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In the middle of the hustle and bustle of day 1 at the London Ski and Snowboard Show, we met up with cheeky chappie and Team GB snowboarder Jamie Nicholls. After a stunning performance at Sochi and achieving sixth place in the first ever snowboard slopestyle final in a Winter Games, the Olympics has thrown Jamie into the spotlight and he is now recognised as one of the country’s best snowboarders. Nicholls scored a huge 85.5 from the judges on his first run, but the standard of the male snowboarders was so high and Jamie was knocked out the running for a medal. We caught up with Jamie about his Sochi experience, what he’s been up to over the summer and his plans for the this winter, including a pretty big exciting secret project that’s happening in London (watch the video below for more info)
The Yorkshire lad is well known for lapping Halifax dryslope since a tender age, so he is an ideal example to inspire a generation to have a go and try skiing or snowboarding at their local ski centre. Since Sochi, Snowsport England have recorded a 12% increase in participation at domestic slopes and centres year on year, which is fantastic news for the British ski and snowboard industry. As the latest ambassador for Snowsport England’s national participation campaign, Go Ski Go Board, Jamie tells us that he is ‘trying to help build good camps for kids’ with the governing body and help fly the flag for winter sports. He is a regular to The Snow Centre Hemel Hempstead which always creates a buzz at the dome and inspires more people to give it a go themselves.
Read more about Team GB's involvement with Go Ski Go Board He has a very light hearted approach to getting in to the sport, and when asked for advice for anyone wanting to learn: Drop in to your closest snowdome, snow centre or dry slope and give it a good go. If you like it, stick at it, if you don’t like it, try it again and again till you do (laughs)… we agree too!
Hayley and I meeting Jamie at the Ski & Snowboard Show
The British snowboarder has a busy winter ahead of him. Last week he narrowly missed out on a podium spot on his first competition of the season and came in 4th at the Burton Rail Days in Tokyo. Some people will see fourth as a good result in Japan but I was going out there to try and win it. Next up will be the Dew Tour Mountain Championships in Breckenridge from 11 -14 December. After some training and down time in Austria he has high hopes for the competition in Colorado. Snowboarding has taken Jamie all over the globe and the 21 year old is now recognised as one of the World’s best snowboarders. But when he’s not in the park he does enjoy the backcountry; Last winter Jamie went on his first splitboard adventure in Austria, and that must have given him the bug as when we asked him if could snowboard somewhere in the world he’s not been before, Jamie told us that he desires a trekking trip to Nepal, Argentina or some weird places that I’ve never been and never get a chance to go. We are very interested to see what Jamie gets up to this season.
Jamie in Stubai, Austria.
Join in the celebrations for the 10th year of winter fun at the Natural History Museum Ice Rink
Warm up to winter in style at one of the most beautiful and iconic settings in the Capital, the Natural History Museum Ice Rink is now open throughout the festive season. If there is one place in the city to kick start your festive spirit and to start counting down to winter, here it is. The ice rink is set in the foreground of the stunning Museum and will be open to skaters through till Sunday 4th January.
Want to win the chance to go to ice skating at the Natural History Museum for free? See the bottom of the blog for more info.
Many ski area’s aren't open till mid-December, so if you are as ski crazy as us and cannot wait another few weeks to satisfy that snow urge this is one activity that will delight your winter lust. Set in a winter wonderland, surrounded by nearly 80,000 twinkling fairy lights and a huge glittering 40 ft Christmas tree, beginners and advanced skaters alike can enjoy the 1,000 square meter rink. As we can’t enjoy the slopes just yet, we have spent the build up to ski season trying and testing all the exciting winter and ski themed activities you can do in London. We were lucky enough to visit this festive haven in its first week of opening, and what a wonderful evening out we had! From exiting the underground, you are dazzled by the exquisite fairy lights and then stunned by the extraordinary architecture of the Natural History Museum before you stop and take it the atmosphere of this beautiful setting. There is something very special about being able to ice skate outside in the middle of London on a winter’s evening.
It is the perfect activity for friends and family alike, all ages were out on the ice and if there is someone in your group that isn't ice-ready, they can stand around the outside and take photos or enjoy a mulled wine from the café bar.
The marketing girls looking festive at ice skating
Here’s what we had to say on our adventure on the ice:
Chloe: "Ice skating at the Natural History museum was a magical evening out that helped throw me in to the Christmas spirit. I was mesmerised by all the lights, the decadent Christmas tree, and music. I was also impressed that the ice wasn’t too overcrowded. Followed by a mulled wine and festive nibbles at the bar, this is certainly an experience I would recommend anyone to share with your friends and family."
Laura C: "A fantastic location just outside of the Natural History Museum, the setting couldn’t have been better. The ice rink was the perfect size, and the big Christmas tree in the middle added the perfect wintery touch. I had great fun skating around (and trying not to fall over), and it’s safe to say that I’m definitely feeling festive and in the Christmas spirit now."
