The beauty of booking a self-catering holiday in Scotland in winter is the fact that you can factor snowsports into your “things to do” list, particularly if you are heading for the Cairngorms National Park, which is home to three of Scotland’s five ski centres.

It is pretty much common sense to realise that booking a holiday home in Scotland specifically to enjoy skiing or snowboarding is risky, snow conditions being unpredictable, but with luck Cairngorm Mountain, Lecht or Glenshee resorts could add a fun dimension to your Scottish winter break.

The advertised ski season in Scotland is between December and April, but most visitor reviews recommend February or early March as being the best time to expect decent snow cover.

If you want to head out to the slopes for a day from your cosy luxury holiday home, it’s wise to check ahead what conditions are at your chosen resort.

Which to choose?

Cairngorm Mountain near Aviemore is the best known ski resort, and most popular, being the highest with the most varied terrain. The resort has been running for half a century, and offers 30km of ski runs with a freestyle park, onsite ski school, 11 lifts and funicular. Equipment is available to hire, and if you want to acquire your own there are shops on site. For up to date information visit www.cairngormmountain.org.

The Lecht in the eastern Cairngorms, on the spectacular high altitude A939 between Tomintoul and Strathdon, is a good option for families and beginners, boasting ideal nursery slopes. There’s also a brilliant park with jumps and rails galore, perfect for adventurous boarders. The day lodge on site offers hire services, a café, bar and shop. For the latest information and to book ahead visit www.lecht.co.uk.

Glenshee is reached on the A93 on the road between Blairgowrie and Braemar. This is the venue for serious skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, with an awesome black run known as the Tiger, 22 lifts and 36 runs across a vast terrain filled with exciting gullies, bowls, jumps and hits. Check out the Glenshee website at www.ski-glenshee.co.uk.