Festive revellers let their hair down as Mad Friday hits Britain on the booziest night of the year 

Festive revellers let their hair down across Britain last night as hundreds celebrated Christmas early in a night of festive carnage on the booziest evening of the year.

Rowdy partygoers, many in festive attire, were pictured spilling onto the streets of cities including Cardiff, Newcastle and Leeds as people flocked to pubs and bars on the last Friday before Christmas.

Dubbed ‘Black Eye Friday’ or ‘Mad Friday’, the night is typically when workers go out to celebrate the start of their holidays with colleagues, safe in the knowledge that they have the entire weekend in which to recover.

But as the alcohol flowed late in the night, revellers were seen in not-so-festive bust-ups on the streets as police were forced to restrain troublemakers as they drank the night away. 

Many donned glamorous attire for the evening’s festivities, while others wore very little, as they braved heavy rain and chilly temperatures ahead of a weekend washout before Christmas Day.

Revellers in Newcastle on the last Friday before Christmas. Rowdy partygoers, many in festive attire, were pictured spilling onto the streets of cities including Cardiff and Leeds as people flocked to pubs and bars on the last Friday before Christmas

Revellers in Newcastle on the last Friday before Christmas. Rowdy partygoers, many in festive attire, were pictured spilling onto the streets of cities including Cardiff and Leeds as people flocked to pubs and bars on the last Friday before Christmas

Revellers in Newcastle on the last Friday before Christmas. Rowdy partygoers, many in festive attire, were pictured spilling onto the streets of cities including Cardiff and Leeds as people flocked to pubs and bars on the last Friday before Christmas

Two women donned their most festive attire for last night's antics in Cardiff braving the cold and wet weather

Two women donned their most festive attire for last night's antics in Cardiff braving the cold and wet weather

Two women donned their most festive attire for last night’s antics in Cardiff braving the cold and wet weather

Three excited revellers take a picture alongside a policeman as they enjoy a night out in Birmingham last night

Three excited revellers take a picture alongside a policeman as they enjoy a night out in Birmingham last night

Three excited revellers take a picture alongside a policeman as they enjoy a night out in Birmingham last night

Police struggled to contain one reveller who became aggressive during a disturbance in Cardiff City Centre last night

Police struggled to contain one reveller who became aggressive during a disturbance in Cardiff City Centre last night

Police struggled to contain one reveller who became aggressive during a disturbance in Cardiff City Centre last night

Things got a little out of hand for some in Swansea, Wales as a man had to try and keep his female friend upright against a doorway

Things got a little out of hand for some in Swansea, Wales as a man had to try and keep his female friend upright against a doorway

Things got a little out of hand for some in Swansea, Wales as a man had to try and keep his female friend upright against a doorway

A fight appears to erupt in Cardiff, Wales as revellers head out on the last Friday before Christmas. Onlookers watch on as the two men tussle on a pavement

A fight appears to erupt in Cardiff, Wales as revellers head out on the last Friday before Christmas. Onlookers watch on as the two men tussle on a pavement

A fight appears to erupt in Cardiff, Wales as revellers head out on the last Friday before Christmas. Onlookers watch on as the two men tussle on a pavement

A man is tackled to the ground by police as drunken antics got out of hand in Cardiff, Wales last night

A man is tackled to the ground by police as drunken antics got out of hand in Cardiff, Wales last night

A man is tackled to the ground by police as drunken antics got out of hand in Cardiff, Wales last night

Dubbed 'Black Eye Friday' or 'Mad Friday', the night is typically when workers go out to celebrate the start of their holidays with colleagues, safe in the knowledge that they have the entire weekend in which to recover (pictured, revellers in Leeds)

Dubbed 'Black Eye Friday' or 'Mad Friday', the night is typically when workers go out to celebrate the start of their holidays with colleagues, safe in the knowledge that they have the entire weekend in which to recover (pictured, revellers in Leeds)

Dubbed ‘Black Eye Friday’ or ‘Mad Friday’, the night is typically when workers go out to celebrate the start of their holidays with colleagues, safe in the knowledge that they have the entire weekend in which to recover (pictured, revellers in Leeds) 

