Beat those January blues with a winter break in some of Scotland’s most stunning locations. The mountainous terrain that makes Scotland such a great hillwalking destination is precisely what makes it the go to ski destination this season. The fantastic ski conditions coupled with the breath-taking scenery make the Scottish Highlands a popular and dare we say better get away destination than some European counterparts. All of the Scottish ski resorts offer a range of runs from beginner green through to advanced black. If you’re new to skiing here’s the skinny on Scotland’s hotspots...
Pricing information correct at time of writing - 16/01/2015
Credit: Steve McKenna and Nevis Range Ski Resort
Nevis Mountain Range
Claim to Fame: Access to Scotland’s only Mountain Gondola which in just 12 short minutes transports you from the carpark to 650 metres! The Nevis Mountain Range also has the easiest access to some of Scotland's best backcountry skiing with snow filled powder bowls, exciting corniced gullies, and narrow and twisting hidden couloirs. There are routes through the Back Corries, challenging hidden couloirs on Aonach Beag, and steep and daring descents on the north face of Ben Nevis. Price: Day passes range from £20 to £31 depending on capability Equipment Hire: Ski boots and poles can be hired from £22 per day and outdoor clothing from £15 Where to stay: Glen Nevis Youth Hostel, Glencoe Youth Hostel and Loch Ossian Youth Hostel are all nearby
Credit: Charne Hawkes and Nevis Range Ski Resort
Cairngorm Mountain Resort
Claim to fame: Cairngorm mountain resort is home to Scotland’s only funicular railway. This is a unique visitor experience that allows people of all abilities to reach the top station where the Ptarmigan Restaurant is located. There is also a viewing terrace, exhibition shop and the highest post box in the British Isles. Moreover because the Cairngorm Mountain Resort is the highest in Scotland it usually gets the most snow and is the last place to lose it! Price: Day passes range from £25 to £35 and includes use of the funicular railway Equipment: Hire of equipment and clothing is included together from £45 however you have to reserve beforehand Where to Stay: Aviemore Youth Hostel or Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel
Glencoe Mountain Resort
Claim to Fame: Glencoe is Scotland’s original ski centre dating back to 1956. The resort is very popular amongst ambitious skiers as it is the home of the ‘Fly Paper’ run which is the steepest in Britain. Prices: Day passes range from £20 to £32 Equipment: Ski boots, poles and helmets can be hired from £30 per day Where to Stay: Glencoe Youth Hostel
Credit: Steve McKenna and Glencoe Ski Resort
Glenshee Ski Centre
Claim to Fame: Glenshee ski centre offers more lifts and terrains than any other ski centre in the UK. It extends 40 kilometres across four mountains and three valleys. Its 36 runs are served by 21 lifts and the longest run, Glas Maol, stretches two kilometres. Prices: Day passes range from £17 to £30 Equipment: Ski boots and poles can be hired from £20 per day and outdoor clothing from £12.Where to Stay: Braemar Youth Hostel (Opens 5 Feb)
The Lecht Ski Centre
Claim to Fame: Located at the top of the pass between Tomintoul and Strathdon, one of the highest roads in the UK where the hills rise up to 775 metres. One of the smaller, quieter resorts with a magic carpet lift and smaller pistes lower down that are great for beginners. Prices: Day passes range from £23 to £29 Equipment: Ski boots and poles can be hired from £20 per day Where to stay: Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel
Credit: The Lecht Ski Centre
- Scotland’s winter weather can be just as unpredictable as the summer seasons! Be sure to check the daily snow report that is posted on each resort website
- If you’re a first time skier then it’s best to avoid buying equipment straight away as it’s quite pricey! Beg, borrow and steal from family and friends or alternatively hire straight from the resort
- Even if you’ve had lessons on dry slopes book half a day with an instructor. Skiing on real snow is much faster and scarier than it is indoors!
Biography for SYHA Hostelling Scotland
Scotland's best known network of youth hostels in stunning city & rural locations. Go on a #SYHAdventure! As a not-for-profit organisation, we encourage guests to join SYHA Hostelling Scotland. Members enjoy a range of exclusive benefits including dual membership of Hostelling International, providing access to more than 4,000 youth hostels in over 90 countries worldwide. Membership and guest overnight income supports our charitable youth programmes and the maintenance of the hostelling network, particularly in rural Scotland.