Explore the UK’s best mountain ranges
Ski season is in full swing and snowsports enthusiasts are heading for the mountains. Scotland is home to five outdoor ski resorts offering the best outdoor snowsports opportunities across the UK.
With each of the resorts accessible from one of the stops on our route, you can travel with Caledonian Sleeper and wake up at the foot of the Scottish mountains ready to enjoy the best of what the country has to offer – both on and off the slopes.
Glenshee Ski Centre
Located near Ballater and easily accessible from both Aberdeen and Perth railway stations, Glenshee is the largest ski resort in the UK, stretching over four mountains and three glens. The resort offers 36 runs totaling over 40km in distance, plenty to explore over a weekend for even the most intrepid skier. For the beginner, Glenshee has a ski school on site and a range of easier runs perfect for finding your feet on. The resort also offers sledging, skiing, snowboarding and ski touring.
Cairngorm Mountain Range
Cairngorm Mountain is one of Scotland’s most breathtaking locations, with stunning views of the Cairngorms National Park and Loch Morlich. The resort is easily accessible from Aviemore railway station. During the winter months it is transformed into a snowsports paradise with 30km of pisted runs for skiers and snowboarders.
Recently launched at the mountain is a 70m slope for tubing, a perfect activity for both children and adults. You can also visit the Mountain Exhibition to learn the history of the local area. Other activities available include a winter garden, geocaching and guided walks. After a busy day exploring the areas and the slopes, there are two cafes and a mountain shop at the resort to rest and relax.
Aviemore is the ideal place to stay for those who love the outdoors, located just 11 miles from the Cairngorm Ski Centre and surrounded on all sides by the stunning scenery of the Cairngorm National Park. There are a range of beautiful walks in the local area, including Glenmore Forest Park and Rothiemurchus Forest. Aviemore also offers an array of activities, varying from wildlife watching to quad biking.
The Lecht lies in the Eastern Cairngorms and can be accessed easily from both Aberdeen and Aviemore railway stations.
There are slopes catering to all levels of skiing and snowboarding and the resort even produces man-made snow, enabling them to extend the skiing season. The Lecht offers The Penguin Park for budding young skiers and snowboarders.
Just ten miles from Fort William railway station, Nevis Range is an idyllic getaway for snowsports fans and families. The only mountain gondola in the UK offers incredible views, as well as a handy way to explore the mountain and rest tired legs.
Going for a guided walk with a photographer will guarantee a perfectly framed photo of your group, with the picturesque Nevis Range as the backdrop. Two mountain trails are accessible from the gondola station, Sgurr Finnisg-aig and Meall Beag, both boasting panoramic views, stretching as far as the Inner Hebrides.
Glencoe is the oldest ski centre in Scotland, established in 1956. It has gained a reputation for being Scotland’s most challenging ski destination and contains the steepest black run in the UK. However, this should not discourage beginners from visiting as there is a beginner’s area, perfect for those learning their skills.
Opportunities for hillwalking are not to be missed as Glencoe is within Rannoch Moor, designated as a world heritage site due to its incredible natural beauty. Activities such as tubing, sledging and camping are all also available at the site. There are two cafes at Glencoe providing home cooked food every day.
Visit Glencoe with Caledonian Sleeper to Rannoch railway station.