Revellers in Newcastle on the last Friday before Christmas. Dubbed 'Black Eye Friday' or 'Mad Friday', the night is typically when workers go out to celebrate the start of their holidays with colleagues, safe in the knowledge that they have the entire weekend in which to recover

Revellers in Newcastle on the last Friday before Christmas. Dubbed 'Black Eye Friday' or 'Mad Friday', the night is typically when workers go out to celebrate the start of their holidays with colleagues, safe in the knowledge that they have the entire weekend in which to recover

Revellers in Newcastle on the last Friday before Christmas. Dubbed ‘Black Eye Friday’ or ‘Mad Friday’, the night is typically when workers go out to celebrate the start of their holidays with colleagues, safe in the knowledge that they have the entire weekend in which to recover

Two men in a not-so-festive bust-up outside a venue in Leeds city centre as the celebrations begin to heat up across Britain

Two men in a not-so-festive bust-up outside a venue in Leeds city centre as the celebrations begin to heat up across Britain

Two men in a not-so-festive bust-up outside a venue in Leeds city centre as the celebrations begin to heat up across Britain

A brawl erupts in Newcastle last night as festivities turn sour in the city centre

A brawl erupts in Newcastle last night as festivities turn sour in the city centre

A brawl erupts in Newcastle last night as festivities turn sour in the city centre

Festive revellers hit the streets of Leeds in West Yorkshire as Mad Friday gets underway across the towns and cities of Britain

Festive revellers hit the streets of Leeds in West Yorkshire as Mad Friday gets underway across the towns and cities of Britain

Festive revellers hit the streets of Leeds in West Yorkshire as Mad Friday gets underway across the towns and cities of Britain

A man is led away into a police van as police are called in to control the drunken antics of revellers in Cardiff last night

A man is led away into a police van as police are called in to control the drunken antics of revellers in Cardiff last night

A man is led away into a police van as police are called in to control the drunken antics of revellers in Cardiff last night

A number of revellers brawl at the entrance to a nightclub in Newcastle last night

A number of revellers brawl at the entrance to a nightclub in Newcastle last night

A number of revellers brawl at the entrance to a nightclub in Newcastle last night

Revellers got dressed up for the last night's festivities hitting the town for a night of merriment (pictured, partygoers in Leeds)

Revellers got dressed up for the last night's festivities hitting the town for a night of merriment (pictured, partygoers in Leeds)

Revellers got dressed up for the last night’s festivities hitting the town for a night of merriment (pictured, partygoers in Leeds)

Three friends head out for a night of merriment in Leeds on the last Friday before Christmas

Three friends head out for a night of merriment in Leeds on the last Friday before Christmas

Three friends head out for a night of merriment in Leeds on the last Friday before Christmas

Three women pose for a photograph in Cardiff, Wales on Friday night as thousands across the country head out for a night of fun

Three women pose for a photograph in Cardiff, Wales on Friday night as thousands across the country head out for a night of fun

Three women pose for a photograph in Cardiff, Wales on Friday night as thousands across the country head out for a night of fun

Revellers In Manchester took to the streets in the last Friday before Christmas wearing festive jumpers and outfits

Revellers In Manchester took to the streets in the last Friday before Christmas wearing festive jumpers and outfits

Revellers In Manchester took to the streets in the last Friday before Christmas wearing festive jumpers and outfits

Rowdy revellers watch on as two men fight while out celebrating the Christmas period in the Welsh capital on Friday night

Rowdy revellers watch on as two men fight while out celebrating the Christmas period in the Welsh capital on Friday night

Rowdy revellers watch on as two men fight while out celebrating the Christmas period in the Welsh capital on Friday night

Many braved the cold for a night out in Newcastle, as hundreds hit the streets on the last Friday before Christmas

Many braved the cold for a night out in Newcastle, as hundreds hit the streets on the last Friday before Christmas

A woman dressed as an angel stands on a street in Leeds for a night of revelry

A woman dressed as an angel stands on a street in Leeds for a night of revelry

Many braved the cold for a night out in Newcastle, as hundreds hit the streets on the last Friday before Christmas

