Skiing ( and boarding ) in Scotland can be great. A brilliant weekend or short break. BUT never take the weather for granted. When the snow is there, it is glorious, but how to be sure a 400 mile trek north is going to be worth it?
Simple. Just log on to Winterhighland, the completely independent home of Scottish snowsports lovers. Up to date reports, webcams and expert information from the locals. Don't travel north without it!
On an average weekend at Cairngorm, you can find yourself queuing anywhere from 30-60 mins to purchase a lift ticket. Instead, stop off at the Glenmore Shop, by the shores of Loch Morlich and purchase your ticket there.
Not only do you beat the ticket queue, but you can also get up the funicular before that queue becomes massive too!
All three of my children have learned to ski in the Cairngorms. It's a good place to start with them young as the funicular railway takes them to the beginners slopes at the top of the mountain which usually has some snow and there is a cafe/restaurant for hot chocolate and food when they get cold. If the snow is poor or wind up the mountain prevents the lifts operating then there are lots of other things to do in or near Aviemore such as walking (Roithemurchas estate), mountain biking (Bothy Bikes), dog sledging, seeing the reindeer herd, visiting the Scottish wildlife park, swimming (at the Holiday Inn) or going for a tree top walk through an elevated pathway, so it's not all full on skiing. My son broke his arm snowboarding there and he was treated at the GP's surgery as they have X-ray scanning facilities on site rather than having to trek to Inverness to discover if anything is broken. The children got a taste for skiing there and now want to venture elsewhere and can ski/board all day but it's a great place to start with kids who may not want to ski all day everyday and want a range of other things to do as well.
Cairngorm Mountain Railway: www.cairngormmoutain.org
Highland Wildlife Park:
Google map: bit.ly/Q7chkp
In 2007 The Potting Shed just outside Aviemore was selected by RSPB members as “Favourite Bird Feeding Station in Scotland”. In the same year they were nominated as one of Britain’s Top 10 cake shops by the Guardian. This is, in actual fact, a plant nursery but a cake shop has been set up in what looks like the potting shed. Outside the shop is a feeding station which attracts an array of birds. This is the perfect kind of animal viewing: sitting with a large slice of peanut cake and a cup of tea while staring out of the window watching Red Squirrels, Chaffinches, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Robins, Crested Tits, Blue Tits and occasionally a Pine Marten.
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