Stansted airport was shut for more than two hours and many road and rail journeys were delayed, causing frustration for commuters.

Forecasters said the snowfall was no more than “one or two centimetres in places” but nevertheless air and train passengers endured a difficult morning.

Over 50 schools were shut around the country too, reports The Huffington Post.

And the cold snap is set to continue swith some areas seeing temperatures plunging to as low as minus 8C (18F), with another band of rain and snow due to affect Scotland and the North West England.

Michael Dukes, director of forecasting at MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: “There has been a band of sleet and snow moving through parts of the east Midlands, east England and south east England late in the night, towards morning.

“This band of sleet and snow in the South East is moving out of the way in the next hour or so and many places today will be bright and sunny but cold. The exception to that is the North Sea coastal areas because there will be further sleet and snow showers in the counties bordering the North Sea. Other areas will be mostly sunny.”