A blanket of snow that has covered parts of Britain could signal the start of a big freeze that will grip the country this weekend.

Gale force winds of up to 60mph sweeping across the English Channel will see temperatures plummet to minus 4 degrees Celsius, with some areas due to receive up to 8cm of snow over the weekend.

"The unsettled weather over the next few days could bring a range of hazards across the country, from snow and ice to heavy rain and strong winds," Chief Forecaster at the Met Office, Andy Page.

A Met Office spokeswoman said Britain can expect to see continued cold weather over the weekend.

"There is an ice warning issued throughout the UK [for the weekend] and through to Monday. Temperatures will drop to below freezing overnight. People should be aware of the conditions as they may cause travel disruptions and we advise people to take extra care when they are out on the roads," she said.

According to the Met Office, 7cms of snow fell in Glasgow overnight, with Wales receiving about 7-8cms of snow on Friday morning and 2-3cms was recorded for parts of Wales and Gloucestershire.

Parts of London also witnessed a flurry of snow fall during the early hours of Friday morning.

Temperatures across the country are expected to drop to minus 4 degrees Celsius at night.

The Met Office said it could be "particularly disruptive snow" and has issued warnings of icy weather conditions across Britain for Saturday and Sunday.

"What is going to happen is that the rain that precedes it [the snow] will actually wash off any salt from the roads and then when the snow turns to heavy snow it will accumulate almost instantaneously so although we may only have several hours of snow, it is going to cause maximum disruption."

Even as Friday's snow moves away and we head into the weekend, the wintry weather will continue.

Icy north westerly winds coming from the North Pole are going to spread across the UK which will see winery showers scattered across the country. There will also be a chance of temporary patches of snow over the weekend.

Overnight there will be widespread frost that will lead to icy patches into Monday and the start of next week.

The Met Office advises people to keep up to date with all the latest forecasts and warnings, available on their website.