The region sometimes comes in for stick from skiiers. Despite the volumes of cheap hotels in Edinburgh it’s true that erratic weather, poor visibility, too much slush and too many rocks can blight the piste, a bit of forward planning can usually guarantee skiing in Edinburgh will be worth the trip.
In shallow snow areas you’re better off renting your kit – nobody wants to dash £10,000’s worth of Carridan Diamondbacks to pieces on a hidden boulder.
It’s also worth geeking up on the weather as this can change radically at any time.
Last of all, be sure to bring some provisions with you as some resorts aren’t catered.
The Need for Speed
In spite of all these challenges, there is still top-class skiing to be had in Scotland, and many of the finest resorts are within easy reach of the capital. With 40km of downhill riding and 36 different runs, Glenshee is much-loved.
Its dreamy slopes resemble a snowy desert and include the infamous Tiger run – ideal for speed-freaks keen to test out their deeper sidecuts in the erstwhile home of the British Speed Skiing Championships. Glenshee is located in the lovely Cairngorm National Park on the Perthshire-Aberdeenshire border, but 2 hour’s drive from Edinburgh.
A Festival of Freestyling
Although the gorgeous valley resort of Glencoe has something for every skiier, its all-natural freestyle features are notable. The aptly-named Haggis Trap is one of the country’s most thrilling gully jumps and the equally aptly-named Canyon is an impressive pipe.
Glencoe’s 803m vertical drop is easily traversable by beginners thanks to the Cliffhanger single chairlift.
Glencoe also offers a range of accommodation options, but our advise is to check Hostelbookers.com and book in Edinburgh – there’s more off-piste to be had.
Lecht Ski Centre, sited in the wilds of northern Scotland, is 118mi from Edinburgh. Put your short twin-tip skis into action in the unique freestylers’ park.
From gap jumps to mammoth pipes, table tops to log slides, there’s no chance of getting bored round here.
Getting Piste Off
Returning to the Cairngorm locale, Scottish skiiers swear by the 6in snow (usually in December/January) either side of the main course.
Aladdin’s Couloir (37 degrees) to the east is famous for its steep lines while a favourite route on the east side is the Glenshee car park via McLaren’s Gully.
For centuries poets and artists have celebrated the beauty of Edinburgh and its surrounds.
If you fancy a wee break from the slopes then you’ll find a cornucopia of fun things to do – you’ll even hear the cannons roar from Edinburgh Castle on the historic Royal Mile.
Maybe take in a show at the legendary Lyceum Theatre. Enjoy the 1000+ animals of Edinburgh Zoo. Or why not explore the country using an alternative mode of transport? Trike Tours whisk you around the Lothians, taking in everything natural and cultural that region has to offer.
As far as ski-oriented accommodation goes, there are good budget hostels such as Budget Backpackers near the National Museum, five star palaces like The Scotsman, and everything in between.
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