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Favourite UK dry ski slope - name yours...

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Of course it's nothing like the real thing but I always find them surprisingly enjoyable.
Wondered what people's favourites are in terms of the slope itself, the setting/view, other facilities (cafés etc.).
I guess the ultimate UK slope is the one outside Edinburgh (used to be called Hillend, now it's Midlothian Snowsports Centre, I think).
Fantastic views of Edinburgh (+ Forth Bridges etc), great setting, and the longest dry slope in the country.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Aldershot circa 1985......the Army thought us to snowplough, stem-christy (whatever that was) and parallel in 3x 1 hour lessons, we then went straight to Kitzbuhel a week later and never looked back......who needs fridges?!
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I've not skied on any other dry slope but the Norwich dry slope is a great facility. Apart from the main dendix slope, which from the top has great views over Norwich, it has a series of "waves" running down the side of the main slope, a mogul area, a small fun park, a snow flex "blue" run which they also use for tubing sessions and a snowflex learning slope. It's also got an excellent club house and whilst I'm not a racer they have a great racing set up, producing a lot of young talent.
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Well it would have to be Bebington Oval. Is very short but i had my first lessons there.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Southampton dry slopes, still producing champions, but has an uncertain future Confused
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Markymark29 wrote:
Aldershot circa 1985......the Army thought us to snowplough, stem-christy (whatever that was) and parallel in 3x 1 hour lessons, we then went straight to Kitzbuhel a week later and never looked back......who needs fridges?!


Ah, the Aldershot ski slope, or Stainforth as it used to be known. Many a happy memory!
Went there loads in the 80s. Great atmosphere at night time, and I used to find the ramp section a genuine challenge.
Was easily the most fun you could have in Aldershot on a Saturday night (which may not be saying much!).
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A thought has just occurred.
Wouldn't it be great if there was a dry ski slope at or near the coast, and you could look out across the sea as you skied.
Well, a quick Google seems to have revealed such a place on the west coast of Wales.
http://www.urdd.cymru/en/residential-centres/llangrannog/things-do/open-public/
Looks really cool.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Neil Neige, One of the funniest things I've ever seen was once when we were there as total novices it started to snow like crazy. The slope got properly fast as did the ramp at the far end that used to slow you down, one unsuspecting learner went so fast he/ she flew off the back into a mass of brambles. The detail is a bit cloudy but it made me lol when I just remembered it! Laughing
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@Neil Neige, I thought you meant Sunderland.

I haven't been to that many dry slopes, but my favourite is Gloucester, (or possibly the Ackers, simply for the quality of the coaching)
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Neil Neige, You can look down on the sea from Llandudno dry slope too. I think Idris used to ski at Llangrannog.
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Capstone.
the only others I've even seen were Sandown Park which must be nearly long enough to put in a couple of turns, and one that used to be in the school playing fields at a school in Guildford, that must be nearly long enough to do a snowplough stop.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
boredsurfin wrote:
Southampton dry slopes, still producing champions, but has an uncertain future Confused


Southampton is the closest to me (about a mile away, in fact) but I haven't used it for about 20 years now. I should do really; as rubbish at it is, it's still better than not skiing.
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I used to like the Llandudno slope until they flattened it out
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You know it makes sense.
Has anyone tried Brentwood? As a new East London resident with no car it looks like the most viable option, in the absence of any developments at Stratford of course Sad
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Learnt to ski at Pontypool (best instructor was Fred Foxon), then fair amount at Gloucester : both very good

@andy,
Quote:
the only others I've even seen were Sandown Park which must be nearly long enough to put in a couple of turns

Well you can certainly achieve some good things by putting in "a couple of turns" snowHead

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 Poster: A snowHead
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I have very fond memories of Bearsden Ski Club, racing (poorly) for Lanarkshire Schools, then drinking (possibly more up my street) for Glasgow Uni at the Friday night races.

My high point was, I fear, (allegedly) being minuted in the British Ski Federation minutes after a very odd FIS point discussion (look, there were like, 11 gates, I don't think Stenmark was losing sleep over it) as "that little barsteward from Glasgow" as I had had the temerity to stand up and suggest that the high and mighty get off their collective stable and we get on with the racing.

Drink may have been taken... Embarassed
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I learned on the one at Hillingdon. It had such a lovely feel about it, right down to the wooden chalet style huts. Good times.

