Where the festive snow fell

8th January, 2015

The big kids amongst you will have gone to bed on Christmas Day dreaming of waking up to a white Christmas. Unfortunately, whilst many areas of the country did experience freezing temperatures and icy conditions, the white stuff never fell. Fast forward 24 hours and it was a completely different story across much of Northern Ireland, Wales, central and Northern England and southern Scotland.

Snow and sleet on Boxing Day forced the Met Office to issue a yellow weather warning and resulted in the closure of Leeds Bradford Airport, the diversion of flights into Liverpool airport and warnings from police describing roads as “treacherous” and “almost undriveable”. Winter had well and truly arrived.

For many of us the Boxing Day flurries were the first snowfall of the season and on average we see 33 days of snowfall each year in the UK; though there are considerable differences depending on where you live in the country. For example, those of you living in Cornwall will receive on average just 10.2 days of snowfall each year. If you are a snow lover, here are the top 5 UK destinations if you want to make the most of the wintery conditions:

5. Copley, County Durham

Situated just south of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the village of Copley in County Durham is the snowiest area in England. On average residents see snow falling 53 days of the year, which gives them an excellent excuse to visit the local outdoor ski centre!

4. Orkney Islands

Comprising of approximately 70 islands grouped into the North and South Isles, the Orkney Islands can be found just off the north-east tip of mainland Scotland. The Loch of Hundland is situated in the north west of the mainland of Orkney and comes in at number four on our list with an average of 59 days of snowfall a year.

3. Fair Isle

The Fair Isle may be famous for its traditional knitting technique, but it can also boast the third highest amount of snowfall in the UK. The island, situated midway between the Orkney Islands and mainland Shetland Islands, is home to just 68 people and on average sees snow falling on 63 days of the year.

2. Shetland Islands

This subarctic archipelago is situated 170km north of mainland Scotland and comprises of over 300 individual islands, though only 16 are actually inhabited. The small village of Baltasound on the island of Unst is not only home to the Met Office's most northerly weather station, but is also the snowiest location in the Shetland Islands. The 65 days of snow they receive each year narrowly beats Lerwick on the mainland island with 64 days.

1. Cairngorms

And finally, coming in first with a whopping 76 days of snowfall a year, is the weather station at the Cairngorn chairlift. The Cairngorm National Park in the East Highlands of Scotland is a popular location for snow sports and offers a range of activities from guided walking to mountain biking.

Snow on the Cairngorms

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