WEATHER in the north east of Scotland has forced a popular Christmas market to close.

The Met Office has forecast heavy rain and strong winds for much of the country on Thursday thanks to a low pressure system sweeping the UK.

This has meant organisers of the Aberdeen Christmas market were forced to close all the attractions, bars and food stalls. The popular "village" consists of fair rides and markets.

New additions this year include a Ferris Wheel at the Christmas Village and festive lighting in Union Terrace Gardens.  

The village is expected to re-open on Friday at 12pm.

A statement from Aberdeen City Council said: “Due to high winds and heavy rain, the Aberdeen Christmas Village will not be opening today.

“The village will re-open tomorrow at 12pm. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

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Met Office chief forecaster Neil Armstrong said: “After a relatively calm day on Wednesday, wet and windy weather will move in from the west on Wednesday night. Low pressure will drive several days of unsettled conditions with heavy rainfall the main concern.

“We have issued a number of severe weather warnings for rain across the UK; as much as 80mm of rain could fall in some areas of the west, particularly higher ground. Higher ground in eastern Scotland could even see up to 100mm of rain.

“The rain will be falling on already very wet ground and where there is still lying snow in the northwest of England and parts of Scotland, snow melt will exacerbate the risk of flooding.”