Home at last: New Year revellers locked in by snow

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The Independent Online

The freezing Arctic conditions delivered an unexpected bonus for some New Year's Eve revellers after they were forced to spend three days snowed in at England's highest pub.

Some 60 guests had booked to see in the New Year at the Tan Hill Inn, which stands at a height of more than 1,700 feet above sea level in the Yorkshire Dales.

But heavy, relentless snowstorms on New Year's Eve left the guests stranded in the pub as seven-foot drifts left them unable to get to their cars as they tried to leave on New Year's Day.

But resourceful landlady Tracy Daly 45, her husband Mike Peace, 63, and two staff sprang into action to keep the stranded guests watered and fed.

The conditions were so bad that gritters and snowploughs were unable to battle through the drifts and make it up to the inn.

Guests from as far afield as Cornwall, the Isle of Lewis in Scotland and a smattering of locals passed the time by playing cards and servicing the bar until the roads were finally cleared today.

The landlady explained: "We had the rule that the bar could only open at 5pm, the guests were all very well behaved though.

"There was a lovely, community atmosphere despite the fact nobody could get home.

"I suppose there are worse places to be snowed in than a pub."

The inn, which is currently for sale, offered rooms for a knockdown price of £10 per night rather than the normal figure of £70 and managed to cook up vegetarian meals as well as traditional favourites.

There were further additions on Saturday when some campers turned up unexpectedly, but after enjoying an evening meal the eccentric visitors headed back outside to pitch their tent in the plunging -12 temperatures.

The landlady added: "The guests were lovely, we were pretty under-staffed and they kept giving us breaks so we didn't get too tired."

One stranded visitor still remains and with the ferocious weather predicted for the next few days his sojourn in the inn is set to continue for some time.