The experience of skiing or snowboarding down Scotland's mountains at one of our five ski centres will certainly live long in the memory. But thanks to artificial and real snow indoor slopes, it doesn't actually have to be winter to enjoy great snowsports in Scotland! Get some pre-ski season practice and brush up on your skills on these year-round slopes.
The beauty of Snow Factor, which is located in XSite Braehead near Glasgow, is that there's no need to get up early and check the weather. Why? Because real fresh snow is available all year-round. Fancy perfecting that parallel turn in July, or mastering the snow plow in September? If so, Snow Factor is the place for you.
Every day, the fantastic 200-metre indoor slope is covered with 1,700 tonnes of fresh powdery snow, so hire a snowboard or skis or simply bring your own. If you're looking to improve your skills in time for the new season, there is advanced coaching available and if you're a novice, there are lessons available on the separate beginners' slope. Just remember to book your session in advance.
Artificial ski slopes
There are also a number of excellent outdoor artificial slopes that are spread right throughout Scotland:
- Aberdeen Snowsports Centre is regarded by many as one of the best snowsports centres in Scotland offering lessons, coaching, equipment hire, children's parties and more. The centre, located in Garthdee, is a short drive or bus trip from Aberdeen city centre.
- Alford Ski Centre can be found in Donside, around 25 miles from Aberdeen and offers a 70-metre Dendix slope with Poma lift, a 30-metre trainer slope with magic carpet lift, flood-lighting, a lounge and facilities and tubing for groups and individuals.
- Bearsden Ski and Snowboard Club in East Dunbartonshire has an extensive range of lesson programmes, covering families through to adult race training.
- Firpark Ski Centre in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire, boasts a 120-metre artificial ski slope. There's tuition on offer for skiing, snowboarding and blading, as well as snow tubing.
- Glasgow Ski & Snowboard Centre can be found in the city's Bellahouston Park, just minutes from central Glasgow. There are four modern floodlit artificial slopes, instruction/lessons, a modern café/bar and plenty of free parking.
- Huntly Nordic & Outdoor Centre in Aberdeenshire offers cross-country skiing on a 300-metre dry track and roller skiing on a purpose-built 600-metre track. Bike hire and tubing are also available at the centre.
- Loch Insh Outdoor Centre can be found near Kingussie in the Highlands and has a 60-metre-long artificial ski slope.
- Lagganlia Centre for Outdoor Learning at Kincraig in the Cairngorms National Park offers a 60-metre x 10-metre artificial slope using the latest technology in ski mats and also has a poma for uplift.
- Midlothian Snowsports Centre lies in the beautiful Pentland Hills Regional Park near Edinburgh. It's home to the longest artificial ski slope in Europe and has been the training location of 29 Olympians.
- Newmilns Snow and Sports Complex is set in East Ayrshire and as well as skiing and snowboarding, snow tubing is on offer.
- Polmonthill Ski Centre, located near Falkirk, has a 100-metre artificial ski slope, as well as a shorter nursery slope where kids as young as three can get lessons.