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Skiing may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking about holidaying in the UK, but it definitely should be.
From December to March, Scotland’s central mountains transform into a winter wonderland and are perfect for a bit of off-the-beaten-track skiing or snowboarding.
|Resort||Ski-in/ski-out||Distance||Lift pass price (3 days, adult)||Is there a resort village?|
|Cairngorm Mountain Resort||No||4-hour drive from Edinburgh||£84||No (most stay in Aviemore)|
|Glencoe Mountain Resort||No||2.5-hour drive from Edinburgh||£81||No (most stay in Glencoe)|
|Glenshee Ski Centre||No||2-hour drive from Edinburgh||£96||No (most stay in Braemar)|
|Nevis Range Mountain Resort||No||3-hour drive from Edinburgh||£88||No (most stay in Fort William)|
|The Lecht Ski Centre||No||3-hour drive from Edinburgh||£96||No (most stay in Tomintoul)|
If you’re open with where to ski in Scotland this year, consider purchasing an All-Areas Season Ticket. It’ll set you back around £550, but you’ll have unlimited access to each of the five Scottish ski resorts (Cairngorm, Glencoe, Clenshee, Nevis Range and Lecht), so you can give them all a go and settle where the snow is best.
Take your pick out of one of Scotland’s five ski resorts or visit all five with the handy flexi pass.
Together with 30km of piste runs that cater to almost any ability level, Cairngorm boasts some of the best runs in the region for experienced backcountry skiers. The resort also offers a selection of family-friendly activities, including free geocaching trails and a new 70-metre tubing run.
Nestled within the Scottish Highlands and enjoying views over the iconic peak of Buachaille, Glencoe is one of the most picturesque skiing spots in the country.
Albeit basic, Glencoe is one of Scotland’s only ski resorts to offer a choice of accommodation on site, in the form of fully heated micro lodges. This is about all it provides, as you’ll need to bring your own bedding, sleeping mat and other camping equipment.
Stretching across four mountains and three valleys, you won’t have to ski the same run twice when you holiday at Glenshee. Just over 20 lifts will take you to the beginning of 40km of pisted snow that is perfect for all skiing and snowboarding abilities.
These fantastic runs have not gone unnoticed, so make sure to book your accommodation and lift passes in advance to guarantee a space on the slopes.
With a lower vertical drop than most, The Lecht’s slopes are ideal for beginners or intermediate skiers. The short runs, rows of magic carpets and drag lifts are close to the day lodge facilities and perfect for those who haven’t quite found their ski legs.
For the budget-conscious that aren’t afraid of wrapping up warm, the resort also allows campervans to park up in the car park overnight.
As a newcomer to the winter sports scene in Scotland, the Nevis Range Mountain Resort is decked out with lots of modern luxuries. These include the UK’s only quad chair, a gondola and an artificial surface slope for beginners. Anyone in need of a confidence boost can book a comprehensive skiing course or a quick refresher course here too.
|Resort||Number of runs||Length of runs||Vertical drop|
|Cairngorm Mountain Resort||35 runs (31% beginner, 29% intermediate, 40% advanced)||30km||560 metres|
|Glencoe Mountain Resort||19 runs (37% beginner, 26% intermediate, 37% advanced)||25km||803 metres|
|Glenshee Ski Centre||36 runs (22% beginner, 36% intermediate, 42% advanced)||40km||418 metres|
|Nevis Range Mountain Resort||35 runs (20% beginner, 35% intermediate, 45% advanced)||20km||550 metres|
|The Lecht Ski Centre||22 runs (25% beginner, 45% intermediate, 30% advanced)||20km||188 metres|
You’ll find the majority of Scotland’s ski resorts located in the central portion of the country, sandwiched somewhere between Edinburgh, Inverness and Glasgow.
Unfortunately, Scotland’s weather is incredibly unpredictable so when and where is best to ski can vary significantly from year to year.
Generally, ski season begins in December and ends somewhere between late March and the beginning of April. However, exact seasonal opening times will differ between resorts.
For the best chance of ski snow, visit in January or February. Just remember to check the conditions before you head off. Try to avoid visiting during February half-term if you want to lose the crowds.