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Here’s how Brits can weather a Scandi winter, Nordic-style

With a blast of Scandinavian air set to put Britain in a -15c deep freeze all week, here’s what you can learn from living Danishly, says Denmark-based (and -40c survivor) Helen Russell

Monday 15 January 2024 16:12 GMT
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<p>Think it’s cold in ‘Arctic’ Britain? Parts of Scandinavia have been under snow for weeks, with freezing temperatures unseen in decades</p>

Think it’s cold in ‘Arctic’ Britain? Parts of Scandinavia have been under snow for weeks, with freezing temperatures unseen in decades

With the news that the UK is staring down the snow-cannon of an Arctic onslaught with temperatures of -15c, my first response was: -15c? Pfft. In the Nordic countries, we’ve been gripped by a big freeze for a fortnight, with parts of Sweden and Finland as low as -40c and up to 70cm of snow in Denmark. We’re talking Narnia.

I learned the rules for surviving a Nordic winter the hard way. Since I relocated from London to rural Denmark in 2013, I’ve become used to driving behind snowploughs, white knuckles gripping the steering wheel in a blizzard of flakes from all angles. Traffic lights and signage have been whited-out by snow and road markings been rendered invisible. Essential car kit now includes snow tires (better grip), extra blankets, emergency chocolate (this could just be me), and a snow shovel.

Fortunately, everyone in Denmark has a snow shovel, since it’s your civic duty to clear the pedestrian path outside your home by 8am every morning. This is so that your neighbour doesn’t break a hip on her way to buy milk. Even the prime minister can be seen shovelling snow in the inky blackness of a morning, so no one else minds doing the same.

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