 1,000 calls an hour and attended 7,500 breakdowns as the snow began to fall and unprepared motorists found themselves stranded.
The cold snap could be a bonus for the long suffering tourist industry though, as early sales this year have suffered due to ash clouds, industrial action, and a number of leading operators going out of business. Many people will find themselves yearning for some winter sunshine and it is expected that sales to sunnier climates are set to rise sharply over the next few days.
Popular long haul hot spots to head for this winter include Goa and Cuba, whilst Cape Verde and Egypt continue to rise in popularity with the bonus of flight times being around 5 hours. The Canary Islands can be reached in just over 4 hours and having hit the peak of their popularity in the 80’s and 90’s, still create the perfect destination for a last minute winter break without having to travel too far.