Scotland’s ski resorts present a surprising amount of choice if you want to hit the slopes and stay in the UK. Dotted around the Scottish Highlands, the ski areas presented in this list all feature chair lifts, groomed ski runs, and gear rental shops.

    While the height of the mountains doesn’t quite measure up to the highest Alpine resorts in mainland Europe, you can still enjoy excellent skiing and snowboarding conditions in the Scottish Highlands. Get your winter gear ready and have a great holiday in the best ski resorts in Scotland.

    1

    Glenshee Ski Centre

    The largest ski area in Scotland

    Glenshee ski resort has more runs than any other mountain in Scotland, making it a great place to go skiing in the UK. There are 21 ski lifts in total and 40 km of pistes to ride. There is decent snow coverage from December to March, although you might find limited runs open towards the end of the season.

    This is a great resort for family ski trips thanks to a well-developed ski school and plenty of medics on standby. Locally known as the 3 Glens, this popular ski resort is in Aberdeenshire in the northeast of the Scottish Highlands. High-quality ski and gear rental are available. 

    Location: Old Military Rd, Ballater AB35 5XU, UK

    Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1339 741320

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    2

    Glencoe

    A good choice for experienced riders

    • Adventure

    Glencoe is the oldest ski area in Scotland and is a popular resort for intermediate and advanced riders thanks to plenty of red runs and some challenging black run pistes.

    The ski resort has 8 ski lifts which makes it a suitable size for a fun weekend of winter sports in the UK. Many of the lifts have been renovated or replaced over the past few years so you can now ski from the summit of the mountain all the way down to the car park… and then do it all over again. Although Glencoe is quite isolated, you can take a bus from Glasgow direct to the ski resort.

    Location: Glencoe PH49 4HZ, UK

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 4.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1855 851 226

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    photo by Carol Walker (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    3

    Nevis Range

    The best bet for regular snowfall

    • Adventure

    Nevis is the highest ski resort in the UK, spanning 1,223 metres in height and offering very consistent snowfall. The ski season runs from December to April, with plenty of gentle slopes for beginners. After a heavy snowfall, advanced skiers and snowboarders often go off-piste to challenge themselves in deep powder, with drop-offs and gully runs to be found.

    There is a total of 35 ski runs at Nevis Range and 12 ski lifts, including an enclosed gondola. For snowboarders, you will find a fun terrain park and a half-pipe here, which is fun for honing your skills or watching the pros as they practice their spins and flips.

    Location: Torlundy Fort William, Inverness-shire, PH33 6SQ, UK

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1397 705 825

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    4

    Cairngorm Ski Area

    The traditional home of winter sports in Scotland

    • Adventure

    Cairngorm is where the British winter sports teams often practice, so this mountain is synonymous with skiing in Britain. There’s plenty of gentle runs for beginners here and a well-groomed snow park with some kickers, jumps and rails. Equipment hire and a small café are found close to the base station.

    The snowfall here is not guaranteed but thanks to an arsenal of snow cannons, you can be sure of a few runs being open throughout the winter. The views of the Scottish countryside are fantastic from the top station of Cairngorm, with a few short but challenging runs if you’re up for a challenge.

    Location: Cairngorm, Ballater AB35 5YJ, UK

    Open: Daily from 8.45 am to 4.15 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1479 861 261

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    5

    Lecht Ski Centre

    A great spot to learn to ski

    Lecht is a compact ski resort in the Scottish Highlands, featuring 18 km of ski slopes and 12 lifts – most of them drag lifts. While the resort lacks enough steep, challenging routes for advanced riders, this is a great place to learn skiing or snowboarding in the UK. Lessons are cheaper here than most other ski areas in Scotland too. If you’ve had your fill of skiing, other fun activities at Lecht include sledging and tubing.

    The town of Tomintoul is a 10-minute drive from the Lecht ski area, where you’ll find several hotels and B&Bs as well as a tourist information centre.

    Location: Strathdon AB37 9ES, UK

    Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1975 651412

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    photo by Peter Moore (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveller

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