Easter snowfalls bring Britain to unseasonable standstill

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Gale-force winds and snow wreaked havoc across much of the country yesterday, with roads closed, buildings damaged and people warned to stay away from the coast for their own safety.

Snow fell in parts of Scotland and northern England and reached as far south as London, as the Easter weekend began at the earliest time of year for nearly a century.

Temperatures plunged to below zero last night after a day in which they fell to just 1C, far below the seasonal average of 7C.

The miserable weather conditions are set to continue, with more snow today and wintry showers expected tomorrow. "There is no sign of spring out there, to be honest," said the Met Office forecaster Chris Almond.