Do you love to ski or snowboard, but can't make it to the Mountains this year? Or perhaps you would like to learn a new skill and try out skiing or snowboarding for the first time? If this sounds like you, then take a read of our guide to the UK's 8 indoor ski venues, including 5 real snow slopes and 3 revolving ski slopes with 7 indoor skiing options in England and 1 in Scotland.
This has to be one of our favourite indoor skiing venues in the UK. Inside you will find 2 slopes including a 160m main slope with two drag lifts and a learning slope, accessed by an easy to use magic carpet. The main attraction at the Snow Centre is the REAL SNOW! Lovingly nicknamed the fridge, it's cold inside so make sure you wear appropriate clothing for your visit including base layers and an insulated, waterproof jacket and pants.
On the first floor you'll find a huge area for changing and getting into your kit. The knowledgeable staff are on hand to help you select the right boots and skis or snowboard. You can of course bring your own, but equipment hire is included with all Snow Sessions including Ski helmet and Ski poles too. Lockers are available for storing your valuables whilst you are on the slopes.
On the second floor you'll find The Lodge Kitchen and Bar. Styled like an Alpine lodge and with a fantastic view of the slopes it's a great place to fuel up after your Ski session or grab a hot chocolate to warm up. Parents, it's a great place to watch your kids taking their first lessons on the snow. Don't forget to check out the balcony which overlooks the ski slope, wrap up warm though, you'll be entering the fridge!
The Snow Centre is a great place to take lessons or take your Skiing or Snowboarding to the next level on one of their Park nights on Thursday and Friday nights 6pm to 10pm. Whilst it might seem daunting to try your first box or rail the learning slope is set up with some accessible features perfect for trying something new, including some small jumps and flat, wide boxes. We love the fact that there are friendly instructors on hand on the slopes to help point you in the right direction and encourage you. The Snow Centre release edits of their freestyle nights over on their YouTube channel and Facebook pages too.
Best For: Real snow experience
Learn to ski or snowboard, or perfect your technique on high tech slopes, year round at Chel-Ski. Qualified instructors are available to help you learn to Ski or Snowboard, or improve your technique. The rolling floor is designed to mimic the experience of skiing on snow, and whilst it does have a slightly different feeling, it is still a great place to learn the basis or make adjustments to your technique in a safe, accessible and controlled environment.
Finish off your session by stopping by at their Alpine bar for a coffee or snack!
Chel-Ski is a great place for kids parties or corporate events and team building activities too.
Best For: City Based Skiing
Based at Dukes Meadows, Chiswick Skieasy, similar to Chel-ski uses a continuously rotating ski track to allow you to perfect your ski technique. Without the need for lifts or snow, or expensive ski wear this is a really accessible way to try out skiing. Qualified snow sports instructors provide lessons on a 1:1 basis or a small group; you can bring your own ski boots, or use the Skieasy equipment.
Skiing on a rotating track offers a quick way to learn with immediate feedback from instructors and a mirror to aid any corrections to your technique.
Best For: Bringing the Mountains to the heart of the City
Snozone is based at Xscape Milton Keynes giving you lots of options such as dining and shopping before or after your ski or snowboard session! The slope itself is one of the UK's largest at 170m long and made from real snow. Served by 2 drag lifts the slope is a great place to learn to ski and snowboard or to perfect your skills. There is also a dedicated smaller slope for beginners, allowing them to build their confidence at the right pace.
Ski and Snowboard lessons are available from qualified instructors so whether you are looking to learn the very basics or perfect your parallel turns you will be able to find a lesson that is the right level for you.
Freestyle sessions are held weekly, and there are also slots available for family fun such as sledging parties and holiday camps too.
Like the Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead, the Snozone is cold inside and so we would recommend waterproof, insulated clothing including a ski jacketand ski pants or salopettes. You will also need some waterproof gloves and we would recommend wearing ski socks and base layers too. A helmet and other equipment such as your skis or snowboards is provided by Snozone.
