What owl did I just see?

Unfortunately I didn't take my phone so I don't have a picture, but I had a really good look at it.

It's face was white and the feathers on it's back where white with black speckles on it, it also seemed small for an owl. It's face also looked nothing like a barn owl. It was 3 metres away from me perched on a river bank in broad daylight and just stared at me with its head right the way round. Can anyone tell me what it was?