The UK may have the biting Winter weather, but without any expansive mountain ranges of the kind that are commonplace in other parts of Europe its reputation as a skiing destination has never quite taken off. Nonetheless, if you’re happy to ski or snowboard on dry slopes or in covered snow domes, there are plenty of opportunities dotted around this small island.
Skiing is a great activity to enjoy for all the family and each of the venues on our list below offers sessions for people of all ages and abilities. Our selection also covers several parts of the United Kingdom, so wherever you’re based, there should be somewhere you can reach by train or road. Alternatively, why not build a skiing holiday around one of these venues? In the meantime, here’s our pick.
London’s largest indoor ski centre offers hi-tech slopes in a fun, safe and controlled environment where you can learn to ski or snowboard, as well as improve existing skills, under close supervision. The speed and angle of the slopes are adjusted to match your ability, and a large mirror at the front allows you to analyse your technique as you ski. Off the slopes, the venue’s buzzing Alpine Bar is the perfect place to relax after the skis come off. Both group and private sessions are available.
LOCATION 4 Sotheron Place,, London HOURS Mon-Sun 10am-10.30pm
Brentwood Ski Centre
Overlooking scenic woodland in the county of Essex, Brentwood Ski Centre offers a variety of dry skiing and snowboarding to suit all ability levels. Whether you’re looking to brush up on your skills, get ready for a winter holiday, or simply have some fun, they offer an open and inclusive setting for you to hit the slopes as whatever pace you please. Visitors can either participate in untutored sessions or sign up for formal lessons. For something completely different – and great for kids and beginners – there’s also snow tubing, where you can slide down a tubing slope in a huge rubber ring.
LOCATION Warley Gap, Warley, Brentwood HOURS Mon-Fri 10am-10pm Sat 12.30pm-8pm Sun 10am-8pm
The main selling point of this all-weather skiing and snowboarding centre in the Staffordshire town of Tamworth is that it features real snow, all year round. There’s a 170-metre main slope along with two Snow Academy areas where you can take part in a variety of lessons and sessions helmed by professionally qualified instructors. All ages and abilities are catered for, from novices to seasoned skiers, and the facility also boasts the UK’s only dedicated children’s snowplay area, plus an ice skating rink. Full skiing kit rentals are available.
LOCATION SnowDome, Leisure Island, River Drive, Tamworth, Staffordshire HOURS Mon-Fri 9am-11pm Sat 9am-9pm Sun 9am-11pm
Runcorn Ski Centre
The industrial town of Runcorn in Cheshire may be an unlikely place to ski. Nonetheless, Runcorn Ski Centre is a popular venue featuring a small outdoor dry ski run, with three slopes of differing lengths available. A range of lessons, from beginner to advanced, are on offer, and there’s also a weekly junior race and a Penguin club for ages 3-6. Beginners are required to book some lessons before using the slopes on their own during open sessions. The facility also has a ski repair workshop.
LOCATION Town Park, Stockham Lane, Runcorn HOURS Mon-Fri 11am-8pm Sat-Sun 10am-5pm
Cardiff Ski & Snowboard Centre
Visitors to the Welsh port city of Cardiff who are keen to hit the slopes can do so at this well-regarded ski and snowboard centre in Fairwater Park, a short drive from the city centre. The facility has a 100-metre outdoor dry ski slope that welcomes both experts and amateurs – or anything in between. There’s activities for all levels and ages in individual, group and recreational settings, as well as private lessons and kids’ camps. Experienced staff are on hand at all times.
LOCATION 198 Fairwater Road, Fairwater, Cardiff HOURS Mon-Fri 12pm-9.30pm Sat-Sun 10am-5.30pm
Suffolk Ski Centre
Situated at Suffolk Leisure Park in the town of Ipswich, this centre offers a range of ski and snowboarding lessons, instruction and coaching, from beginners’ courses and one-to-one private lessons, through to group discounted session and advanced ski race training. For little ones, there’s a kindergarten ski play, ski race training, and a Saturday ski workshop to help build their skill levels. Off the slopes, The Lodge Bar and Restaurant is a popular place to refuel.
LOCATION Bourne Hill, Wherstead, Ipswich HOURS Mon-Fri 10am-10pm Sat-Sun 10am-6pm
Nevis Range Mountain Experience
Nestled in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, Nevis Range Mountain Experience offers sledging, skiing and boarding opportunities during the winter months, as well as a tubing slide during the summer months. The vast mountain range is also home to the UK’s only mountain gondola, transporting visitors 650 metres to the upper reaches of Aonach Mor, where you can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding lochs and glens. Other services and facilities here include walking trails, bike hire, a skills park, and a restaurant and bar.
LOCATION Torlundy, Fort William
Glencoe Mountain Resort
Scotland’s original snowsports resort dates all the way back to 1956 and is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty on Rannoch Moor, an hour and a half by road from Glasgow and two hours from Edinburgh. The resort is favoured by more experienced skiers and snowboarders and is home to the country’s longest steepest black run, known as ‘The Flypaper’. There are a total of 8 lifts and 20 runs, along with an avalanche transceiver training park, free sledging area, and a ski school. Onsite accommodation in the form of camping and mini-lodges is available all year round.
LOCATION Glencoe HOURS Mon-Sun 9am-8.30pm
Boasting the longest indoor real snow slope in the UK, this year-round resort to the northwest of Glasgow city centre features a dedicated teaching and instruction slope, a main ski slope, 4 ski lifts, an ice climbing wall, and a sledging area, all made into an authentic experience by fresh real snow brought in every day. The venue is also extremely kid-friendly, with a Christmas Grotto each year, along with children’s parties and school holiday camps. There’s also plenty of non-snow-based entertainment here, including a Baltic Ice Bar, a Bavarian Restaurant and a German-style Bier Halle.
LOCATION Soar at Intu Braehead, King’s Inch Road, Glasgow HOURS Mon-Fri 10am-10pm Sat-Sun 9am-10pm
Glenshee Ski Centre
A popular day trip for people in Edinburgh, Glenshee Ski Centre in the southern Scottish Highlands is the largest ski resort in Scotland, extending 40 kilometres across four mountains and three valleys, and featuring more lifts and terrain than any other UK ski centre. Its 36 runs are served by 21 lifts and the longest run, Glas Maol, stretches an impressive two kilometres. At the base of the ski centre there’s a cafe, ski hire shop and ski school.
LOCATION Old Military Road, Ballater HOURS Mon-Sun 8.30am-5pm