Whilst indoor ski slopes might lack the beautiful natural surroundings that actual ski resorts have, they are a great way of hitting the slopes no matter what your ski ability is.
Whether you’re a novice or an advanced level skier, the indoor ski slopes throughout the UK allow visitors to experience the thrill of skiing or snowboarding in an indoor environment that guarantees ideal skiing conditions.
Here, we look at the 5 indoor ski slopes located in the UK:
The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead
Located just to the north-west of London, Hemel Hempstead’s The Snow Centre offers everything you need for a great indoor winter sports experience, whether you’re a beginner or at an advanced skill level.
Using the latest snow cannon technology to create an authentic alpine experience, the facility’s vast slope is over 30 metres wide and 160 metres long.
However, if you’ve never skied or snowboarded before than head to the 100-metre long lesson slope. The largest of its kind in the UK, there will be plenty of space for you to practice as you pick up the basics, while the presence of two rope tows will help you get to grips with using lift systems.
The on-site snow school is accredited by the British Association of Snowsport Instructors, so you’ll be in good hands, whether you’re on a taster session in skiing or keen to develop freestyle tricks. Alternatively, you can slide down the slopes on rubber rings or sleds, while a number of professional ski and snowboarding events take place here throughout the year, such as training sessions run by Maverix Snow Camp and the Billabong All For One freestyle competition.
The Snow Centre can be easily reached from London by train, with up to four connections leaving Euston each hour to Hemel Hempstead station. There are also direct trains from Birmingham, Northampton and Milton Keynes, with the slope just a ten-minute taxi ride from the station.
If you’re travelling by car, exit the M1 at junction 8 and follow the A414 towards Hemel Hempstead. From there, travel to the third roundabout and take the first exit signposted Bennett’s End. Here turn right into St Albans Hill, straight on at the first mini-roundabout and then right at the next roundabout to the centre’s entrance.
Chill Factore, Manchester
You’ll be spoilt for choice with the range of activities on offer at Manchester’s Chill Factore.
There are four main areas, including a beginners’ slope which is 40 metres long, a special course for tubing and Snowplay, a winter wonderland created specifically for young children to have fun in the snow.
However, if you’ve some prior experience of skiing or snowboarding it may be the main slope that really catches your interest. Measuring 180 metres, it is one of the longest real snow indoor ski slopes in the country.
Every level of skill is catered for – there are classes for total novices as well as advanced skiers – while the racing academy could help you to bring out your competitive streak on the slopes.
If you want something a little different after a few hours’ skiing, why not go on the 60-metre luge slide or tackle the 12-metre indoor climbing wall?
Situated opposite the Trafford Centre shopping complex, the Chill Factore is just off junction 10 of the M60 motorway. There are a number of Manchester hotels in the area such as the Premier Inn which are perfect for those travelling from a far to visit the north-west’s best indoor ski slope.
Tamworth’s SnowDome is a great place for beginners to learn how to ski or snowboard, thanks to its two Snow Academy slopes, one of which is 30 metres long while the other is 25 metres. You can take a fast-track course where you will be taught everything you need to know in the course of one day, although you can take lessons over a longer period of time if you prefer.
If you already know the basics, you can head to the main slope which is 170 metres long and gives you lots of space to carve up the snow.
On Tuesdays and Saturdays, the SnowDome holds specialist freestyle sessions where you can pull off fantastic tricks on boxers, rails and kicker ramps.
The venue regularly plays host to a number of freestyle events, including Who’s The Daddy and the Burton Black Metal competition, so you may also get the chance to see some of the UK’s top snowboarders and skiers doing what they do best.
You will also find an ice-skating rink, tobogganing and tubing facilities, as well as a dedicated Snowplay area for children where they will be able to build snowmen and play inside an igloo. Then, if you want a respite from the snow, take a dip in the 25-metre swimming pool or grab a bite to eat in the bar.
The slope is just five minutes from junction 10 of the M42 or M6 toll road, just follow the signs to Tamworth and then the brown tourist information notices to the SnowDome.
Snozone Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes’ Snozone offers everything you need for fantastic indoor skiing and snowboarding, as each night 16 cannons launch cooled water into the air to create 1,500 tonnes of snow on the piste.
You can have fun on the expansive 170-metre main slope, although if you’re a total beginner you will need to have lessons with the centre’s snow school before you can do so. The fully-qualified team of experts also give specialist guidance on freestyle moves and racing techniques, as well as teaching those with disabilities, so you’ll have the chance to learn something new on the slopes regardless of your level of experience.
As well as snowboarding and skiing, you can go tubing or sledging. However, if you want something that will really get your adrenalin pumping, why not go on a Hammerhead sled? These lightweight, high-performance models see you race down the slope head first!
The development is situated in the centre of the town on 602 Marlborough Gate and lies just off the B4034.
Snow Factor Braehead
Like its equivalent in Milton Keynes, the SNO!zone in Braehead, Scotland also gives you the chance to ski and snowboard on real snow. Part of the Xscape chain of leisure and retail centres, here you can carve it up on the 200-metre main slope which is covered with some 1,700 tonnes of fresh snow.
There is also a separate section for beginners, while on Thursday and Friday nights a specialist freestyle area is set up which includes slide box and flat rails to perform tricks and jumps on.
Alternatively, you can go tubing and sledging, while kids are sure to love having a ski and snowboard taster party here in order to celebrate a special occasion such as a birthday.
After you’ve done on the slopes head to the bar for a drink and something to eat. It also hosts regular live music performances and special events and is the official clubhouse of local ice hockey team the Braehead Clan, so you may even run in to some of the players when coming here for a day’s skiing or snowboarding.
If you’re planning on travelling to the Snow Factor by car you will need to exit at junction 25a of Glasgow’s M8 motorway.
With so many great indoor ski slopes located throughout the UK, you’ll not be short of choice if you fancy hitting the slopes in Britain this year.
About the Author: Written by the team at travelsupermarket.com