If you’re looking for the best ski resorts in Scotland, there are a few to choose from. Granted, the Bluebirds may be rare, the snow is often hit and miss and it’s normally bitterly cold. But if you live in Scotland, then you have the luxury of monitoring the snow conditions and driving-up to one of the ski resorts last minute. This makes it perfect for a long weekend. If you’re not sure where to go, check out our guide below.
It’s worth noting that skiing in Scotland is difficult to plan in advance. It’s often icy, can be very windy and isn’t snow-sure, making it more suited as a last-minute getaway. If ther weather is good, then the weekends will be very busy, so mid-week is always preferable.
If you are looking for a guaranteed week’s skiing, or don’t live in Scotland, then it’s probably best to book something further afield in Europe. Discover the Ultimate Guide to Skiing in Chatel, France, the Best Ski Resorts in France and The Best Affordable Ski Resorts in Europe.
SKI IN GLENCOE
Glencoe is a village in western Scotland in the Glencoe valley in the Highlands. The resort is one of Scotland’s oldest ski areas. It’s not a very big ski area, but it does have variety. It has a relaxed vibe and locals sometimes call it ‘White Corries.’ Glencoe is one of the most beautiful places in Scotland, so much so, it’s even featured the James Bond’s Skyfall and several Harry Potter movies.
If you like tricks, then the top part of the mountain comprises natural half-pipes and jumps. The steepest runs aren’t well groomed but include a black run called the Flypaper. There are some gentle beginner slopes lower down and when there’s enough low-level snow, you can use the long runs to return to the base. Definitely a contender as one of the best ski resorts in Scotland.
Distance from Glasgow: 2 hours 10 mins by car.
SKI THE NEVIS RANGE
The ski resort opened in 1989 and reaches 1190m, making the Nevis Range Scotland’s highest resort. It also offers incredible views of Ben Nevis, the UK’s tallest mountain. Experienced skiers can check out the back of the mountain where ungroomed runs can be found. A short drive from the ski resort is Fort William where there are plenty of other activities to do.
Distance from Glasgow: 2 hours 50 mins by car.
SKI IN CAIRNGORM MOUNTAIN
Cairngorm is a popular Scottish ski resort and definitely one of the best known ski resorts in Scotland. It has been operating since the 1960s and is known as Scotland’s ultimate winter playground. It caters for families, adrenaline seekers, beginners and everyone in between. Aviemore is a town in the Cairngorms National Park, known for its close proximity to the secluded lochs, ancient forest, mountain trails and ski runs of the surrounding parkland.
Cairngorm offers two parts with exposed beginner bowls at the top. The right side offers intermediate terrain, while the steeper Ciste sector suits advanced skiers. There’s over 30km of pisted runs and 11 lifts. Cairngorm Mountain is near to the Speyside distillery, arguably the most famous Scotch whiskey in the world. There’s also a free-ranging reindeer herd nearby. Due to the plethora of activities nearby, it’s no wonder Cairngorm is considered one of the best ski resorts in Scotland.
Distance from Glasgow: 2 hours 40 mins by car.
SKI LECHT 2090
Lecht is one of Scotland’s smallest ski areas but is popular with families and anyone learning to ski. A big selling point is the cheap lift ticket prices. It’s a family-friendly resort and has made a big effort to develop the beginner’s area. There’s a row of magic carpets and drag lifts near to the restaurant.
The runs are short but most of the longer runs are ideal for intermediate skiers and riders. If avoiding the crowds is high up on your list, then Lecht is definitely one of the best ski resorts in Scotland to consider. Lecht 2090 is based at 645m above sea level amid the beauty of the Eastern Cairngorms. The Lecht Activity Centre is situated in the heart of Scotland’s largest National Park at the top of the pass between Tomintoul and Strathdon.
Distance from Glasgow: 3 hours 10 mins by car.
Glenshee is the largest ski resort in the UK and also goes by the name the Scottish three valleys. It covers an area of more than 2,000 acres which includes four mountains, three valleys and 21 lifts. It is located in Aberdeenshire in the Scottish Highlands. Glenshee offers a total of 36 runs comprising 40 kms of pisted snow. The longest single run is called Glas Maol and offers a 2 km stretch of skiing. The extensive snow-making facilities mean the center is often open for longer.
Distance from Glasgow: 2 hours 10 mins by car.
Looking to book a ski trip on a budget? Here’s 10 Ways to Save Money on Your Next Ski Trip