Scottish ski holidays
Yes, you can ski in Scotland, the first commercial ski area opened in 1956 at Glencoe Mountain Resort. That is less than fifty years after La Clusaz opened which is one of the oldest ski resorts still in operation. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of the Scottish highlands, you are in for a treat, as the scenery is truly mind-blowing and their on-piste and backcountry offering on its day is as good as anywhere.
Fear not, skiing in Scotland isn’t reserved for expert off-piste skiers, the range of slopes means it is suitable for all snow sports lovers of all levels, from beginners and seasoned skiers or snowboarder alike itching to get some skiing in closer to home.
Top resorts in Scotland
There are 5 ski resorts in Scotland, comprising of Glencoe Mountain, Glenshee, Nevis Range, Cairngorm Mountain and The Lecht.
– Previously known as the White Corries when it first opened in 1956, Glencoe Mountain, found in the Glencoe Valleys is arguably the most picturesque of all the highland locations, but we will let you decide where you sit on that one. Being on the West Coast, the weather is slightly more unpredictable so if you are looking to explore the backcountry it is best to keep an eye on the weather forecasts. With some of the best artificial snow creation capabilities in Scotland, the beginner slopes open each December and have great snow throughout the season - it’s the ideal place to learn how to ski on real snow.
– This is Scotlands largest resort, with two main ski areas, these have both been boosted in recent years by new lift systems and improved snowmaking capabilities. To the West you will find the Cainwell lifts, giving you aces to the infamous Tiger slope as well as some great groomed runs. To the East, you have the Sunnyside lifts that take you up to the steep slopes of Glas Maol, a firm favourite amongst backcountry skiers.
– Located just above Fort William, and with stunning views of the neighbouring Ben Nevis and on a clear day, the Isle of Skye. The front of the mountain is where the good intermediate and beginner slopes can be found. The Nevis range also benefits from the investment made to the region so the artificial snowmaking is good. The advanced and off-piste skiing is second to none and is what marks this out to be the best resort in the region. Expect to find gullies, bowls and cornice drop-offs.
– Located in the Scottish highlands, not too far from the picturesque Aviemore, there is over 30km of pistes to explore serviced by 11 lift systems. If you’re looking to improve your freestyle skiing, there also a well maintained snowpark to work on your skills.
– Situated in the eastern Cairngorms at 645m above sea level, The Lecht is one of Scotland’s smallest resorts. Great for families, it has just 20km of pistes yet caters for all ages and abilities of skier. In the Penguin Park, you will also find dragons and snowmen where children as young as two can have fun in the snow. A magic carpet lift takes the stress out of getting little ones up the mountain and the lower slopes are short and gentle – ideal for kids and beginners.
Snow conditions in Scotland
When the snow does fall in Scotland, the depths can rival that of any of the major resorts in the Alps, we recommend monitoring the snow forecasts before planning your trip if you are looking to do some off-piste skiing or skinning.
However, recent investments in artificial snowmaking facilities mean that no matter the temperature outside, the resorts can produce snow. This means that the low-altitude slopes for beginners are kept open. .
Accommodation in Scotland
Don’t expect to find any traditional alpine chalets on arrival but we’re sure the stunning scenery of the Scottish highlands coupled with amazing hospitality will more than makeup for that. All 5 resorts have a fantastic selection of self-catering accommodation types and hotels. The Self-catering options range from cosy Bed and Breakfasts to luxury lodges, so there is something for everyone