Iglu Ski on ice & the view of the ice rink from the balcony at the cafe bar
Where? Natural History Museum. Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD. Nearest tube – South Kensington
When? Thursday 30 October 2014 – Sunday 4 January 2014. Check the website for daily session times. How? Online: http://www.nhmskating.com. In Person: at the Natural History Museum Ice Rink Box Office. Phone: 0844 847 1576 Extra sessions The Ice Rink will also be offering ‘SK8’ sessions where all can take to the ice for extended skating periods. On weekdays in November, the Ice Rink will hold special sessions for parents and toddlers, and for students who present their NUS card at the box office. Parents with pre-school children can enjoy special rate skating sessions with complimentary drinks for both adult and child in the cafe afterwards. Students will also benefit from an exclusive special rate and complimentary drink. Visit the website for more details on sessions and offers www.nhmskating.com
Celebrate the festive season at the Natural History Museum Ice Rink, London’s most spectacular winter attraction. Whether you’re a novice or an expert skater, it’s a wonderful day out with family, friends or someone special. This Christmas one lucky reader will win two tickets to London’s most enchanting ice rink for an unforgettable Christmas experience in the capital. To win – Head to Facebook to like and comment on the image telling us who you would take with you, or go to Twitter and retweet this tweet. Terms and Conditions: Promotion closes at 23:59 on 30 November 2014. Winners will be notified on 01 December 2014. The prize must be redeemed by 12 December 2014 and is non-transferable and has no cash alternative. There is one prize of two ice skating tickets at The Natural History Museum Ice Rink. Advance booking is essential, and prize is subject to availability. Blackout dates may apply. The winner will be the first entrant selected at random after the closing date. Over-18’s only. Promoter: IMG (UK) Ltd. By Krystelle
For a country with a lack of snowy mountains the UK has a high proportion of keen skiers and snowboarders that head to ski resorts all across the world, season after season.
As the UK’s largest independent ski travel agency we offer ski holidays to over 200 resorts, giving our customers the widest choice of destinations available.
Earlier this year we published a roundup of our top selling ski resorts for 2013/14, which found Val d’Isere, St Anton and Meribel coming up top. During the build up to the winter season, London comes alive with alpine themed fun and lively ski events to get city goers amped for the season ahead. With a significant proportion of Iglu Ski customers residing in London we have delved into the city’s boroughs to find out how they compare.
This highest percentage of skiers and snowboarders live in the South West, with an average spend of £763.02 pp and Val d’Isere as their resort of choice.
The lowest rate of skiers and snowboarders in London are found in West Central London where La Plagne is the most popular option, with an average spend of £759.46 pp.
The biggest spenders are in SW3, Chelsea, where the average spends is £957.24 pp and residents favour the chic resort of Courchevel.
The ski resorts in the 3 Valleys and Espace Killy in France are the preferred locations by Londoners for their ski holiday and only a handful of boroughs favoured Austria over France.
View the full infographic here
Summer is finally over which marks one of our favourite times of the year – the countdown to ski season. If you’re lucky enough to be in London this is when the ski and snowboard films start premiering around the city and you can meet up with all your ski buddies and start drinking like it’s après o’clock in the Alps. It’s still 2 month until many of us can head to the mountains for our first shred of winter, so how do you pass the time? London Freeski Film Festival is back for it’s 3rd year and here to help you kick start your winter season in style. This year promises even more films, more stalls selling the latest gear, plus lots of prizes to giveaway. On Thursday 23rd October you can catch this year’s best new ski films featuring your favourite riders on two planks. Whether you’re into your gnarly jibbing or throwing down big mountain, there’s something for everyone.
Ski films confirmed: UK Premiere - Level 1 Production: Less The 15th annual ski motion picture from Level 1, shot in USA, Canada, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden, France and Japan.
Poor Boyz Productions: Twenty "True to the movement" since 1994, the Poor Boyz cameras have captured everything from the first twin tips in the park to remote mountain descents in this years unforgettable film.
Stept Productions: Ten and Two Join the Stept crew as they continue the search for their American dream. These weathered nomads strive to find a balance between craziness and normalcy as their transnational adventure takes them from New England, to the Teton Mountains and back.
UK Premiere - Sandra Lahnsteiner : Pure PURE is the second “Shades of Winter” movie of Austrian freeskier and filmmaker Sandra Lahnsteiner. Sharing her plattform of “Shades of Winter” with female athletes from all over the world you can again expect high performance skiing at its best.
When? Thursday 23rd October at 7pm Where? Famous Three Kings, Fulham, W14 9NL How? Buy Tickets HERE Everyone who buys a ticket will be entered into the raffle to win lots of ski swag to set you up nicely for this winter. 15% of all proceeds will be donated to the ‘Huck Cancer Foundation’, which is a non-profit organisation set up so skiers and snowboarders can show their support in the fight against cancer, which helps benefit the lives of patients in both the UK and France.
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"I was so impressed with the way Laura handled my initial call that as soon as I got home I decided to forget all of the other agents and companies and call her straight back and book the holiday. Thank you again Iglu for being so user friendly and more importantly thank you to Laura for being such an asset to your company and the sales profession."