We take a look around Scotland’s five ski resorts.
It’s been a great few years for the Scottish ski resorts with good snowfalls keeping the five ski centres open for some of the longest seasons in decades. This year, hopes are again high for plenty of wintry weather.
The five resorts are easy to reach in a campervan or motorhome and, in fact, you could visit a few in one week, depending on conditions. A van gives you the option of staying a night or two if the snow is god, or heading to another location where forecasts are better.
Modern campervans and motorhomes boast excellent heating systems so campervanning in winter is no hardship. During school holidays, a campervan or motorhome trip is a great idea for cheaper family accommodation. And imagine the kids’ faces when they wake up, draw back the curtains and see a winter wonderland right in front of them.
Scotland’s five ski resorts
Cairnwell, Braemar, Aberdeenshire
Glenshee translates from Gaelic (the old Scottish language) as “Glen of the Fairies” and many people will tell you that this popular ski resort boasts a magical atmosphere.
It’s the biggest of Scotland’s resorts with 40km of skiing spread across three valleys, four mountains and with access via more than 20 lifts.
Beginners will enjoy the easily accessible nursery slopes, while for more experienced skiers there are many blue and red pistes. Advanced skiers also come to Glenshee for the fantastic back-country possibilities.
If you are still learning or want to brush up on skills and techniques take a few lessons at the ski school.
Torlundy, Fort William, Inverness-shire
This ski centre is located on the UK’s eighth tallest mountain, Aonach Mor, and offers a winter playground for all kinds of skiers. The runs are accessed via a gondola that whizzes you up to a height of 650m (2,150ft).
A total of 12 lifts give further access to a range of slopes. The green and blue runs are conveniently located close to the Snowgoose Mountain Restaurant. Further up the mountain, and to a height of 1,190m (3,900 ft), are red and black runs for more experienced skiers.
How about giving the summit terrain park a try or join a guided back-country skiing tour?
Nevis Range also has a snowsports school and avalanche awareness lessons are taught from the Nevis Range base.
Oh, the beautiful Lecht, located at the heart of one of Scotland’s two national parks, the Cairngorms. The resort it located at 2,090ft (645m) above sea level and has 18 runs with more than 20km to explore.
For beginners there’s five green-graded runs and an easy-to-use conveyer-belt lift known as the Magic Carpet. You just step on to travel up the slope.
There’s also a network of blue and red pistes and a black-graded race piste for even more thrills. The Lecht also has a half-pipe and fun park for freestyle snowboarders and skiers. Lessons are also available.
Near Aviemore, Highlands
You can ride Scotland’s only funicular railway on CairnGorm Mountain from the base station to the Ptarmigan Top Station at 1,097m. From here, you’ll discover 30km of pisted slopes, including 20 runs across all skiing levels.
The longest pisted run is 3.3km. And for freestyle fun, with jumps, rails and boxes, there’s the Gorm Freestyle Park.
Rannoch Moor, Glencoe, Highlands
There is a wide range of slopes for all at Glencoe, although this resort is perhaps best loved by those with a love of steeper runs. Seven lifts serve 19 runs and 20km of skiing opportunity.
For experienced skiers, there are two black runs, as well as six blues and four green. A fantastic blue run sweeps down from the top of the resort to the base.
One of the biggest attractions of this resort is the fabulous views, especially of the iconic mountain, Buachaille Etive Mor.