Forecasters have issued yellow weather warnings for snow and ice across large swaths of the country from Friday throughout the weekend.
The Met Office said temperatures are expected to plummet from 12C in London to -2C by Saturday, with snow to widely affect central and southern areas.
A plume of bitterly cold air will spread the UK’s way from Scandinavia, bringing the spectre of snow and strong easterly winds.
Between 3pm and midnight on Friday, a band of rain will increasingly turn to snow, forming ice as it moves south-westwards.
South West Scotland and the Lothian Borders will be affected, as will the North East, North West and East of England, East Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber. Up to 20cm of snow is expected to accumulate on higher ground, with 5cm elsewhere.
On Saturday the warning will bring in the West Midlands, London and the South East and could see similarly high levels of snowfall over higher ground. Accumulations of up to 5cm are expected widely, with warnings remaining in place for the whole day.
By Sunday Wales and the South West will also be affected, with snow showers likely to stack up to 5cm near the Thames Estuary and the Wash. Higher ground could again see up to 20cm and some isolated ice patches may form.