A Skiing holiday may seem like an extremely expensive idea but for folks in the UK there is somewhere close to home without the expense of travelling abroad that is often over looked. Yes, Skiing and Snowboarding in Scotland is a big thing and believe it or not it offers the same services and facilities as all of the large Ski resorts in Europe or North America.
So the Scotland`s Mountains are not as large and the season sometimes not as long but many would not know that there are seasons where Skiing in Scotland is possible right through to May. It has to be mentioned though that Scotland’s landscape is equally as amazing and picturesque and you will be guaranteed that with much smaller resorts you will be afforded more space and often a more relaxed time on piste.
So where can i Ski and Snowboard in Scotland ?
The Lecth Ski Area: Located to the east of the Cairngorm National Park along the A939 the Lecth is in a rather remote location by comparison to other ski resorts on Scotland although at an elevation of over 600m the season can be relatively long. Set in a valley the lifts and slopes run down to the road where you will find the Ski lodge, Shop and Ski school. With lift pass in hand you can go park and get on a lift only meters from your car.
The Nevis Range: On the northern side of Ben Nevis the Nevis Range is located off the A82 just north of Fort William. Set in the sights of the highest peak in the UK the Ski resort offers full facilities with a spectacular back drop.
Glencoe Mountain Ski Area: The Oldest of the UKs Ski resorts Glencoe is also one of the smaller ski areas with 8 lifts and 20 runs. Located just off the A82 it is relatively close to the Nevis range so it is possible to enjoy both if you are staying in the area for a few days. Full facilities are available and the season is somewhat similar to the Nevis range.
Glenshee Ski Area: The Largest of all of Scotlands Ski resorts with 22 lifts and 36 runs ranging from beginner to extreme. Glenshee is located on the southern edge of the Cairngorm National park and is the closest resort to the cities of Perth and Dundee. Extensive facilities, Mountain lodge, rentals and Ski school are all available on site.
Cairngorm Mountain Ski Area: With 38 runs, 11 lifts and the Funicular Railway the Ski area is accessed via Avimore. Cairngome is probably one of the most popular Ski Centers in Scotland. Set among the beautiful peaks of the Cairngorm National park the well equipped area is the closest to you will probably get to experiencing the Alpine feel. Avimore itself has almost an alpine resort feel with trendy skate and ski shops, restaurants and cabins.
How long and when is Scotland Ski season ?
In general the season starts between early to mid November and December, however when the season starts at each location will vary from one another and of course shall be dependent on the weather. All locations have all the modern snow grooming equipment that any piste in the world has and even more. With snow makers on hand to top up the snow should it be needed you can be assured, as soon as a few runs can be opened they will get them open even if not all of them. Obviously prevailing weather dependent the season often comes to a close towards the end of march however they have been known to extend right through to may on the higher runs.
Is there Ski Schools in Scotland ?
There certainly is, and like their larger foreign counterparts, Scotland’s Ski Schools are extremely well equipped and recruit some of the best ski instructors in the world. All Ski schools have lessons available from a few hours right up to a full weeks and most will offer private lessons for families should you all wish to learn together.
How do the Costs compare ?
Obviously as with anywhere the costs associated with Skiing can vary greatly depending on lots of factors like do you need to hire equipment, do you need instruction and if you wish to by a days lift pass or a weeks. As an example at the Lecth an Adult Single day lift pass and equipment hire is just £52, Lift pass only is £30.
Where is best to stay when Skiing in Scotland:
Accommodation around the Lecth Ski Area is fairly remote an although the local area offers a few B&Bs and Pubs with rooms, if your looking for a hotel you will have to stay around 20-30 miles away in either Speybridge or even Avimore. Of course there are many Holiday parks around offer log cabins for rent but again these will at least be a 30 minute drive away.
Cairngorm Mountain Ski Area Is extremely close to Avimore which has everything from Large Log Cabin resorts to full service hotels from Hilton. By far the most popular area during the winter months there are plenty of rentals and hotel rooms on offer but it is advisable to get booking during school holidays in early.
Fort William is the closest town to The Nevis Range and has several hotels although for a wider choice travelling a few miles away there are many hotels, hostels and B&Bs located throughout the area.
Glenshee Ski Area is popular with holiday makers basing themselves in either Perth or Dundee where almost ever type of accommodation is available.
The Glencoe Mountain Ski Area is located not to far from Fort William and of course Glencoe where larger hotel type accommodation can be found. Being on one of the main roads north on the west coast many of the small villages have excellent pubs with rooms, hostels and B&Bs available.
Check out the latest Scotland Ski conditions at the official Visit Scotland website.
Remember, most of these areas are open for summer sports also including hill climbing and Mountain Biking.
- Glencoe Mountain Ski Area.
- Cairngorm Mountain Skiing.
- Nevis Range.
- The Lecth Ski Area.
- Glenshee Ski Centre.
Looking for other holiday ideas whilst in Scotland or accommodation? see our main Scotland page for more great ideas.