Cumbria snow: Man forced to abandon car and walk 7 miles home as 'thousands caught out' with people 'shook up and anxious'

A man was forced to abandon his car and walk seven miles home in Cumbria after heavy snow hit the region
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A man was forced to leave his vehicle after it got stuck in snow and walk seven miles home with many in similar situations that left people “shook up and anxious”. Julie Coldwell told NationalWorld how her son Callum, 37, was forced to walk miles home after his car became stuck in the heavy snowfall that struck Cumbria last night (Saturday 2 December).

A major incident was declared in Cumbria after there were many reports of vehicles getting stuck in traffic in the South Lakes area around Bowness and Grizedale due to the heavy snow. In Ambleside the parish centre has been opened as an emergency refuge.

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Ms Coldwell said “thousands of people around Cumbria were caught out in their cars” and in Ambleside “around 100 people are housed in the local parish centre including kids”. She added that it’s “a worrying time” and Ambleside locals have “stepped up and provided food, blankets etc” as “too few local services are out to help, probably due to the sheer numbers of abandoned cars.”

She said she has “friends in outlying areas who have no power and are snowed in” and there are “lots of worried people asking what to do and some families walking through dense roadside snow with young children.”

Ms Coldwell kept users updated on social media of the situation in Ambleside. She posted a video on X, formerly known as Twitter, which shows abandoned cars that have been left on the side of a snowy road. 

At around 5pm last night she posted: “Walking downhill towards Windermere. My eldest son walked past hundreds nose to tail and many abandoned. Lots of families with small kids in cars looking for places to stay.”

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More than 2,500 people in Cumbria were without electricity on Sunday morning (3 December) as the county’s fire and rescue service said it worked through the night to rescue drivers from cars trapped in deep snow. Meteorologist Tom Morgan said unofficial reports indicated there was “comfortably in excess of 20cm, probably in excess of 30cm, of snow across the Windermere and Coniston area of the South Lakes and also down towards Ambleside and the far south of Cumbria”.

He told the PA news agency: “It was quite an unusual situation that led to it because it became slow moving and gave the same areas of south Cumbria hour after hour of heavy snow and that’s what led to the significant disruption there.” He added that the weather on Sunday had “turned a bit milder in the south”, but added it was “still cold further north across the UK and there’s going to be some further wintry showers and ice as we go through tonight. It is turning milder later this week so there is an end in sight to the wintry weather.”

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