Two women head out for a night of revellery in Leeds last night as thousand hit the streets ahead of the Christmas break

Two women head out for a night of revellery in Leeds last night as thousand hit the streets ahead of the Christmas break

Two women head out for a night of revellery in Leeds last night as thousand hit the streets ahead of the Christmas break

A security guard holds a man to the ground outside a nightclub following a tussle between two men in Cardiff, Wales

A security guard holds a man to the ground outside a nightclub following a tussle between two men in Cardiff, Wales

A security guard holds a man to the ground outside a nightclub following a tussle between two men in Cardiff, Wales

A woman sits on the floor and smokes a cigarette in Leeds last night as festivities took a sour turn

A woman sits on the floor and smokes a cigarette in Leeds last night as festivities took a sour turn

A woman sits on the floor and smokes a cigarette in Leeds last night as festivities took a sour turn

In Cardiff, one partygoer was left in need of medical attention as health chiefs urged people to drink responsibly and not leave paramedics to ‘pick up the pieces’ of their night out.

While in Leeds, officers were seen carting revellers into the back of police vans after the evening’s festivities took a sour turn as brawls broke out on the streets of the city.

In Newcastle, one reveller had to buy some new jeans – after he was refused entry to his favourite bar for wearing ‘trackies’ – forcing him to go out on a quick shopping trip.

He told ChronicleLive: ‘I had a pair of trackie bottoms on and they wouldn’t let me in so the only option I had was to go find a shop just to buy a pair of jeans,’ said Robert, who bought the jeans from Debenhams.

‘I got a proper knock back from them and it has cost me £20, which I’m gutted about. But at least I got in.’

Security staff at the bar were reportedly in hysterics when it was revealed he’d rushed out to get a new pair of jeans just so that he could get inside.  

His antics came as police warned revellers to enjoy the festivities and not to end up spending part of the Christmas period in a police cell.

In Sheffield, city centre Sergeant Jon Simpson, urged people to ‘be safe and responsible’ as they headed out and said that any criminal action could have implications for the rest of their live.   

A man is led away by West Midlands Police officers as they attempt to control any disturbances in Birmingham last night

A man is led away by West Midlands Police officers as they attempt to control any disturbances in Birmingham last night

A man is led away by West Midlands Police officers as they attempt to control any disturbances in Birmingham last night

A woman borrows a policeman's hat to pose for a photograph in Birmingham city centre last night

A woman borrows a policeman's hat to pose for a photograph in Birmingham city centre last night

A woman borrows a policeman’s hat to pose for a photograph in Birmingham city centre last night 

Revellers dressed in red Santa outfits line the streets of Manchester on Friday evening

Revellers dressed in red Santa outfits line the streets of Manchester on Friday evening

Revellers dressed in red Santa outfits line the streets of Manchester on Friday evening 

A man lies on the ground during festivities on the last Friday before Christmas. A policeman stands over the fallen person as some men appear to argue among themselves

A man lies on the ground during festivities on the last Friday before Christmas. A policeman stands over the fallen person as some men appear to argue among themselves

A man lies on the ground during festivities on the last Friday before Christmas. A policeman stands over the fallen person as some men appear to argue among themselves 

Revellers in Newcastle did handstands against a tree, as many headed out on the last Friday before Christmas

Revellers in Newcastle did handstands against a tree, as many headed out on the last Friday before Christmas

Revellers in Newcastle did handstands against a tree, as many headed out on the last Friday before Christmas 

Three women walk across the road as they enjoy a night out in Cardiff ahead of the Christmas break

Three women walk across the road as they enjoy a night out in Cardiff ahead of the Christmas break

Three women walk across the road as they enjoy a night out in Cardiff ahead of the Christmas break

Two men attempt to comfort a woman who fell on the ground during last night's festive outings in Blackpool

Two men attempt to comfort a woman who fell on the ground during last night's festive outings in Blackpool

Two men attempt to comfort a woman who fell on the ground during last night’s festive outings in Blackpool

