Snow could hit parts of Britain over the Easter bank holiday weekend, including in the south-west of England, forecasters have said.

Northern Scotland could have 15cm (6in) of snow in higher areas by Easter Monday, but the Met Office said even southern England could see snow – but added it was unlikely to settle.

People flocked to parks and beaches earlier this week amid balmy conditions in late March, but there are fears that the cold snap could force people indoors, where the risk of coronavirus transmission is higher.

People still braved the conditions at parks and beaches on Good Friday, despite the mercury beginning to dip after a warm week.

Temperatures nearly hit 24C (75F) on Wednesday, the hottest March day in 50 years, but on Monday they could drop to 8C in London, 7C in Manchester and as low as 5C in Leeds.

Craig Snell, a forecaster for the Met Office, said: “After a taste of summer for a lot of the UK, we will see things turn much colder as we go through the second half of the Easter weekend.

“A lot of the UK will be prone to seeing some wintry showers as we go through the course of Monday but northern Scotland is where we’ll see the heaviest and most frequent snow. That’s where there’s most concern that we might see some disruption.”

The public have been warned to stick to coronavirus rules during the holiday period, and only meet friends and family outside.

More than half of British households surveyed by Sainsbury’s said they were planning a barbecue or picnic this year, rather than a traditional Easter roast.

In Scotland, there will be gale-force winds and snow showers in Fife, Strathclyde and the Highlands as the country enters an “arctic trough”, and on high ground temperatures could hit freezing point.

While it will be chilly, this Easter Sunday won’t rival the coldest on record, where -12.5C was recorded in Braemar, Aberdeenshire, in 2013.

The Met Office’s yellow warnings are in place from 6pm on Sunday until midnight on Monday.

“Nowhere is going to be immune from potentially seeing some snow showers on Monday, even down towards the south-west of England,” said Snell.

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