In the UK you can ski on dry ski slopes or indoor real snow slopes across the country.
If you're going skiing for the first time, we strongly advise you to give skiing or snowboarding a go in the UK before you head out to the mountains.
In the UK there are artificial and real snow slopes all over the country. If you can master basics like stopping and turning before your first holiday on snow, you can make more use of the mountain when you're there. The new GO SKI GO BOARD initiative, backed by Snowsports England, is a great way to get involved with your local dry slope or indoor snow slope.
The two most common surfaces for dry slopes in the UK are Dendix and Snowflex. Dendex has been around for the longest and is well known to dry slope skiers nationwide. It's made of plastic bristles with diamond-shaped spaces between the bristles. It's not very forgiving to ski on (especially if you fall over) due to the holes in it, but it is a great place to work on the basics. Snowflex is much more user friendly and more dry slopes are beginning to use this type of surface. It's made of a similar material but without the big gaps in it.
Many dry slopes have rental facilities for equipment and for clothing, but it's best to check if your local one does or not before you head there.
Real Snow Slopes
These are becoming more and more popular in the UK and there are now six indoor snow slopes which produce real snow - the temperature is usually kept between -1°C and -5°C, allowing snow cannons to produce snow in the same way as those used in many ski resorts. Braehead (Glasgow), Castleford (Snozone), Manchester (Chill Factore), Tamworth SnowDome, Milton Keynes (Snozone) and Hemel Hempstead (The Snow Centre) are currently in operation.
All the real snow slopes in the UK have rental facilities of skis, boards, boots and poles so you don't have to lug your own kit there. Even though you may only be on the snow for an hour or so at a time it is still important to stay warm. Think about wearing ski pants or waterproof trousers, warm gloves, warm mid-layers and a ski jacket. Although eye protection is not essential as it outdoors, it's a good idea to wear a helmet, especially when the slopes become busy.
Indoor snow slopes in the UK have helped to fuel the growth of freestyle skiing and snowboarding, with local freestyle nights and competitions helping to uncover talented young athletes. The indoor snow centres regularly update their websites and their Facebook pages with details of these events.
Our UK slopes map has more information about dry slope facilities and indoor snow centres, plus details of the discounts which Ski Club of Great Britain members are entitled to receive.