Britain will be made to wait for any relief from the wintry weather, with further snow and hazardous ice forecast for the weekend.

February got under way with the coldest night in seven years, with heavy snowfall forcing hundreds of schools to close, motorists to abandon their cars, and airlines to cancel flights.

The country has continued to freeze throughout the day and will do so into the night and Saturday, as more ice and snow makes its presence felt.

Snow blankets Dursley, Gloucestershire

It has affected motorists on the M3 on Friday night, where treacherous conditions forced closure between junctions six and seven, creating severe delays for motorists near Basingstoke.

Highways England said drivers had been stranded by the snow and urged others to seek alternative routes.

Hampstead in north London
Image: Hampstead in north London

Most of the disruption at the end of the working week came in the South West, where up to 14cm (5.5in) of snow caused havoc on the roads and at Bristol Airport.

There were also delays and cancellations at Cardiff Airport, leaving lengthy queues of Welsh rugby fans facing a race to get to Paris to watch their side take on France in the Six Nations opener on Friday night.

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Flights were also cancelled and delayed at Bournemouth Airport and London City Airport, with the latter having to close its runway on Friday night due to the conditions.

People took to the slopes to go sledging in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire

Cornwall saw some of the most extreme conditions, with police and fire crews called out to rescue a school bus stuck in the snow for more than five hours on the A39.

Older students at Callywith College in Bodmin were forced to stay the night after buses were unable to leave the campus due to heavy snowfall.

Also in Cornwall, more than 100 people who left their cars on the A30 to seek shelter at a pub were told to pick up their vehicles “as soon as possible” by Highways England.

Medstead in Hampshire. Pic: Johnny and Lara Bassett
Image: Medstead in Hampshire. Pic: Johnny and Lara Bassett
Chilgrove, West Sussex. Pic: Godfrey Church
Image: Chilgrove, West Sussex. Pic: Godfrey Church

Councillor Geoff Brown, who handles transport at Cornwall Council, said “the actions of a few impacted on many” after abandoned cars blocked emergency services, delaying a clear-up that began on Thursday night.

But it is not just the South West to have been hit.

Children enjoy a day off school with some sledging at The Great Field in Poundbury
Image: Children enjoy a day off school with some sledging at The Great Field in Poundbury
A boy puts a bucket for a hat onto the top of a snowman near Hartley Wintney, in Hampshire
Image: A boy puts a bucket for a hat onto the top of a snowman near Hartley Wintney, in Hampshire

Thousands of schoolchildren have been enjoying an extended weekend due to the snow, as hundreds of schools closed their doors on Thursday and Friday.

Closures on Friday included more than 300 in Buckinghamshire and scores across Oxfordshire, and around 550 were closed in Wales alone.

This early morning shot in Slough was captured at 3.4am on Friday
Image: This early morning shot in Slough was captured at 3.4am on Friday
Gardens in Stevenage have been blanketed in snow
Image: Gardens in Stevenage have been blanketed in snow

There were 200 closures in Berkshire, more than 250 in Somerset and 150 in Cornwall.

On the rail network, passengers were urged to check before they travelled in case the conditions impacted services and some Eurostar services were cancelled on Friday.

Snow engulfs Bournemouth FC
Heavy snow covered Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium

Commuters have been warned of potential changes to their usual journeys in their bid to get home for the weekend, although the weather has had less of an impact in and around London than had been feared.

In the North, former England captain David Beckham had to call off a visit to Salford City because of the weather.

Scores of drivers trapped by snow on Cornwall road
Motorists in Bodmin in Cornwall were forced to abandon their cars and take refuge at a nearby hotel

He was due to watch the non-league club take on Maidstone in the FA Trophy on Saturday after his appointment as a director was formally approved by the FA on Thursday, but the fixture has postponed until Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Football League fixtures at Crewe and Port Vale on Saturday have also fallen victim to the weather.

Snow built up overnight in Hemel Hempstead
Image: Snow built up overnight in Hemel Hempstead
Church meadow in Selborne, Hampshire. Pic: Raymond Skellan
Image: Church meadow in Selborne, Hampshire. Pic: Raymond Skellan
A snowplough clears a road near in Shaftesbury, Dorset
Image: A snowplough clears a road near in Shaftesbury, Dorset

And in Scotland, Stranraer have announced their Ladbrokes League One meeting with Stenhousemuir is off following a pitch inspection at Stair Park.

More snow is forecast going into the weekend and – although it is unlikely to be as heavy as it has been in recent days – the Met Office is still advising of potential danger on the roads.

Snow angel: The land around a popular landmark in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, has been given a wintry makeover
Image: Snow angel: The land around a popular landmark in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, has been given a wintry makeover
Snow covers houses in Gold Hill, in Shaftesbury, Dorset
Image: Snow covers houses in Gold Hill, in Shaftesbury, Dorset

Drivers are being urged to stick to the main and avoid steep hills and exposed routes, ensuring that their windscreens are clear of snow, frost and condensation before setting off.

There is a fresh yellow warning for snow and ice covering large areas of the UK until midday on Saturday, covering northern Scotland, most of Northern Ireland, the eastern coast of England and the west coast of Wales.

Two men appeared to help stuck motorist as snow fell across the country
Image: Two men appeared to help stuck motorist as snow fell across the country
The snow made for treacherous driving conditions on the A34 in Berkshire
Image: The snow made for treacherous driving conditions on the A34 in Berkshire

Also in place is a yellow warning for ice for the southern counties until 11am on Saturday – with freezing temperatures and fog forecast even though conditions will be largely bright and sunny.

The Met Office has recorded a low of -15.4C (4.3F) at Braemar in the Scottish Highlands, which was just a fraction away from surpassing the low of -15.6C (3.92F) set in 2012.

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