Beast from the East

Written by Nadia Hartanto

It’s no media sensationalisation, this really was the heaviest snow recorded in the UK. This was the Beast from the East and we loved it! (at least I did for this day)

My study table faces the window which looks out to a park, I watched as fluffy white snow started sprinkling down on the ground. “It wouldn’t stay,” I thought. It almost never does, UK never gets cold enough especially not when it’s coming to March!

Having lived in the UK for a number of years, I have learnt to take news headlines claiming that “this year” will experience the biggest snowstorm/heaviest snowfall/coldest winter of the century with a pinch of salt. Finishing off a set of data analysis, I peered over the window and what I saw had me squealing and knocking on my housemates’ door painfully suppressing the desire to sing “Do you want to build a snowman?”

I sighed in deliberation and I decided that work can wait. This kind of snowfall only happens once in a blue moon in Leeds. It’s geographically reasoned as well. According to the Met Office, Leeds being right in the middle of the country gets a little left out when snow hits the country. Wintry weather comes to the UK from either the north west, north east or easterly directions. Whichever direction it comes from the snow has got to travel over a lot of land before it gets to Leeds. The more land it travels over, the less likely it is to keep snowing. Being surrounded by hills means that the majority of snow lands there before it gets a chance to come to Leeds.

That’s a good enough reason to take a break right? I grabbed my warmest jacket, put my thickest beanie and gloves on and headed out the door.

It was the most fun I’ve had in months! We headed straight to the city center because we don’t usually receive such a heavy enough snowfall for it to settle in the city. As we traverse the city, we awed and gasped at every turn. It was like seeing Leeds in a whole different light (or colour I would say, white being the colour). That day, I saw more of Leeds than I have in many years! Did you know where Leeds’s two only hostels are?

To warm our freezing hands, we took a coffee break at IF Coffee Bar. Leeds is a haven for independent cafés to open and share their passion for artisanal coffee and tea. I spent many of my studying days hiding in a corner of a café, cramming lectures or writing essays. The libraries in the university are amazing, but sometimes I just like switch things up. I’ll share my top 5 café places to study in due time!

The highlight of the day was the mini snowstorm on our way home. Leeds town hall is beautiful, but wait till you see it covered in snow. It is a beautiful architectural masterpiece indeed and the perfect way to end the day.


Nadia Hartanto
I’m Nadia and I am currently in my final year studying Food Science and Nutrition. With the School of Food Science and Nutrition ranked first in the ‘Sunday Times University Guide’...
View profile