Severe weather forecast for parts of the UK has forced Cunard to delay the return of one of its ships into Southampton tomorrow (Saturday).

Gusts of more than 100mph have begun to hit Scotland and forecasters are warning gales could cause travel disruption and damage.

Cunard ship Queen Elizabeth’s return to Southampton from Hamburg tomorrow morning has been put back until the afternoon, resulting in a knock-on effect to its planned departure to New York on the first leg of its world cruise.

Marketing director Angus Struthers said: “We have been monitoring the bad weather which is approaching the UK at the moment.

“At this point we believe that to ensure safe arrival and docking unfortunately Queen Elizabeth will be delayed arriving into Southampton until Saturday afternoon.

“We are in the process of making contingency plans for her turnaround that mean we are likely to have to delay embarkation by between five and seven hours.”

A further update is due to be given at lunchtime today, the line said via its Facebook page.

Dublin airport said a “small number” of flights had been cancelled this morning due to bad weather and urged passengers to check with their airline before setting out.

Numerous trains in Scotland have been cancelled together with ferry services as the Met Office issued an amber warning for the Highlands, Western Isles, Orkney and parts of Aberdeenshire, central and south east Scotland as an Atlantic jet stream approached.

Gusts reached 113mph in Stornoway and 110mph in the Highlands.

The Forth Road Bridge was closed to vehicles because of strong winds after a van overturned.

The Met Office amber “be prepared” warning forecasts high winds and heavy rain for the next few days and icy conditions on Sunday.

A yellow “be aware” warning, predicting gusts of between 60mph and 70mph, covers the rest of Scotland today.

The public should be prepared for potential disruption to transport and power supplies, as well as structural damage, the Met Office warned.