What a disappointment.
We should have been going to Urchfont Manor in Wiltshire today. It is a regular venue, and we enjoy our visits there as it is in such a lovely part of the country. The alarm was set for 06.30 and at that time all was well. We leave at 08.00, and all was well at 07.49, but at 07.50 it began to snow and this is what greeted us as we went to the car.
There is usually a remarkable absence of radio travel broadcasts on a Sunday, so we had no idea what was waiting for us. We joined the motorway (M3) at Junction 4a and travelled slowly but surely until we reached just beyond the service area. Now we had our first radio message. Don't travel on the M3 - anywhere between junction 1 and 14, and sure enough we were soon at a standstill.
Inching forward we progressed. Having travelled less than half a mile we were overtaken by a police car and a highways vehicle travelling cautiously on the hard shoulder. The object of the first delay became obvious just around the corner as we saw the remnants of a 3 car collision. Further on, but within view were two more cars on the hard shoulder, then another two, and finally a more serious accident (or, to be more politically correct, an 'incident' as someone was possibly to blame)with an ambulance in attendence.
It took us two hours to travel from junction 4a to junction 5. We gave up at this point, and returned home. The traffic was still inching forward towards Basingstoke, but no idea of what was actually causing the problems further on.
We left the motorway and returned via the A roads. It was beautiful, but we were glad to be on our way home again. As we approached home it was lovely to see the faces of the children building snowmen. They obviously hadn't needed any encouragement to get out of bed this morning. Fathers were enjoying it too!
This is the view that greeted us when we returned after our twenty mile round trip.
Sorry, Urchfont, but I think we did the right thing, especially as you will all want to get away at lunchtime. Hope you all get home safely, although it will probably all turn to sleet and slush before very long.