Two people kiss during last night's festivities in Swansea, Wales on what is for many the last working day before Christmas

Two people kiss during last night's festivities in Swansea, Wales on what is for many the last working day before Christmas

Two people kiss during last night’s festivities in Swansea, Wales on what is for many the last working day before Christmas

Many donned festive outfits for their night out in Birmingham. Thousands across the country hit the streets for a night of drunken antics

Many donned festive outfits for their night out in Birmingham. Thousands across the country hit the streets for a night of drunken antics

Many donned festive outfits for their night out in Birmingham. Thousands across the country hit the streets for a night of drunken antics 

Police cart a man away in a police van as the evening's antics got out of hand. Police were out in numbers trying to make sure those who came out enjoyed the night safely

Police cart a man away in a police van as the evening's antics got out of hand. Police were out in numbers trying to make sure those who came out enjoyed the night safely

Police cart a man away in a police van as the evening’s antics got out of hand. Police were out in numbers trying to make sure those who came out enjoyed the night safely

A man lies on the ground as revellers headed out in force in Newcastle last night on what is dubbed Black Eye Friday. It marks the last Friday before Christmas and a time for many to relax and begin the holiday season

A man lies on the ground as revellers headed out in force in Newcastle last night on what is dubbed Black Eye Friday. It marks the last Friday before Christmas and a time for many to relax and begin the holiday season

A man lies on the ground as revellers headed out in force in Newcastle last night on what is dubbed Black Eye Friday. It marks the last Friday before Christmas and a time for many to relax and begin the holiday season

Two men square up to each other in Swansea, Wales as thousands head out for a night on the town

Two men square up to each other in Swansea, Wales as thousands head out for a night on the town

Two men square up to each other in Swansea, Wales as thousands head out for a night on the town

A woman talks to police officers in Blackpool, Lancashire last night as festivities get underway ahead of the Christmas break

A woman talks to police officers in Blackpool, Lancashire last night as festivities get underway ahead of the Christmas break

A woman talks to police officers in Blackpool, Lancashire last night as festivities get underway ahead of the Christmas break

A security guard throws a punch in Cardiff as festivities turn sour ahead of the Christmas break

A security guard throws a punch in Cardiff as festivities turn sour ahead of the Christmas break

A security guard throws a punch in Cardiff as festivities turn sour ahead of the Christmas break 

It's all a bit much for one reveller, who took  a moment to rest on a bike stand in Newcastle last night

It's all a bit much for one reveller, who took  a moment to rest on a bike stand in Newcastle last night

It’s all a bit much for one reveller, who took  a moment to rest on a bike stand in Newcastle last night

A man dressed as the Grinch poses alongside a group of women as they head out for a night of revelry in Cardiff, Wales

A man dressed as the Grinch poses alongside a group of women as they head out for a night of revelry in Cardiff, Wales

A man dressed as the Grinch poses alongside a group of women as they head out for a night of revelry in Cardiff, Wales

Two women walk down the streets of Manchester in glamorous outfits on the Friday before Christmas

Two women walk down the streets of Manchester in glamorous outfits on the Friday before Christmas

Two women walk down the streets of Manchester in glamorous outfits on the Friday before Christmas  

One partygoer looked a little worse for wear as he sat down on a bench to get some rest during a night of revellery in Newcastle

One partygoer looked a little worse for wear as he sat down on a bench to get some rest during a night of revellery in Newcastle

One partygoer looked a little worse for wear as he sat down on a bench to get some rest during a night of revellery in Newcastle

Two people take a moment to rest on some steps as the evening's festivities become a little too much

Two people take a moment to rest on some steps as the evening's festivities become a little too much

Two people take a moment to rest on some steps as the evening’s festivities become a little too much

He said: ‘Christmas is a special time of year and understandably people want to celebrate. By all means, enjoy yourselves and have a good time – but be safe and responsible when you go out.

‘Look after yourselves and others who are with you. Make sure you’ve got a plan for getting home and don’t put yourself in a position where you make yourself vulnerable and potentially end up a victim of crime.

