The Cairngorm Mountain Resort is known as one of the UK’s favourite snow sports location and is largely known to be Scotland’s most popular resort. The resort is not only renowned for its beauty but also as a challenging skiing destination. Even with the breathtaking panoramic views from the top of Ptarmigan Top Station, can skiing in Scotland truly be a realistic comparison to the Alps?
Cairngorm’s first chair lift was built in 1961 and the resort was at its most popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Following this period the resort has seen some rather bleak times with only the locals keeping the resort in business due to low-cost flights to the Alps. Adding to this, the poor snowfall over the last two decades has not been kind. Now that three of the last four winters have seen tremendous snow conditions materialise in Scotland, are the ‘good old days’ about to return?
Whilst skiing in Scotland is never going to compare to the scale you can experience in the Alps, the character and personality you will experience from skiing on a locals’ mountain is something you might struggle to find elsewhere. With Cairngorm not joining the European resorts in their decision to ban Snowboarding in the 1980s, the resort has ensured that tension between skiers and boarders has never surfaced.
With a smaller capacity, the slopes in Scotland may feel crowded for someone who is used to one of the larger European resorts. However, the price difference is something which may make a slightly crowded slope bare-able. It can also be reached by train from most parts of the UK, which includes an overnight sleeper train from London, for those who are not found of flying.
Although it is difficult to realistically argue that skiing in Scotland can be considered as a direct comparison to the Alps, it is definitely a promising alternative that you might want to consider.
What do you think – Would you consider skiing in Scotland? Have you already tried it?
Don’t forget though that even if you’re on holiday in the UK, you should still get comprehensive travel insurance. And make sure you check your travel insurance policy wording to see whether you will be covered for winter sports!