Here in the UK it’s cold. It’s cold during the autumn and winter, the spring is often chilly, and even our summers can get slightly nippy. To make matters even more frustrating, as cold as it gets, it’s rare that we get any real persistent snow during the winters.
Sure, we get the occasional cold snap and sometimes it snows heavily and gets deep, but generally our winters are cold, grey, and wet. That’s not cool if you’re into your skiing. If you want to get your ski on, generally you need to pack your case, book your tickets, and jet off to Austria or the Alps.
But what if you don’t have the time nor the money for an extensive skiing holiday? Well, in that case, you could simply head to one of the UK’s many indoor ski slopes and get your ski on that way instead. Here are 6 of the best indoor skiing venues in the UK.
Chill Factore – Manchester
The first indoor skiing venue we have for you today is the Chill Factore venue. Located in Manchester on Trafford Way, this is a particularly special indoor skiing venue because it is home to one of the UK’s longest real snow indoor ski slope, coming in at a whopping 180-metres.
This is a particularly fun venue for winter sport junkies because it has so much to offer. Yes, there’s obviously skiing, but on top of that you’ll also find snow play, a climbing wall, an ice slide, snowboarding, and more.
Here, keen skiers of all abilities can take part, as can complete beginners looking to learn as there are plenty of snowboarding and skiing lessons on offer. After a long day on the piste, why not head to a a café or restaurant and enjoy a bite to eat and a nice refreshing drink?
The Snow Centre – Hemel Hempstead
Up next, we’re taking you to a place that is surely synonymous with skiing – Hemel Hempstead? No? Okay, well, it’s still a very nice part of the country and it’s also home to the Snow Centre. When the snow won’t come to you, why don’t you go to the snow, erm, centre?
If you’re a lover of all things winter sport related. This facility utilizes state of the art snow cannon technology to create one of the most authentic and realistic indoor skiing experiences in the country.
The star of the show, or should be snow, is the slope itself, which is 30 metres in width, and 160 metres in length. The Snow Centre is especially beneficial for beginners, as there is a learner ski slope that is just 100 metres in length, where people of all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities, can master the art of skiing.
I’ve personally tested this one as it’s the closest to London, and can safely say that for beginners, its slope is more than enough challenge.
Snowzone – Milton Keynes
Third on our list today we have Snowzone. Located in sunny Milton Keynes, Snowzone has everything the true snow and skiing aficionado could ever want. Each night, the cannons pump over 1,500 tonnes of snow onto the slopes to create the perfect skiing environment.
The centre does offer an excellent snow school so if you are new to skiing, the highly experienced and skilled instructors will easily have you on track in no time at all. If you want to master some more advanced freestyle moves, again, the instructors will be only too glad to help.
The expansive 170-metre long slope is very impressive, and there is also fantastic disabled access and facilities too. If skiing isn’t your thing, or if you just want to try something different, you can try your hand at tubing, snowboarding, sledding, and plenty more besides. Located in the centre of town, just off the B4034, it is a very accessible destination.
Suffolk Ski Centre – Ipswich
No prizes for guessing where this next ski centre is located. Yes, it’s in Hull… Only kidding, it is of course situated in Suffolk, in Ipswich to be exact. Here, there are 3 dry slopes, including the main slope, coming in just shy of 180 metres.
This slope actually provides contoured red and blue runs, for those looking for something a little more testing and exciting. The ski centre itself is part of Suffolk Leisure Park, so there are also heaps loads more activities for people to enjoy, when they fancy a break from skiing.
Some of these are winter sports-based, and others, such as wall climbing, aren’t. Golf fans will be especially happy here, as it is also home to Ipswich Golf Driving Range, so after hitting the slopes, why not bust off the driver and bomb a few balls down the fairway?
Snow Factor – Renfrew
No, it’s not a winter-themed singing talent show, but rather a hugely popular indoor skiing venue located in the Braehead Shopping Mall near Glasgow. Snow Factor features our longest ski slope so far, coming in at 200-metres in length.
With over 1,700 tonnes of fresh snow, there’s no shortage of the cold white stuff here. Every Thursday and Friday night the venue hosts freestyle skiing nights. Here, skiers can showcase their freestyle skiing, showing off tricks and jumps with various flat rails and slide boxes.
Even if you aren’t a freestyle skier, it’s still worth visiting on these evenings to see the other freestylers in action. For the rest of the time, you can still enjoy some good old-fashioned regular skiing as well. The venue also hosts regular live music and other specialist events so the entertainment comes thick and fast. To reach here by car, be sure to exit Glasgow’s M8 motorway at junction 25a.
Ski and Snowboard Centre – Gloucester
Finally, last but certainly not least, we have the Gloucester Ski and Snowboard Centre. Situated close to the stunning Cotswolds, this centre covers more than 12 acres in size. Just a heads up, this is a dry slope.
It also houses the longest ski slope in all of England, and Wales for that matter. Here, there are again lessons available, as well as freestyle skiing, tubing, and much more besides. Ideal for skiers of all levels, if you’re near Gloucester and fancy hitting the slopes, this is the perfect venue.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of ski slopes here in the UK, you just need to know where to look, and not rely on the weather. If you feel like trying your hand at indoor skiing, hopefully you’ll consider the awesome venues listed above. Until next time, don’t stop wandering!