Are you visiting Scotland over the winter months? There’s nothing better than wrapping up warm and getting outside, especially knowing that the reward for a day well spent embracing the elements is warming up by the fire with a hot chocolate, or a wee dram, as part of a winter break in Scotland. Scotland is the place to be as winter begins to call, opt for one or more of the following winter experiences from the speed of sled dog racing to idyllic ice skating, or an adrenaline-fuelled weekend of skiing and snowboarding!
Skiing and snowboarding
Scotland’s five ski centres offer the best outdoor skiing and snowboarding in the UK. Surrounded by beautiful Highland and Aberdeenshire scenery, the country’s ski centres are accessible from all of Scotland’s cities, suitable for both beginners and seasoned skiers or boarders. Depending on the weather, the snow season typically runs from December through to April, but be sure to find the latest news, ski conditions, webcams, weather forecasts, lift and road status updates, plus details of indoor and artificial slopes below:
Glencoe Mountain-Sledging at Glencoe Mountain is great fun for the whole family and what’s even better is that it’s free! Take a fantastic ride on the Chairlift and enjoy the views before taking the short walk to the Plateau Cafe and collecting a sledge from the bunkers just outside the cafe. Enjoy racing down the 75-metre slope before savouring a yummy hot chocolate to finish off a fun day. Those looking for more of a thrill can hire skis and snowboards to sample the steepest snow run in the UK – ‘The Flypaper’ before retiring to the on-site micro lodges for a night of regaling and rest. For more information and to book, please visit: www.glencoemountain.co.uk
Snowsports at Nevis Range-Boasting Carbon Neutral status, Nevis Range has a variety of runs from gentle beginner slopes by the Gondola Top Station to more advanced off-piste runs in the Back Corries. Drawing thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts alike, the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains add a touch of magic to every descent. Nevis Range isn’t just for skiers. The winter landscape transforms into a white canvas for snowshoeing and winter hiking. Guided trails lead adventurers through silent forests, where the only sounds are the crunching of snow beneath boots and the occasional call of a distant bird. For more information and to book, please visit: www.nevisrange.co.uk
Snowsports on Cairngorm Mountain-Located in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, with 30km of ski runs, 13 lifts and a fully maintained freestyle park, skiing and snowboarding is sure to provide a brilliant day out, catering to both beginners and experts alike.
Snow with four legs
Sled dog racing experience- Sled dog racing is the world’s fastest growing winter sport and Scotland is where it’s happening. There are over 150 competitive teams in Scotland comprising of Siberian Huskies; Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds, Eskimo Dogs and purpose bred Eurohounds. These dogs are elite athletes, as well as beloved pets, and they live to run. The sport takes place on forest tracks (kinder on the dogs’ feet) and there are races and training areas from Dumfries and Galloway in the south to Inverness-shire in the north. Spend time in nature and get set to be immersed and impressed with the ultimate husky experience – with the opportunity to drive a personal dog team on some of the best trails around. Siberian Husky Sled Dog Adventures are in Stonehaven, for more information, please visit: www.huskyhaven.co.uk. Or visit Blairgowrie at Bowland Trails for the Siberian husky experiences, sled dog school of excellence and training centre. For more information and to book, please visit www.bowlandtrails.com.
Meet reindeers! Roaming freely since 1952, visit Britain’s only free-ranging herd of reindeer in their natural environment, The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd. These tame and friendly animals are a joy to all who come and see them, learn all about these fascinating creatures with a guided walk right in amongst them, visitors can get up close and experience feeding these magical beings by hand – with nutritious, reindeer friendly, nibbles supplied.
Photo: The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd. Photo: Alex Smith/The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd.