Snowsports: best places to ski and snowboard in Scotland
Take to the slopes or learn some snow skills with our guide to Scotland's snowsport centres
Christmas is done but winter, and more importantly snow sport season, is only just arriving. As the centres carefully watch the weather reports for that first decent covering of snow we take a look at the options available to skiers and snowboarders in Scotland; whether you want to take your first awkward steps on skis or smash it down a black run.
Glencoe – Ski and snowboard across 20 runs that cater for all levels of snowsport enthusiast. There are group lessons for complete beginners and improvers, private lessons for those not wanting to fall over in public and Saturday Shredders gets kids 7 plus on the slopes. Refuel in the cafe at the car park. Glencoe Mountain is open: 9am--4.30pm.
Nevis Range – Nevis Range is home to Britain's only mountain gondola, it's not operated by a gent in a stripey tee but it will transport you to 650m on the slopes of Aonach Mor. There are 12 lifts and 25 runs including some challenging blue and red runs in the main Snowgoose bowl for intermediates and extensive off-piste black and red runs for the more experienced. The snowsports school welcome beginners to experts and you can buy packages which include lessons, pass and equipment hire. Open: weekdays 9am--4pm, weekends 8.30am--4pm.
Glenshee Ski & Snowboard Centre – Glenshee has Britain's largest lift system with the runs extending over three valleys and four mountains. There are nursery slopes for beginners, 26 blue and red runs for intermediate skiers and boarders and two black runs for advanced skiers. These include the infamous, mogul strewn Tiger and the venue for the 1985 Smirnoff British Speed Skiing Championships. There is also ski touring accessible from the Glenshee ski area. Food and drink is available at the top or bottom of the slopes with two mountain cafes and a base cafe. Open: 8.30am--5pm.
Cairngorm Mountain – At Cairngorm Mountain there is 30km of ski runs, a fully maintained snowboard park,cross country skiing and Disability Snowsports UK offering snow sports tuition for the disabled. They've recently launched an on-site Ski and Snowboard School offering professional instruction for all levels as well as kid’s specific programmes. The mountain is also home to Scotland’s only funicular railway. Ride to the Top Station to visit the Ptarmigan Restaurant, check out the panoramic views and post something from the highest post box in the British isles. Open: 9am--4pm.
Lecht 2090 – Guess how high Lecht 2090 in the Eastern Cairngorms is above sea level? 2090 feet above. The slopes are ideal for all levels of skiers and snowboarders but especially good for beginners and intermediates. There's a total 12 different lifts, including a 3 person chairlift and a magic carpet travelator to get novices going on day one. Runs are named after birds so you can tackle the Wren, Robin, Kestrel or Falcon. The Ski School provides daily private or class lessons. Open: 8.30am--4.15pm
Glenmore Lodge – If you're looking to learn or develop a snow sport Scotland’s National Outdoor Training Centre offers courses geared to get you out into the winter wilderness. The lodge teaches a wide of skills courses in winter mountaineering and climbing including avalanche awareness, winter navigation and winter lead climbing. Those looking to get away from official slopes and wild ski can join courses in ski touring and off piste skiing.