Holiday hell: a week trapped with in-laws
Overflowing ... the River Severn and River Avon strand families during the holidays. Photo: Getty Images
SPENDING a rainy Christmas Day stuck indoors with the in-laws can be enough to induce cabin fever in anyone.
Spare a thought, then, for the British family who were trapped together for the whole festive week by deep flood waters that encircled their holiday cottage in central England.
The eight adults, four children and a dog had to make the Christmas spirit last when torrential rain caused the River Severn to burst its banks, cutting them off from the outside world. They were not rescued by boat until Saturday, and have had to leave their cars behind until the flood waters subside.
Soggy ... the River Severn in flood. Photo: Getty Images
Lecia Watts, who was with her partner, his family and their two children, said they generally managed to see the funny side, but added: ''I'm not sure we will be in any rush to go back there. Next year we will spend Christmas at home.''
The group arrived at The Ferryman's Cottage, on the banks of the Severn in the hamlet of Uckinghall, Worcestershire, on December 22. They had to drive through 15 centimetres of standing water to reach the house. Because the rain kept them inside for the next couple of days, it was some time before they realised they were trapped.
Ms Watts, 37, from Melksham, Wiltshire, said: ''Christmas Eve was the point at which we realised quite how deep it was. My partner and his brother-in-law decided they were going to walk down to the pub in the village by hook or by crook.
''They expected to get slightly wet, and sent us a text message to say they had made it, but didn't expand on anything. When they got back that evening, the water was up to armpit level.''
Not realising anyone was staying in the cottage, locals had closed a flood gate to protect the rest of Uckinghall, cutting off the property. But a neighbour with a small boat helped them with trips to the pub to get supplies.
Her partner's mother, Pam Hughes, 71, from Fareham, Hampshire, said: ''We were all together, we had fun, and it didn't really detract from Christmas itself.''
But she admitted: ''We were getting a little bit stir crazy by the end of the week.''