The last few years have seen a massive improvement in snowy conditions on Scottish mountains, which is good news for winter sports enthusiasts on a bit of a budget. If you’re looking for new and exciting opportunities on the slopes, why not try something a little closer to home?

At Ski & Trek, we understand you probably aren’t too clued up on the ins and outs of skiing opportunities north of the border, but fear not, take a look at our guide to the best resorts for honing your skills in Scotland.

Why Scotland?

Before we look deeper into specific locations, let’s consider the reasons why you might visit Scotland for your skiing trip, as opposed to an international alternative. Well, for a start, it’s much cheaper - and if you can get to the mountains on short enough notice after snowfall, the resorts really are brilliant.

Although the areas may be smaller, it really doesn’t matter too much if all you are after is a few days away. However, Scotland might not be the best choice for those booking their trip well in advance, as it is simply impossible to predict the weather.

Resort 1 - Cairngorm

Let’s start with what is probably the best-known ski resort in Scotland, Cairngorm. Coming in strong with 11 lifts and an impressive 23 miles of slopes, this destination is easily laid out, with the main way up accessed by a funicular from the main car park and a day lodge to Ptarmigan at 3,600 feet.

Situated at the top of the mountain is a restaurant and visitors’ centre, while the main slope (and the easiest) is found in the Core Cas area, and the Coire na Ciste boasts the more challenging slopes. If you are new to the world of winter sports, fear not, the nursery slopes found at the top of the mountain are great for beginners, providing much better snow than those at the bottom. Visitors looking to extend their stay at Cairngorm will find a range of hotels in the town of Aviemore, which is located around ten miles away, and is easily accessible via shuttle bus.

Resort 2 - Glencoe

Widely regarded as the first ski resort in Scotland, Glencoe is somewhat of a hidden gem. Here, visitors are transported up the mountain by ski lift, which carries you 2,130 feet - accessing about 20 km of slopes. One of the best things about this resort is there is something for everybody, no matter how experienced you might be. Fly Paper is Scotland’s steepest black slope, which is perfect for skiers looking for a challenge - but that’s not all, there are plenty of other off-piste opportunities should Fly Paper be inaccessible, which it often is.

Resort 3 - Nevis Range

If it's stunning views you’re after, the Nevis Range Mountain Resort is probably your ideal Scottish ski destination. Here, the coastal views from the slopes rise to 3,900 feet, and don’t worry about it being overcrowded, as this destination is usually quieter than Cairngorm, giving you all the space you could possibly need.

Proving the diversity of winter sports in Scotland, the Nevis Range also offers something for all ability levels, with 22 miles of pistes accessible via the resort’s 11 lifts. Another plus is the easy-to-understand layout, which makes getting used to the swing totally stress-free for beginners. For adrenaline junkies, the off-piste Back Corries are the best in the country when the weather is right.

Resort 4 - Glenshee

Glenshee is actually the biggest ski resort in Scotland, although not by much. Here, there are 21 lifts that serve 25 miles of pistes. Some winter sports enthusiasts would argue the location offers the best opportunities on the piste.

The main lifts ascend from 2,130 feet on either side of the A93 road from Perth to Aberdeen, with those east of the road linking to further lifts in two adjacent valleys. In general, the slopes mostly cater to beginners and intermediate levels, although there are a few short black pistes. What’s more, there are several opportunities to go off-piste thanks to the abundance of natural terrain.

If you’re planning a few days away, Glenshee might not be your best bet though, as this resort is primarily a day-trip destination. The nearest town is Braemar, which is situated ten miles to the north.