Forty-nine schoolchildren have safely returned home today after hazardous weather sidelined a school trip to London.

The group of year fives from Parc Eglos School in Helston were scheduled to return home from their three day trip last night, but snow storms caused the M5 to shut down and the group got stuck in a McDonald's near Exeter.

Natalie Johnson, whose son Deacon was on the trip, said that: "Every parent has had the phone glued to their hands for 24 hours."

McDonald's staff went above and beyond the call of duty and offered free desserts and drinks to the stranded children, with some even offering to stay overnight at the restaurant in case the group needed somewhere to sleep.

A staff member from the McDonald's in question said: "I've got some kids myself and would like to know that someone did the same; they were all fed and kept warm."

After some time, Headmaster Brett Dye managed to find vacancies at a nearby Travelodge, where he booked rooms to accommodate the 50 children. but the group was still two miles from the hotel, and with the roads covered in snow, the journey looked daunting.

But in a stroke of luck, a police officer pulled in to the car park and after a quick discussion with trainee teacher Chris Uren, managed to call three other police cars to come to the rescue and escort the coach up the hill to the Travelodge.

Several teachers braved the blizzard to get to the nearest Tesco for supplies, and after spending the night in the Travelodge Mr Dye set up a cafe in his room where teachers served a breakfast of bacon sandwiches and hot chocolate to the children.

Mr Dye said afterwards that "most of [the children] were really positive about the whole experience." He went on to say: "They really adapted well. We had to get six or seven in some of the rooms ... but there was no problem at all overnight and the hotel staff said they were great."

Mr Dye kept parents informed with regular updates on the school's Facebook page throughout the ordeal, and even conducted a poll to help decide whether they should stay an extra night in London or attempt to make the trip in the bad weather, in which 70% of parents voted to attempt the trip.

The Safestay hostel in Holland Park, Kensington, where the children were originally staying were unable to provide rooms for an extra night, and the lack of available accommodation as well as the poll results helped make the decision to attempt the trip.

Despite a sleepless night for parents, the children eventually got home safely and with a story to tell.

The Parc Eglos staff on the trip were Brett Dye, Simon Rigg, Karen Harrison, Naomi Tostdevine, Lesley Flint, Anthea Martin and Chris Uren.