‘You also don’t want to commit crime and end up in a police cell over the Christmas period.  

Be aware that any irresponsible actions could have implications for the rest of your life and also affect the lives of many other people.

‘Over the years, I’ve dealt with individuals who’ve made the wrong decision and it’s stayed with them for the rest of their days.’  

The last Friday before Christmas is dubbed ‘Mad Friday’ as workers across the country celebrate the start of the holiday season, often with heavy drinking. 

Others call it ‘black eye Friday’ because the excessive boozing can lead to fights and arrests. It marks the beginning of the Christmas period for many, with millions taking to the roads yesterday.  

But heavy rainfall meant flooding blocked roads and railways, while part of a historic promenade collapsed.  

More downpours and heavy rain are expected today and into the rest of the weekend, as widespread flooding continues to cause travel chaos in the lead up to Christmas.  

A woman takes a moment to rest on the pavement following a night of revelry in Newcastle

A woman takes a moment to rest on the pavement following a night of revelry in Newcastle

A woman takes a moment to rest on the pavement following a night of revelry in Newcastle

Hundreds hit the streets of Leeds last night for a night of festive antics, on the last Friday before Christmas (pictured, two partygoers take a cigarette break)

Hundreds hit the streets of Leeds last night for a night of festive antics, on the last Friday before Christmas (pictured, two partygoers take a cigarette break)

Leeds residents don their best attire as they head out for a night on the town

Leeds residents don their best attire as they head out for a night on the town

Hundreds hit the streets of Leeds last night for a night of festive antics, on the last Friday before Christmas (left, two partygoers take a cigarette break; right, a man gives a woman piggyback)

People posed for photographs as they headed out in Newcastle on the last Friday before Christmas. Thousands across the country head out for work Christmas parties and similar festivities

People posed for photographs as they headed out in Newcastle on the last Friday before Christmas. Thousands across the country head out for work Christmas parties and similar festivities

People posed for photographs as they headed out in Newcastle on the last Friday before Christmas. Thousands across the country head out for work Christmas parties and similar festivities 

Police detain a man in a Christmas-themed jumper and Father Christmas hat as celebrations get underway in Cardiff last night

Police detain a man in a Christmas-themed jumper and Father Christmas hat as celebrations get underway in Cardiff last night

Police detain a man in a Christmas-themed jumper and Father Christmas hat as celebrations get underway in Cardiff last night

The last Friday before Christmas is dubbed 'Mad Friday' as workers across the country celebrate the start of the holiday season, often with heavy drinking

The last Friday before Christmas is dubbed 'Mad Friday' as workers across the country celebrate the start of the holiday season, often with heavy drinking

The last Friday before Christmas is dubbed ‘Mad Friday’ as workers across the country celebrate the start of the holiday season, often with heavy drinking

A woman attempts to ride piggyback in Swansea, Wales last night as festive antics get underway on the last night before Christmas

A woman attempts to ride piggyback in Swansea, Wales last night as festive antics get underway on the last night before Christmas

A woman attempts to ride piggyback in Swansea, Wales last night as festive antics get underway on the last night before Christmas

In Cardiff, one partygoer was left in need of medical attention as health chiefs urged people to drink responsibly and to not leave paramedics to 'pick up the pieces'

In Cardiff, one partygoer was left in need of medical attention as health chiefs urged people to drink responsibly and to not leave paramedics to 'pick up the pieces'

In Cardiff, one partygoer was left in need of medical attention as health chiefs urged people to drink responsibly and to not leave paramedics to ‘pick up the pieces’

A festive partygoer gives a thumbs up as she enjoys a night out in Newcastle on the last Friday before Christmas

A festive partygoer gives a thumbs up as she enjoys a night out in Newcastle on the last Friday before Christmas

A festive partygoer gives a thumbs up as she enjoys a night out in Newcastle on the last Friday before Christmas

A man falls to the ground on the streets of Leeds as Mad Friday, the last Friday before Christmas, gets underway last night

A man falls to the ground on the streets of Leeds as Mad Friday, the last Friday before Christmas, gets underway last night

