BOOKMAKERS have cut the odds for a white Christmas in north Essex.

After recent mild winters, forecasters say it could be the coldest in eight years and certainly colder than average.

Britain faces -10C Arctic influxes, bringing snow, ice and travel disruption in the run-up to Christmas.

And that means bookies are trimming the odds of snow falling on Christmas Day.

The chances of a white Christmas - defined as 'one snowflake falling in the 24 hours of December 25' - in north Essex and specifically the towns of Colchester, Clacton and Harwich are now 7/1, according to Paddy Power.

As the weather cools up, this price has been cut from 10/1.

Spokesman Paddy Power said: “Depending on whether or not you’re a snow fan, there’s an OK chance of the white stuff making its way to north Essex on Christmas Day.

"Our traders have been leaning out of windows with their tongues in the air, trying to detect the likelihood of snow in places like Colchester this Christmas Day.

"And they’ve calculated that it’s a 7/1 shot.

"It might mean we can all enjoy our outdoor trips in lockdown for that little bit longer."

* Remembering the heavy snow of December 2010.

William Hill are only betting on snow at airports at the moment.

According to a spokesman, the chances at Stansted are 8/1.

Essex last experienced a white Christmas in 2010, when almost the entire country was in the midst of the coldest winter since records began.

Nationally, it looks set to be the coldest winter since 2012-13.

The Met Office has warned of below-average temperatures next month and a higher chance of winter cold spells than recent years.

Ladbrokes make it just 5/4 for a white Christmas, having been 6/4 earlier this month, with Edinburgh and Newcastle the most likely cities to see snow at 3/1.

Elsewhere across the UK, the odds in Belfast are 4/1, Cardiff 4/1, Dublin 4/1, Manchester 4/1 and London 5/1.