Overall, this is a great indoor ski slope to perfect your skills and have a great time and totally recommended!
Best for: A snow based day out!
The Snowdome in Tamworth features not just indoor skiing, but also boasts a climbing centre, ice skating, swimming and a fitness centre and spa. The main ski slope itself is about 170m long and 30m wide; there is a learner slope too with an easy to use magic carpet to get you to the top of the slope.
If you are able to perform controlled linked turns, control your speed and direction and stop confidently then, as a recreational skier you can use the main slope independently. However, if you are new to skiing or snowboarding or don't have the skills of a recreational skier there are lessons available with qualified instructors to get you up to the right level.
There are ski lessons for all levels from beginners through to experts looking to refine their technique; Ski and Snowboard camps will keep the kids entertained in the holidays and if you are looking to try out some freestyle skills then the Tamlands freestyle Tuesdays are for you!
Times are also set aside on the slope for snow tubing sessions, including adrenaline tubing sessions suitable for those over 12 years of age. As well as tobogganing and birthday parties too.
Best for: Indoor Winter Sports!
Based near the Trafford Centre, Chill Factore boast a 180m long real snow slope plus a beginner slope and tube and luge areas. Slope passes are available, for skiers and snowboarders that meet the minimum standard requirements, on an hourly basis. Or, if you are just learning, book a lesson with a qualified instructor who will get you skiing or boarding before you know it! For more advanced skiers and snowboarders race skills training is available on Tuesday evenings or book yourself in for some freestyle coaching on Wednesday, Thursday or Fridays where the slope is set up with features such as jumps and rails to try out some new tricks or skills.
There are a variety of shops and restaurants to visit before or after you hit the slopes including Bodo & Layke which has a great view of the slopes. Snow & Rock is also onsite and has a great selection of technical ski and snowboard clothing should you need any last minute kit.
Parents with young children (under age 4) can check out Mini Moose Land which is great for giving young kids a real snow experience including an igloo, mini donut ramp and toys and diggers too. You know they won't want to leave!
Best For: Something for everyone
Snow Factor in Glasgow boasts the UK's longest real snow indoor slope at 200m long, in addition, the centre also has an ice climbing wall, sledging slope, ice bar and a restaurant. Lift passes can be booked by the hour or instructors are available if you are looking to take your skiing or snowboarding to the next level.
Make sure you are dressed for the occasion as the main slope and ice bar are both sub zero! We'd recommend good base layer tops and bottoms, waterproof outerwear and gloves. Ski and Snowboard equipment can be provided by the Snow Factor, including helmets.
We love the Snow Factor's girls freestyle sessions, so if you are looking to hit your first kicker there are coaches on hand to help you progress your skills.
Best For: Girls freestyle sessions and an Ice Bar
Skizone is an indoor, revolving, adjustable ski slope. Ski or snowboard in small groups and perfect your technique with their qualified instructors. Similar to Chelski and Skieasy this is not a real snow experience, but a great place to work on your technique or try skiing or snowboarding for the first time!
In 2018, The Telegraph reported that plans have been approved for a new indoor snow centre in Swindon. The planned 170m ski slope, alongside a 75m beginner slope will be operated by The Snow Centre (Hemel Hempstead) and offer lessons as well as lift passes for experienced skiers.
We are super excited to see this new project get off the ground and can't wait to try out the new slope!
Whether it is your first visit or you are a regular at the UK's indoor ski centres, here's a quick checklist of gear to bring or hire. Note that this checklist is for real snow centres, where the temperature is usually around -2 degrees Celsius.
Although we would always make sure we have goggles or sunglasses on the Mountain, these are not needed when visiting an indoor snow centre.
*Information correct as at 12 July 20, please check individual snow centre websites for most up to date information.
COVID-19 is having a huge impact on the Ski industry, with all of the UK Ski Centres initially closing their doors. Some are now starting to re-open their doors. Here's a list of who's opening and when! With the Ski season cut short this year, who else is excited about getting back on Skis or Snowboards soon?
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