A man falls to the ground on the streets of Leeds as Mad Friday, the last Friday before Christmas, gets underway last night

The evening's antics were a little too much for one man in Newcastle, who took a moment to rest on some steps

The evening's antics were a little too much for one man in Newcastle, who took a moment to rest on some steps

The evening’s antics were a little too much for one man in Newcastle, who took a moment to rest on some steps 

A group of women dressed as characters of the Nativity play in Swansea, Wales last night

A group of women dressed as characters of the Nativity play in Swansea, Wales last night

A group of women dressed as characters of the Nativity play in Swansea, Wales last night

A brawl erupts outside a nightclub in Cardiff, Wales last night as revellers head out to enjoy themselves before Christmas

A brawl erupts outside a nightclub in Cardiff, Wales last night as revellers head out to enjoy themselves before Christmas

A brawl erupts outside a nightclub in Cardiff, Wales last night as revellers head out to enjoy themselves before Christmas

One woman laughs as she sits on bench in Newcastle following a night of festive antics on Friday

One woman laughs as she sits on bench in Newcastle following a night of festive antics on Friday

One woman laughs as she sits on bench in Newcastle following a night of festive antics on Friday

A woman leans against a man during the festivities in Leeds last night, as the evening became a little tiring for some

A woman leans against a man during the festivities in Leeds last night, as the evening became a little tiring for some

A woman leans against a man during the festivities in Leeds last night, as the evening became a little tiring for some

A policewoman helps a woman across the road in Leeds last night (pictured) as festivities get fully underway on the last Friday before Christmas

A policewoman helps a woman across the road in Leeds last night (pictured) as festivities get fully underway on the last Friday before Christmas

While elsewhere in Leeds, a man carries a woman in his arms

While elsewhere in Leeds, a man carries a woman in his arms

A policewoman helps a woman across the road in Leeds last night as festivities get fully underway on the last Friday before Christmas. While elsewhere in Leeds (right), a man carries a woman in his arms

Three men take to Leeds city centre in extremely festive, colourful suits as they pose for photographs ahead of a night out

Three men take to Leeds city centre in extremely festive, colourful suits as they pose for photographs ahead of a night out

Three men take to Leeds city centre in extremely festive, colourful suits as they pose for photographs ahead of a night out

It is forecast that two weeks’ worth of rain will fall in the next 24 hours, causing even more flooding on saturated ground.

There are currently 105 flood warnings and 260 flood alerts across the country and 20-30 mm of rain is expected to fall before midday tomorrow. 

Southern England will see the worst of the wet conditions today and overnight and in Wales there will be very heavy downpours, with 4-5 mm expected to fall within just one hour.

The River Darent in Eynsford, Kent has burst its banks overnight due to the continued heavy rain. 

Southern rail have said today that spells of heavy rain or showers may cause flooding on the railway leading to some potential disruption. 

Marco Petagna from the Met Office said: ‘It is a showery picture in the south and south west with fairly heavy rain moving up over the country.

‘There is also a fog warning in place in Northern Ireland today until 1pm and rain warnings are in place for the south of the country.’

He added that travel may continue to be disrupted and that those going home for Christmas should allow extra time for journeys and be prepared. 

But there was some festive cheer from forecasters – the weather is due to turn more settled next week and Christmas Day is set to be largely dry with sunny spells. 

A group of revellers in Newcastle last night dressed up in their finest Pokémon attire, including one who donned an entire Pikachu outfit

A group of revellers in Newcastle last night dressed up in their finest Pokémon attire, including one who donned an entire Pikachu outfit

A group of revellers in Newcastle last night dressed up in their finest Pokémon attire, including one who donned an entire Pikachu outfit

Some donned colourful outfits, including one dressed as the Grinch, as they hit the streets of Cardiff for a night of revelry

Some donned colourful outfits, including one dressed as the Grinch, as they hit the streets of Cardiff for a night of revelry

Some donned colourful outfits, including one dressed as the Grinch, as they hit the streets of Cardiff for a night of revelry 

It was a fun night for many as hundreds hit the streets for a night of drinking and dancing (pictured, party-goers in Newcastle)

