UK Easter weather: It"ll be so cold this weekend Boat Race rowers could wear gloves

Glorious sunny morning brings respite from Spring Freeze but it's still so cold rowers are training for the Boat Race in GLOVES
Sunny skies this morning for Britain but it'll struggle to breach 6C todayLight snow showers forecast in the East tonight with locally-severe frostGood Friday: Cold but bright start with wintry showers and patchy drizzleThree of Cambridge Boat Race crew seen wearing gloves while practisingSaturday and Sunday to remain cold with cloud and a few wintry showers

Edinburgh: 103,006
(down 5.5% from 108,714)Glasgow: 75,000
(up 1.4% from 69,000)Newcastle: 50,000
(up 11.1% from 45,000)Manchester: 215,000
(up 5.9% from 203,000)Heathrow: 1,200,000
(up 3.2% from 1,163,139)Gatwick: 393,000
(up 0.7% from 390,000)Southampton: 30,000
(unchanged from 30,000)

But
at 2am the strike was called off after successful late-night talks in
France. P&O Ferries spokesman Chris Laming said: ‘This is excellent
news for British holidaymakers’.

Those
now able to travel freely by cross-Channel ferry will be among around
1.7million Britons escaping the continuing cold to holiday abroad this
Easter.

Hotspots abroad for
sun-starved Britons this Easter include the Canary Islands, Majorca,
Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey. Top city break destinations include Paris,
Dublin and New York.

From today until next Tuesday, a
total of 600,000 people will leave from Heathrow Airport, 214,000 from
Gatwick, 110,000 from Manchester, 110,000 from Stansted and 55,000 from
Luton. Scottish airports
will see more than 100,000 departures.

Abta CEO Mark Tanzer said: ‘After
two wet summers and no end in sight to the winter, many Brits are
desperate for some sunshine. We've seen a surge in last minute
bookings to warm destinations. Ski lovers are also in for a treat
with some of the best snow conditions seen for years.’

Outlook: This three-day weather forecast shows how much of Britain will be cloudy this Easter weekend

Outlook: This three-day weather forecast shows how much of Britain will be cloudy this Easter weekend

Odd sight: Icicles by the B3011 at Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, caused by cars splashing through melted snow

Odd sight: Icicles by the B3011 at Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, caused by cars splashing through melted snow

Cute: Snowy, Frosty, Michael and Flake were given jumpers to protect them from the cold weather at Becketts Farm in Birmingham, West Midlands

Cute: Snowy, Frosty, Michael and Flake were given jumpers to protect them from the cold weather at Becketts Farm in Birmingham, West Midlands

Those staying at home can expect
temperatures to pick up slightly over the holiday period but they will
be still be way below average for this time of year.

OXFORD FAVOURITES IN BOAT RACE

The 159th University Boat Race between Cambridge and Oxford will take place on Easter Sunday, starting at 4:30pm.

The
Putney to Mortlake race will be live on BBC1. Bookies Coral and William
Hill both have Oxford at 2/5 favourites, with Cambridge at 7/4.

Those travelling by rail over Easter
will contend with a number of engineering works, including major work at
Reading in Berkshire and also work on the West Coast main line in the
West Midlands. On the roads, the Highways Agency suspended roadworks for
Easter on a number of England's motorways and major A roads.

But
works remain in place on some routes including the M1 near Milton
Keynes in Buckinghamshire. The AA believes as many as 17million cars
will take to the roads over the holiday period. But the AA added that
the roads may not be as busy as usual as the cold weather was likely to
make this more of a ‘stay-at-home Easter’.

Scooped: Snow is cleared from a road near Colne, Lancashire, as the clean-up effort continues across Britain

Scooped: Snow is cleared from a road near Colne, Lancashire, as the clean-up effort continues across Britain

On the railways today there were problems for passengers passing through Reading even before the engineering work was due to begin there, caused by a broken-down train at nearby Maidenhead.

MORE BRITONS HEADING ABROAD

Some 2.2million more British travellers are expected to take
overseas breaks this Easter compared to last year, with 10.1million set to head
abroad, research revealed today.

More than half of those travelling abroad told a survey by
O2 Travel that the recent British weather has prompted them to take a break from
the arctic conditions this year. The poll also found 5.4million of those going abroad booked their
holiday in the last two weeks.

There were delays of up to 40 minutes between Reading and Paddington in London and another broken-down train in Sussex meant there were delays between Brighton and Lewes.

On the roads, the link in Manchester from the M602 J1 westbound to the M60 J12 was closed. On the M25 anti-clockwise between J27 and J26 in Essex there were delays due to a broken-down vehicle.

Breakdown firm Green Flag said drivers were likely to make round-trips averaging 125 miles over the holidays and that 10.30am on Saturday would be the peak time for congestion.

The Environment Agency had 24 'be prepared' flood alerts in place today, with 18 in the South East.

White: A vehicle passes snow drifts near Colne, Lancashire, as Britain continues to shiver in the cold weather

White: A vehicle passes snow drifts near Colne, Lancashire, as Britain continues to shiver in the cold weather

A family have been separated for more than a week after 4ft snow drifts cut off their remote farm house on Stewart Shield Farm in Stanhope Common, County Durham, from their family home.

IRISH MILITARY HELICOPTERS HELP FARMERS WITH CUT-OFF HERDS

Two Irish military helicopters have joined the relief mission to help Northern Ireland farmers whose herds have been cut off by the snow.

The Augusta Westland helicopters, each carrying up to 14 personnel, took off from Casement Aerodrome at Baldonnel, Co Dublin, this morning, the Irish Defence Forces said.

They will team up with two Royal Air Force Chinook crews to drop bales of essential food and supplies to stranded animals in the worst affected areas such as the Mourne Mountains and Glens of Antrim.

The family live half a mile from the B678 Meadow Edge Road, which runs between Stanhope and Blanchland, but the route has been blocked by deep snow drifts as wind whips across the fields.

Robert Collingwood, 44, decided to take his two sons Jake, 11 and Ben, 9, to his auntie’s house four miles away in Stanhope so they could get to their respective schools. But the deep drifts have meant they have been unable to come back to the family home for a week.

Mr Collingwood, who lives with wife Helen, 38, said: ‘We've been blocked in for over a week. The snow is about 4ft level, up to 5ft in places. Last Thursday, I decided to take the kids to my auntie's house because the kids had missed that week off school because of the weather.

‘The forecast was bad and I thought if the kids got stuck much longer, with Easter coming up, they would end up taking a month off school. Wind has been the main problem, the snow catches in it.'