Take A Family Skiing Holiday In Scotland

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Thanks to movies and growing up with TV shows like Saved By The Bell. I used to think that skiing was a vacation that was just reserved for the super-rich and that you had to drive in a very expensive 4 X 4 to an “exclusive” resort in order to enjoy it…… I watch too much TV what can I tell you!

Anyway it turns out that I never needed to win the lottery, go to France, Aspen or some other expensive place to enjoy a skiing family holiday as Scotland is home to some awesome skiing. No matter if you are a pro on the slopes or you have never tried it before, you will have an incredible time skiing…… or watching your friends and family fall on their rear ends. There are five different places where you can go skiing in Scotland and today I want to share a few thoughts on the ones my family have been to with you guys and hopefully get you excited on having a skiing holiday in Scotland.

Cairngorm Mountain Resort

This is your best bet for having a wider range of choice in regards to when you want to go on your family ski vacation. Not only does the Cairngorm Mountain Resort offer a great day of skiing it has more snow than any other ski resort in Scotland. As well as having more snow, the snow lasts longer here meaning that you have more choice when it comes to picking when you want to go. This is the busiest of all the Scottish ski resorts so keep that in mind, but one way they get around this which is really fun is that there is a nice little mountain railway that is used to take people up the mountain. This not only gets people up their quicker, but can also take quite a lot at once and the kids will love the ride. Also if you are one of these people who love to take photos, you get the chance to take some very nice photos.

What Is The Skiing Like?

The skiing here is really great with some really fun runs for you to take on such as the White Lady Piste and Aladdin’s Couloir. These are a great run, but they are also really fun and will test your skiing skills. As well as having “runs” for you to take on there are plenty of sections where you can practice and just get a general feeling for being on the snow. In my experience little kids are more than happy just to mess around going down little slopes. I know I said that this is a popular place, but it is extra busy during February half term. If you can I would recommend going in March or April as it is not quite as busy.

What About Equipment?

They do not have equipment for hire here (well I am pretty sure they do not) rather than buying your own you would be better heading to the Snowboard Asylum in Aviemore where you can rent all the gear you need.

Nevis Range Mountain Resort

Nevis Range Mountain Resort is one of the most wonderful places I have ever been in Scotland! Before I tell you about the skiing here let me just say they have loads of other stuff going on here such as mountain biking, forest walks and even a high ropes course. This is the type of place where you could spend a whole weekend or even a week.  One thing I want to mention about this place is their tuition. Our family had never tired snowboarding before, but we thought we would give it a go and the staff were really nice, helpful and managed to actually get us going! The beginners area is ideal for you guys who are new to skiing or if you have young children with you. For you people who love to ski then you will love it here are there are 12 lifts which includes a gondola…… the only one in Scotland! Even when it is busy the queues are never to big which is always a good thing, especially if you have some impatient kids with you!

What Is The Skiing Like?

I already touched on the beginners area and even if you have been skiing before I would recommend spending a little bit of time there. The Black Corries is regarded as one of the most fun runs here and something if you are more experienced I recommend you try. One thing that was really cool was how the staff would recommend what runs to try based on your skill and what the weather was like.

What About Equipment?

They do have their own equipment hire place right on sight which is great as it saves you having to take a trip into town or even buying your own equipment.

The Lecht Ski Centre

I have saved my favourite for last, The Lecht Ski Centre  is one of the smaller skiing resorts in Scotland, but this was what I always imagined a skiing resort to look like. The wooden buildings, the ski lifts and just the general atmosphere was everything I wanted and more from a skiing vacation. This is a place that just oozes charm and everything from the café, the staff, the people, the atmosphere and of course the skiing just all added up for one of the best family holiday experiences I have ever had! Out of the ski resorts we went to this was by far the quietest and from what I was told by the people who work here this is the case for most of the ski season. While people who are really serious about their skiing my find this a little bit “armature hour” if you just want to have fun with your family or friends then this is perfect.

What Is The Skiing Like?

The runs here are quite a bit shorter than what you get at the Nevis Range Mountain Resort or Cairngorm Mountain Resort, but that just makes this the best ski resort for people new to the sport or families with younger children. The Lecht Ski Centre is just all about having a fun time and a fun time is what you will certainly have.

What About Equipment?

They do have a hire shop on site which is ideal. One thing I will say is that you might be better reserving the gear you want online before you go. You can just roll up on the day, but why run the risk of it being busy and all the equipment being out!

A Few Notes On Planning A Family Skiing Holiday

Research Accommodation

All of the ski resorts above will have ideas of where you should be staying. But make sure you do your own research. Sometimes it is better to stay a little bit further away if you are going to get a better deal at a hotel, B & B or whatever. Do not just look for the closest digs and book them without looking around.

It Can Be Tough

My eldest son said that he “hated it here” and “will never do this again” in the first half an hour we were here. This was because he had a tough time getting the basics and spent most of the time on his butt. Skiing can take a while to get to grips with so be sure to let the kids know that they will not be experts on it right away and that it is ok to fall over! By the way within an hour my son was loving it! Just be warned that kids will get frustrated at some point when they are learning the ropes.

Do Not Buy Equipment

If my wife was looking over my shoulder as I write this she would be shouting “REALLY” this is because it is so easy to get caught up in the excitement of skiing and to think hey I need my own skis, snowboard, expensive snow boots and other equipment. If you are going skiing multiple times a year then yes you may want to look into buying your own stuff. But if this is just a fun family holiday then do not spend a ton of money buying equipment that is going to most likely sit in your shed/garage 51 weeks of the year. Still I must admit I was close to going crazy and buying a whole lot of equipment when we were planning our first trip.

Bring Video Games Or Some Other Entertainment

Look this is all about spending time with the family, but skiing can be really tiring and chances are during the evenings you will not want to venture to far from where you are staying. Also most of these places are in remote locations so there is not a whole lot going on in the evenings anyway. To stop the kids getting board (and from fighting and driving you crazy!) be sure to let them bring their iPads 3DS or whatever. One time we even let them bring their Xbox and our portable TV!


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