It was a fun night for many as hundreds hit the streets for a night of drinking and dancing (pictured, party-goers in Newcastle)

It was a fun night for many as hundreds hit the streets for a night of drinking and dancing (pictured, party-goers in Newcastle)

One man gives a piggyback to a friend while out partying in Leeds on Friday night

One man gives a piggyback to a friend while out partying in Leeds on Friday night

One man gives a piggyback to a friend while out partying in Leeds on Friday night

Pictured: Mad Friday revellers in Leeds

Pictured: Mad Friday revellers in Leeds

Pictured: Mad Friday revellers in Leeds

Pictured: Mad Friday revellers in Leeds

Revellers in Leeds were a mixture of glamorous (right) and festive (left) for the evening, which has also been dubbed ‘Black Eye Friday’

Two men mount the back of a painted bull statue in Cardiff, which is painted in blue, orange, yellow, green and pink patches

Two men mount the back of a painted bull statue in Cardiff, which is painted in blue, orange, yellow, green and pink patches

Two men mount the back of a painted bull statue in Cardiff, which is painted in blue, orange, yellow, green and pink patches

Police restrain a man in handcuffs in Leeds. The last Friday before Christmas is dubbed 'Mad Friday' as workers across the country celebrate the start of the holiday season

Police restrain a man in handcuffs in Leeds. The last Friday before Christmas is dubbed 'Mad Friday' as workers across the country celebrate the start of the holiday season

Police restrain a man in handcuffs in Leeds. The last Friday before Christmas is dubbed ‘Mad Friday’ as workers across the country celebrate the start of the holiday season

A reveller collapses to the ground as a police officer attempts to restrain a second partygoer in Leeds as celebrations turn sour

A reveller collapses to the ground as a police officer attempts to restrain a second partygoer in Leeds as celebrations turn sour

A reveller collapses to the ground as a police officer attempts to restrain a second partygoer in Leeds as celebrations turn sour

A partygoer poses in the streets of Cardiff in a blue, snowman print suit as he celebrations get underway in Cardiff last night

A partygoer poses in the streets of Cardiff in a blue, snowman print suit as he celebrations get underway in Cardiff last night

A partygoer poses in the streets of Cardiff in a blue, snowman print suit as he celebrations get underway in Cardiff last night

A group pose for photographs underneath an ornament in Leeds last night

A group pose for photographs underneath an ornament in Leeds last night

A group pose for photographs underneath an ornament in Leeds last night

Yesterday’s rain caused a section of the promenade in Southsea, Hampshire, to collapse. The stretch had already been identified by the council as ‘dangerous’ and repairs will now take place.

The M23 was shut yesterday in both directions because of flooding near Crawley, West Sussex.

The closure brought gridlock around Gatwick airport, with tailbacks several miles long reported on alternative routes.

The River Rother, meanwhile, burst its banks in another part of the county, blocking roads.

There were also delays due to flooding on the A12 in Essex and the A20 in West Kingsdown, Kent.

Motorists had to be rescued from their cars by firemen after becoming marooned at Leigh, near Tonbridge, and Maidstone, both in Kent. Cars were also seen submerged near Billericay, Essex.

Meanwhile, rail commuters faced delays after tracks were left under water inches deep at Frant Station, Tunbridge Wells, East Sussex, yesterday morning. 

A landslip between Guildford and Godalming caused problems on services into Waterloo.

The wettest place between 3pm on Wednesday and 7am yesterday was Libanus, Powys, where 2.5in of rain fell. Bodmin, Cornwall, had 2in over the same period. The average monthly rainfall for the whole of December is 3.4in. Up to 2in of rain fell widely across the South. 

