Freezing weather forces UK pub to cancel snail race

Ready, set, go! I said go! Go! Ah, forget it. Photo credit: Getty

An English pub has cancelled a charity snail race after unseasonably icy weather made potential competitors too slow to compete.

"The cold snap has led to a medical problem with our racing snails - it's called hibernation," the Dartmoor Union Inn in southwest England said on its Facebook page.

Temperatures across much of Europe are below normal for the time of year, and British weather forecasters have warned of bitterly cold winds and snow that could disrupt transport and cut off rural communities over the coming week.

England's public health authority said on Friday the prolonged cold weather posed a danger to elderly people and young children if they could not heat their homes.

The Dartmoor Union Inn said it planned to reschedule what it had billed as 'The 1st International Snail Grand National', in aid of a local air ambulance service, once the weather warms up.