Aspen or Val d’Isère it ain’t, but with 19 runs and 23 miles of piste, Cairngorm is Scotland’s most popular ski area. When the snow is at its best and the sun is shining you can close your eyes and imagine you’re in the Alps; sadly, low cloud, high winds and horizontal sleet are more likely.
Ski or snowboard hire is around £26/19 per adult/child per day; there are lots of hire outlets at Coire Cas, Glenmore and Aviemore.
The season usually runs from December until the snow melts, which may be as late as the end of April, but snowfall here is unpredictable – in some years the slopes can be open in November, but closed for lack of snow in February. During the season the tourist office in Aviemore displays snow conditions and avalanche warnings. You can check the latest snow conditions at www.cairngormmountain.org/lifts-pistes and www.winterhighland.info.