A woman tries to correct her friend's dress as they head out in Swansea, Wales last night after millions across the country finished work ahead of the Christmas break

A woman tries to correct her friend's dress as they head out in Swansea, Wales last night after millions across the country finished work ahead of the Christmas break

A woman tries to correct her friend’s dress as they head out in Swansea, Wales last night after millions across the country finished work ahead of the Christmas break

A police officer speaks to a woman stood up against a wall in Blackpool last night as the night came to a close in Blackpool

A police officer speaks to a woman stood up against a wall in Blackpool last night as the night came to a close in Blackpool

A police officer speaks to a woman stood up against a wall in Blackpool last night as the night came to a close in Blackpool

A woman dressed as an angel walks alongside her friend in Blackpool last night as festivities got underway on Black Eye Friday

A woman dressed as an angel walks alongside her friend in Blackpool last night as festivities got underway on Black Eye Friday

A woman dressed as an angel walks alongside her friend in Blackpool last night as festivities got underway on Black Eye Friday

Christmas revellers dance in Swansea, Wales last night as festivities got underway across the country

Christmas revellers dance in Swansea, Wales last night as festivities got underway across the country

Christmas revellers dance in Swansea, Wales last night as festivities got underway across the country 

Drunken revellers pictured out enjoying Black Eye Friday in Blackpool, Lancashire last night

Drunken revellers pictured out enjoying Black Eye Friday in Blackpool, Lancashire last night

Drunken revellers pictured out enjoying Black Eye Friday in Blackpool, Lancashire last night

A shirtless man dances in St Mary's Street in Cardiff this evening as a young boy performs on a saxophone to his left

A shirtless man dances in St Mary's Street in Cardiff this evening as a young boy performs on a saxophone to his left

A shirtless man dances in St Mary’s Street in Cardiff this evening as a young boy performs on a saxophone to his left

Reveller wears turkey costume

Reveller wears turkey costume

Reveller wears turkey costume

Reveller wears turkey costume

A man was seen dressed as a Christmas turkey with a santa hat on his head as he walked the streets on Friday night

Revellers pose for a photograph as they head out to enjoy the festivities in Leeds last night

Revellers pose for a photograph as they head out to enjoy the festivities in Leeds last night

Revellers pose for a photograph as they head out to enjoy the festivities in Leeds last night

A man enjoys a takeaway in Newcastle last night following a night out on the town

A man enjoys a takeaway in Newcastle last night following a night out on the town

A man enjoys a takeaway in Newcastle last night following a night out on the town

A police officer speaks to a man in Newcastle who appears to be a little worse for wear

A police officer speaks to a man in Newcastle who appears to be a little worse for wear

A police officer speaks to a man in Newcastle who appears to be a little worse for wear

A weather warning has been issued for the whole of today until noon tomorrow, covering southern England from Cornwall to Kent. Up to an inch more rain could fall, risking further flooding. Bonnie Diamond, of the Met Office, said that away from the South, the rest of England and Wales was set to experience a mixture of sunshine and showers.

She added: ‘During Sunday, a ridge of high pressure is due to build, meaning more settled conditions, although it could turn colder by day, with the possibility of frosts at night.’

The RAC has warned motorists to expect ‘bumper-to-bumper’ traffic over the next few days, with 31.2 million journeys set to be taken in the week before Christmas.

Yesterday was set to be one of the busiest days of the festive season for traffic, with 4.7 million trips planned.

Data from transport specialists INRIX shows the M1 in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire, the northern and western sections of the clockwise M25, and M6 in the West Midlands are expected to see the worst delays over the next week.

Ben Aldous, of the RAC, said ‘bumper-to-bumper traffic on some motorways and major A-roads’ was ‘near-guaranteed’.

He said: ‘It looks as though millions of drivers are planning to complete their Christmas getaway trips this week.

‘Unfortunately, when you add in the prospect of unsettled weather, with heavy rain and strong winds in some parts, these are likely to be pretty unpleasant drives.’

An estimated five million UK holidaymakers are embarking on an overseas break during the festive period, according to travel trade association Abta. 

It reported strong booking numbers for short-haul winter sun destinations such as the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Morocco, Turkey and Egypt, while the long-haul market has seen high demand for Dubai and Goa.

Geneva is a popular destination for those seeking a more traditional Christmas experience, with favourite locations for spending New Year’s Eve abroad including Amsterdam, Dublin and Berlin.

Link hienalouca.com

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