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St Andrews, Scotland


Best Places to Ski in Scotland

By Joshua Wood, LPC

William Russell
William Russell

Summary: Where are the best places to ski in Scotland? We cover the best places to go skiing in Scotland and highlight some family-friendly spots, places to eat and more.

Scotland, with its rugged highlands and picturesque landscapes, offers a unique skiing experience that is quite different from the Alps or North America. For expats and digital nomads who have chosen Scotland as their base, the country provides a variety of ski areas that cater to all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Whether you're looking for a family-friendly slope or challenging runs, Scotland's ski resorts are known for their natural beauty and friendly atmosphere. Here are some of the best ski areas in Scotland that you should consider visiting during the winter season.

Glenshee Ski Centre

Ability Level: All ability levels.
Location: Cairngorms National Park, Aberdeenshire
Family Friendly: Yes

Glenshee Ski Centre is the largest ski resort in Scotland, boasting 22 lifts and 36 runs that offer a variety of terrain for beginners, intermediates, and experts. With its extensive area, there are plenty of options for everyone, making it an ideal destination for families and groups with mixed abilities. The breathtaking views of the Cairngorms add to the skiing experience.

We Recommend: After a day on the slopes, warm up at The Spittal of Glenshee Hotel, known for its cozy atmosphere and hearty Scottish cuisine. It's a great spot to relax and mingle with other skiers.

CairnGorm Mountain

Ability Level: All ability levels.
Location: Near Aviemore, Inverness-shire
Family Friendly: Yes

CairnGorm Mountain is one of the most famous ski areas in Scotland, offering diverse terrain that caters to all levels. It's particularly known for its stunning views and reliable snow conditions throughout the season. The resort also features a funicular railway, which is an attraction in itself, providing easy access to the slopes and breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding area.

We Recommend: The Pine Marten Bar & Café at Glenmore is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. It's the perfect place to enjoy a hot drink or a meal by the fire, with a view of the snowy landscape.

Glencoe Mountain Resort

Ability Level: Intermediate to expert.
Location: Argyll, West Highlands
Family Friendly: Yes

Glencoe Mountain Resort is Scotland's oldest ski area and is renowned for its challenging terrain, including the steepest on-piste run in the country. It's a favorite among more experienced skiers and snowboarders, but there are also options for beginners. The dramatic scenery of the surrounding mountains makes for an unforgettable skiing experience.

We Recommend: The Glencoe Mountain Café offers a warm retreat with a selection of local foods and an impressive view of the Buchaille Etive Mor. It's a great spot to refuel and share stories from the slopes.

The Lecht 2090

Ability Level: Beginner to intermediate.
Location: Eastern Cairngorms, Strathdon
Family Friendly: Yes

The Lecht 2090 is particularly well-suited for families and those new to winter sports. It has a reputation for being one of the best places in Scotland to learn to ski or snowboard, thanks to its gentle slopes and excellent ski school. The resort is smaller and more intimate, offering a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

We Recommend: The Lecht Ski Centre's Day Lodge is the heart of the resort, serving up delicious homemade soups, cakes, and hot drinks to keep you energized throughout the day.

Nevis Range

Ability Level: All ability levels.
Location: Near Fort William, Lochaber
Family Friendly: Yes

Nevis Range is set against the backdrop of Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and offers a wide range of runs for all abilities. It's also home to the only mountain gondola in the UK, which transports visitors to the slopes with ease. The off-piste potential here is significant, attracting freeriders and adventure seekers.

We Recommend: The Snowgoose Restaurant & Bar at the top gondola station provides not only good food and drink but also some of the most spectacular views across the Scottish Highlands.

Glentress

Ability Level: Beginner to intermediate.
Location: Scottish Borders, near Peebles
Family Friendly: Yes

While primarily known for its world-class mountain biking trails, Glentress also offers winter sports enthusiasts a chance to enjoy snow sports when conditions allow. It's a smaller facility, perfect for those looking to avoid the larger crowds and enjoy a more laid-back skiing or snowboarding experience.

We Recommend: The Glentress Hotel is a welcoming spot to enjoy a post-ski meal or drink, with a friendly atmosphere and a menu that highlights local produce.

Glenshian

Ability Level: Beginner to intermediate.
Location: Near Fort William, Lochaber
Family Friendly: Yes

Glenshian is a lesser-known gem that offers a quiet alternative to the larger resorts. It's ideal for those looking to escape the crowds and enjoy a peaceful day on the slopes. The area is particularly good for beginners and families, with gentle runs and a relaxed vibe.

We Recommend: The Moorings Hotel's Captain's Lounge Bar & Bistro is a local favorite, offering a warm atmosphere and a selection of fine Scottish ales and whiskies, along with a menu of comforting dishes.

Please note that the ski areas mentioned above are subject to weather conditions, and it's always best to check the snow reports and resort opening times before planning your trip. Additionally, some of the smaller ski areas like Glentress and Glenshian may not operate full-time or have limited facilities compared to the larger resorts.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


William Russell
William Russell

William Russell
William Russell

St Andrews, Scotland

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