Tourists brave six inches of snow to take Lake District open top bus tour

Alex Renfrew and Andrew Case  on the ope-top bus surrounded by snow - Tourists brave six inches of snow to take Lake District open-top bus tour
Brave or bonkers? Either way, Alex Renfrew and Andrew Case had a chilly view of the snowscape that was the Lake District - Kennedy News

A pair of tourists braved six inches of snow to take an open-top bus tour in the Lake District.

Alex Renfrew and Andrew Case travelled from Warrington to scale Helvellyn on December 2, but their mountaineering plans were curtailed by the heavy snow, which caused widespread power cuts and forced locals to abandon their cars.

Mr Renfrew, a customer service worker, and his friend Mr Case, an experienced mountain leader, were determined not to let the weather dampen their day out, and decided to brave the sub-zero conditions to take the scenic bus ride.

They waded their way through six inches of snow to get the best seat on the top deck – but admit they only lasted out in the open for 10 minutes in the freezing temperatures.

Mr Renfrew said: “The bus driver told us there was snow on the top and we went to have a look and stayed up there.

“We were throwing a few snowballs and stuff – it was fun.

“We’re northerners. This is my home being in the mountains so we’re used to the cold! It makes more for a fun photo. The views were amazing.

“We were on the bus for 40 minutes and only on the top for 10 minutes or so. The fear was that if the bus slips, we’d go flying off the top.

“The bus only made it half a mile out of Grasmere and didn’t move. There were cars sliding everywhere.”

Sign and snow in Windermere
The Lake District suffered large snowfalls that made much of the area hazardous to move around - Getty Images/Christopher Furlong

The pair ended up walking to Ambleside as freezing temperatures made the road impassable to drivers, and were taken in by a B&B owner.

“I’m big on the mountains but Andrew had only done a few so I said I’d take him out and we’d do Helvellyn together,” Me Renfrew said.

“We went up early but I turned him around at 750 metres because the snow was getting really heavy.

“We were driving back towards Grasmere and it was just getting a bit more crazy weather-wise so we just left the car at the top and walked to Grasmere.

“We were helping a few cars struggling up the hill then sliding down the hill.

“Then we saw the bus coming into Grasmere. He had to wait 45 minutes and have a break because it had taken him so long to get there from Windermere.”

A photo of the pair grimacing as they sat on snow-covered seats in sub-zero temperatures went viral on social media this week, viewed almost 20,000 times.

Meanwhile, down south the extreme weather affecting the UK continued. In Essex a woman had to be rescued from her car in nearly four feet of water. Jamie Pierce, 32, jumped in and carried her to safety – the car was floating at the time. More heavy rain is due over the weekend, with many Flood Warnings and Alerts in place.

Jamie Pierce rescued a woman whose car was floating in four foot of water in Essex
Flood friend: Jamie Pierce rescued a woman whose car was floating in four foot of water in Essex - Stephen Huntley