Lake District Ski Club
Who knew the Lakes were home to some of the best ski sites in the country? This club right next to Helvellyn mountain serves up nine different runs depending on conditions, with the longest covering a mile. Be warned though, time your visit carefully as the remote fell only offers 60 days of skiing during a good year.
This spot is best suited to experienced skiers, with no tuition or hire facilities available, but if you’ve got the equipment and know-how there’s nowhere quite like it. Gliding down slopes on real snow with views of the lakes feels like a one-of-a-kind experience.
If you’re swept off your skis by the whole experience you might want to consider a year-long membership. For £50 you can enjoy all the thrills on offer and access the members-only heated hut. Perfect for when the Cumbrian air gets a little too chilly.
Don’t worry about dragging your ski equipment over miles of Lake District countryside, Castle Inn Hotel, BW Signature Collection is just 22 minutes away by car in scenic Bassenthwaite.
Set in the heart of the UK’s largest National Park, Cairngorms offers some of the best skiing facilities you’ll find without stepping foot in an airport. First, let’s cover the basics, there are more than 30km of ski runs split into easy, intermediate, difficult and expert terrains, and 11 ski lifts all conveniently perched on Scotland’s sixth highest mountain. It’s a strong start but there’s more.
Cairngorms is also home to three ski schools, so newbies are welcome too. The companies offer one-on-one and group sessions for skiing and snowboarding, so all preferences and budgets are catered for. And there’s even a tubing park where you and the kids can ride a donut-shaped inflatable and speed down the Highland slopes.
The standout feature here is the Freestyle Terrain, with three different areas dedicated to learning new skills and perfecting old tricks. Ptarmigan Park is filled with beginner fixtures and massive jumps too, make sure you pay it a visit to see experienced skiers ‘catch some big air’.
Why not stay at the Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa, roughly an hour away in Inverness?
Weardale Ski Club
Weardale is home to the longest lift-served ski run in England, and there’s plenty of slope variety on offer too. Visitors can take the tows up to the 650 metre (2,150ft) summit where they’ll be greeted with up to seven regular routes and 34 natural runs to speed and slalom down the Pennines to their heart’s content.
A venue for the serious skier, the club recommends that you pack a shovel and fit winter tyres or good snow chains to your car before typing its post code into your sat nav. While there are no ski lessons available, heading east to Silksworth Sports Complex and Ski Slope in Sunderland offers a solid introduction to winter sports.
To find out the best days to hit the slopes sign up to Weardale’s mailing list, or follow the club’s Twitter account for updates on skiing and snowboarding conditions.
Dust off your skis and woolly hat just 36 minutes down the road at Derwent Manor Hotel, BW Premier Collection near Durham.
Snow Dome, Tamworth
If you’re looking for a truly eclectic winter sports venue, the Snow Dome at Tamworth is a must visit. A swiss army knife of skiing, snowboarding and skating facilities, the Midlands centre has a 170-metre-long main slope and two smaller snow academy slopes. There’s plenty for little kids to do too, with tubing and sledging available for kids aged from four.
The Snow Fun Park is another highlight, a wild winter-themed playground with a snow slide, cosy treehouse and enough soft snow for an epic snowball fight. Best of all, you can watch the madness unfold from the warmth of the log cabin. Sit back, sip on a coffee and watch your little ones throw themselves and their missiles into the winter wonderland.
Handily placed for the fun, come and explore the charming Birmingham North Moor Hall Hotel, BW Premier Collection.
Gloucester Ski & Snowboard Centre
A strong contender for the ultimate Best Western winter sport escape. Gloucester Ski Centre is home to the longest slope in England and sits opposite our Gloucester Robinswood Hotel, BW Signature Collection.
The 12-acre site welcomes skiers and snowboarders of all abilities across a wide range of activities. There are lessons for kids and adults looking to get more skilled on their skis, with practice sessions too. The site even brings a giant airbag out on Wednesdays to let visitors freestyle down the slope in safety. If that sounds a little too daunting, you can always enjoy a spot of tubing instead. The inflatable doughnuts are available for all the family to ride.
Our neighbours also host a ski racing club. Anyone can join and slalom their way to the podium, or perhaps you’d just like to sit back and watch the speedsters ski by. When it’s time for a break, the Ski Lodge is the ideal spot to take the weight off your feet and refuel on ‘immense hot dogs’ and ‘legendary poutine’. And after hanging up your skis for the day, join us at the Robinswood for signature dishes, warming drinks and a well-earned night’s sleep.