Man snowboarding

Where to Snowboard in the UK

Looking for a winter staycation? Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, here’s our list of the best places to snowboard in the UK.

As we’re still living in uncertain times, many of us are choosing to stay in the UK rather than travelling abroad. But that doesn’t mean you need to say goodbye to your annual snowboarding trip. In fact, it’s the perfect opportunity to explore what the UK has to offer.

Perhaps you’re looking for a new challenge or sport to try in 2023 and fancy giving snowboarding a go? While there are only a handful of actual snow resorts in the UK, it’s easy to book a last minute weekend away for some fun in the snow.

Unpredictable weather can sometimes make snowboarding in the UK a little difficult to plan. But there are plenty of indoor slopes, and dry slopes to try too. So, we’ve put together 10 of the best places to snowboard in the UK so you can still get your fill this season.

Where To Snowboard In The UK?

If you want to go snowboarding, there’s no need to hop on a plane to Verbier or Chamonix. Scotland is the place to go if you’re looking for a true snowboard experience in the UK.

There are five areas to snowboard in Scotland, and all have heavily invested in their resorts over the last few years to rival European ski resorts.

The ski and snowboard season in the UK usually runs from December to April, and even if you live in London, there are plenty of low cost airlines that fly to all the major airports in Scotland (Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness), providing an affordable option for a winter fun break.

If you’re new to snowboarding, it’s a good idea to have a few lessons at your local dry slope or snowdome to learn the basics before heading to the mountains. On a dry slope, you can enjoy your snowboarding time outside in the real open air, so once you’ve learnt the basics on a dry matt surface, you’ll find boarding on real snow a breeze. And snowboarding indoors means you can go whenever you want as you don’t need to rely on the weather. All centres and resorts have rental facilities for boards, boots, poles and helmets. And indoor slopes are popular with advanced skiers and boarders too as ideal skiing conditions are guaranteed.

Best Natural Snow Resorts In The UK

1. Glenshee Ski Centre, Aberdeenshire:
Providing some of the best snowboarding in the UK, Glenshee is the largest ski area in Scotland, with 25 miles of downhill runs across four mountains. There are 22 ski lifts and 36 runs, with a great area for beginners too, and on-site equipment hire. It has a terrain park and a natural quarter pipe on top of the pistes for snowboarders. And there’s lots of off-piste areas to explore too.

Glenshee is a popular resort on good snow days, so book online to skip the queues at the ticket office.

2. Lecht 2090, Aberdeenshire:
The Lecht ski resort was set up in the 1970s and has grown into a great little ski and snowboard destination. It has since been renamed Lecht 2090, from the fact that it is based 2090 feet above sea level amid the Eastern Cairngorms. The resort has around 18 km of slopes, and you’re guaranteed snow thanks to the on-site snowmaking facilities.

One of the smaller resorts in Scotland with shorter runs, Lecht 2090 is popular with families and not as busy as some other resorts. It has plenty of green and blue runs, making it perfect for beginners. It also has several black runs for advanced skiers, with amazing scenery along the way. There’s also a terrain park for practising tricks, and a hire centre for equipment.

3. Glencoe Mountain Resort, Argyll:
Undoubtedly one of the most photographed places in Scotland, Glencoe is on the west coast, just below Ben Nevis. There are 20 runs of varying difficulty, and eight different lifts for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. There are plenty of gentle sloping runs for beginners, while advanced skiers and boarders can experience the thrill of some of the best natural terrain in Scotland.

Glencoe is a great hub for off-piste skiing and snowboarding, and there’s plenty of accommodation, including self-catering cottages, chalets and lodges if you fancy a weekend away amidst some of the most stunning scenery in the Scottish Highlands. The resort also offers private and group lessons for beginners, as well as on-site equipment hire.

4. Nevis Range, Fort William:
Easily accessible from Scottish cities or on the overnight sleeper train from London, the Nevis Range mountain resort is situated next to the Highland town of Fort William. Not only does it have 35 ski runs, it also provides access to off-piste skiing that can rival the best.

Climb to 650m in Scotland’s only mountain gondola, then warm up on a green or blue before taking on the reds of the freeride area or terrain park in the shadow of Scotland’s biggest mountain, Ben Nevis.

5. Raise, Cumbria:
On those lucky days when the snow falls perfectly, Raise in the Lake District is a great place to snowboard. The most alpine resort in England, with the tow at 800m, its runs are left as nature intended — so it’s not for the faint-hearted. It’s a tough hour-long hike up to the ski area (though a button lift runs most weekends), but when you’re up there, downhill runs of up to 500 metres offer spectacular views.

There's a members' hut at the top of the station with heating, electricity, a kettle and a toilet, but facilities are limited so don’t forget warm clothes, food and drink. This resort isn’t suitable for beginner snowboarders due to the difficulty of the runs, and there isn’t any equipment hire or lessons available.

Man on snow snowboarding

Best Dry Slopes And Indoor Ski Centres In The UK

1. Snowtrax, Dorset:
From taster sessions to advanced coaching, Snowtrax alpine activity centre offers the best tuition for every level of snowboard enthusiast. Most beginners require six private lessons to reach the minimum standard to practice on their dry ski slopes. This standard is also a great start before your winter holiday — you’ll get far more enjoyment out in the snow if you’ve got the skills to explore the mountain with confidence.

