NEW FOREST residents woke up to a winter wonderland - and a day of disruption yesterday.

Mums and dads had to make alternative arrangements as schools and pre-schools closed for the day, with most looking likely to remain shut until Monday.

But for the youngsters it was a rare opportunity to have some fun, with many making for picturesque Bolton's Bench at Lyndhurst for a spot of sledging.

A quick check of snow depths showed Sway was the worst hit with 6in. Beaulieu had 5in, Christchurch 3½in, Hordle 5in, Hyde 3in, Lymington 4½in, New Milton 4in, Ringwood 3½in and Verwood 3½in.

The white carpet covered all but the main roads which were salted by Hampshire County Council from 6pm Wednesday.

Wilts & Dorset cancelled buses to Brockenhurst College. Company divisional director Ed Wills said all services were cancelled in the Lymington area until mid-morning.

The X1 between Bournemouth and Lymington was operating later in the day, but not taking in unsalted minor roads, while the X3 Bournemouth to Salisbury route was operating, albeit slowly.

He urged passengers to check the company website. "At one time we had 45 requests come in on Facebook in one minute," he said.

Those travelling by train had to put up with delays on the Bournemouth to Waterloo line.

On the roads, drivers generally heeded advice and took it easy in the conditions said a police spokesman.

There were some minor bumps though: Two cars came to grief on the A337 north of Lymington, a large van was nose-down in the ditch at Everton and a van crashed through a fence in Lyndhurst.

Refuse collections were postponed in the New Forest and Christchurch.

New Forest District Council staff were redeployed on gritting duties, particularly on East Hill and High Street in Lymington, in car parks, and other other high risk spots like Lyndhurst. Christchurch Council staff also gritted car parks.

Hampshire Police opened its adverse weather office.