The main slope is 110 metres long, and there is also a 30m intermediate slope, and two nursery slopes for beginners. All slopes are surfaced in Proslope matting, which is considered the best type of dry slope surface. And Freestyle Club sessions are also available, both coached and open practice.

2. Cardiff Ski & Snowboard Centre, Cardiff:
Whether you’re a snowboarding novice and want lessons to prepare for your first winter sports holiday, or an advanced snowboarder wanting to hone your skills, Cardiff Ski Centre lessons are suitable for all ages and abilities.

This Cardiff venue was one of the first dry ski slopes in the UK. Opened in 1969, the original slope was 90 metres long, but it has since been extended to 100 metres. It’s situated close to the city centre, and they offer an excellent value all-day pass, making it an affordable choice for a fun day out.

3. Snozone, Milton Keynes:
Located at the Xscape centre in Milton Keynes, Snozone offers a wide range of activities for all the family and for all levels of ability, from complete beginners to freestyle pros.

Europe’s largest indoor real-snow resort, the centre has a 175 metre long main slope, plus a gym, shops, cinema, a bowling alley and café/bar/restaurant. Lessons and refresher courses are on offer too, as well as sledging and an ice-slide — both great for kids. Boards, boots and helmets are free to hire. And they have centres in Yorkshire and Basingstoke (Skizone) too.

4. Chill Factore, Manchester:
One of the best indoor ski and snowboarding venues in the UK, learn how to snowboard on the UK's longest real snow slope — a whopping 180 metres long! Snowboarding lessons are fast, fun and exciting, and they offer both group snowboarding lessons and private tutorials for all ages and abilities. It’s also home to charity group Disability Snowsport UK, who provide adaptive skiing and snowboarding for people with disabilities.

At Chill Factore, you’ll also find an ice slide, tubing, a climbing wall and snow play for little ones. Plus a variety of different bars, cafes and shops within the centre. If you live locally to the indoor ski centre, consider getting yourself a membership as this will give you a 30% discount on any booking you make. Plus you’ll get a free 2 hour lift pass on your birthday.

5. The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead:
The closest indoor snow centre to London, The Snow Centre offers everything you need for a great indoor winter sports experience, whether you’re a beginner or advanced snowboarder. And equipment is included with every session.

The centre has a snow cannon, giving you an authentic alpine experience, and a huge slope which is 160 metres long and over 30 metres wide. If you’re new to snowboarding, there’s a 100-metre long lesson slope (the largest in the UK), giving you plenty of space to practice the basics. The on-site snow school is accredited by the British Association of Snowsport Instructors, so you’ll be in good hands! There are direct trains from London, Birmingham, Northampton and Milton Keynes, making it easy to get to for a fun day out.

house in the snow

How Can I Learn To Snowboard?

If you want to learn how to snowboard, lessons with a qualified instructor are by far the best and the safest way to go. Most ski centres and resorts offer sessions for various ages and abilities, and you can usually choose to join in on group lessons or have private tuition. Although a 1:1 is more expensive than group lessons, private lessons do offer the benefit of being able to choose the lesson's focus. And while they can be great for beginners, they're often chosen by those with some snowboarding experience who want to work on particular snowboard goals.

If you have an upcoming holiday and want to learn how to snowboard quickly, a full day intensive course is by far the quickest and most effective method of learning to snowboard. A full day course will significantly enhance your progress for the ultimate learning experience. And once successfully completed you will be a recreational snowboarder with the ability to use all lifts, perform controlled linked turns, control speed and direction, and stop confidently.

What snowboard should I get?
Equipment hire, including the snowboard, is usually available for free at most resorts and snowboard centres. But if you have a few lessons under your belt and are thinking of investing in your own equipment, we can help you choose the right snowboard for you. ARTICLE: How to Choose Your Snowboard?

For any snowboarder, choosing a pair of snowboard boots is also an important decision. They form an integral part of your set-up; influencing performance and comfort. And getting it right can mean the difference between a good day on the slopes or eight hours of pain. But what makes a good pair of snowboarding boots? If you have the time we recommend you come into one of our stores and let our expert staff assist you in finding the perfect boots for you. Or you can find out more in our ARTICLE: How to Choose Your Snowboard Boots? It’s a good idea to have some knowledge before trying on boots so you can ask our staff any questions that are important to you.

UK ski resorts are a fantastic way to ski and snowboard while taking in beautiful surroundings. But even if you can’t get out to one of the stunning ‘natural’ resorts, you can still experience great snowboarding in the UK. Indoor ski centres and dry slopes are a brilliant way of hitting the slopes, whether you’re a novice or an advanced snowboarder. And you’re always guaranteed perfect conditions for skiing or snowboarding.

Or if you fancy snowboarding on a whim, why not just find a big snowy hill close to home? We wouldn’t suggest doing this if you’re a beginner, but you can try out the local park if you’re a confident snowboarder. Just make sure there are no cars or other obstacles around. Or you can always try sledging, which is something you can do with the whole family. ARTICLE: Ready for Snow - Toboggan or Sledge?


Get your gear

Before you hit the slopes, take a look at our collection of snowboard clothing and gear, courtesy of our in-house brand Wed’Ze. From jackets and hoodies to snowboards and helmets, at Decathlon we try to keep our prices as low as possible without compromising on quality, because we believe sport should be for everyone.

Man snowboarding in snow

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