We go to the one at Aldershot, which is also good. In fact, in the next few days, the kids and myself are going to get a 1 month pass, which allows you to ski as much as you want, for the same price as just 2 sessions. There is one just up the road, in Guildford, but it's shorter, more expensive, doesn't open enough and they don't have any kind of monthly pass, so it's none too appealing. Shame, just 5 minutes away.

Have also been to Bracknell, but I didn't particularly like it. It does the business, but I thought it soulless.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
This slope was wonderful. Weused to drive up regulalry from Aberystwyth when I was a student in the late 80s. It had log cabins and amazing views. Even better than the one mentioned with sea and cliff views. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_west/3632394.stm
Norwich, my local ski slope, is great and always friendly. I think the racing club is quite active.

When I wasa kid, Leicester didn't have a hill so they built one out of scaffolding. I wonder if it's still there. Swadlincote in Derbyshire was our local. I'm not sure if that still exisits either.
Have indoor sonwdomes meant the death of the old plastic slopes?
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a vote for Mendip Snowsport Centre (previously avon ski centre) as one of the few slopes that's not just a straight line Smile
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I had my first lessons at "Swad" (Swadlincote) back in 1992. The place had quite a buzz, especially when they installed the stainless steel toboggan run. I recall to a friend's 25th birthday party there which was a good laugh.
I know the place still exists, but given that I was living in Birmingham at the time, once Tamworth Snowdone opened we all went there instead.
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I remember that toboggan run now. Shame is some of the dry slope are dying due to the new indoor slopes. Sheffield opened to a huge fanfare but is now a ghost town
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Sheffield Ski Village c.1998! This was about the last year before the snowflex and halfpipe and it was super fun on skis to have the long blue slope as well as the red baron and the waves Happy
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Neil Neige, @iskar, +1 for Mendip have not personally used it but both my girls had taster lessons there,as we live in bath. but we have since taken the girls to Hemel (have been spending a few days there now as we have family close by) to have several lessons as my OH will not let them use plastic slopes properly as she once had a bad experience!!!
am going to try and persuade her otherwise before we go away in Feb, as it is convenient and does not require overnight stops with family.

I used to like both Hillingdon and Beckton alps, but not sure either exist anymore.

am hoping the proposed fridge in Swindon goes ahead as well
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I like Rossendale because I learned there, otherwise Gloucester I remember being good as it was narrow but (unless I'm confused) seemed to go on a bit. Sheffield was good in the day as noted. I've ridden about a dozen other places I'd guess. In my view you need steepness, a decent sprinkler system, reasonably well maintained Dendix, some bumps, and a fast lift.
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Learned to Ski at Stoke Ski Centre then worked there for 4 years whilst getting my BASI 1. The slope went through a lot of different phases, but the community there was always wonderful. The new freestyle setup seems to be building some great talent aswell
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Rossendale for the view across the valley. Norwich for the facilities. Home slope is Sunderland with it's own micro climate. Whatever time of year it somehow gets sooooo cold while watching at the bottom
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Neil Neige wrote:
Of course it's nothing like the real thing but I always find them surprisingly enjoyable.
Wondered what people's favourites are in terms of the slope itself, the setting/view, other facilities (cafés etc.).
I guess the ultimate UK slope is the one outside Edinburgh (used to be called Hillend, now it's Midlothian Snowsports Centre, I think).
Fantastic views of Edinburgh (+ Forth Bridges etc), great setting, and the longest dry slope in the country.


Nothing can really beat Hillend (all the locals and staff still call it that) for all the points you make.

Views?











Check. Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Gaza wrote:
Neil Neige wrote:
Of course it's nothing like the real thing but I always find them surprisingly enjoyable.
Wondered what people's favourites are in terms of the slope itself, the setting/view, other facilities (cafés etc.).
I guess the ultimate UK slope is the one outside Edinburgh (used to be called Hillend, now it's Midlothian Snowsports Centre, I think).
Fantastic views of Edinburgh (+ Forth Bridges etc), great setting, and the longest dry slope in the country.


Nothing can really beat Hillend (all the locals and staff still call it that) for all the points you make.

Views?











Check. Toofy Grin Toofy Grin


I was up there yesterday and who was handing out the skis in the hire shop? Sochi freestyle skiing olympian Murray Buchan. That's pretty cool.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
You can look out to sea at Pembrey too.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Ahhh! Aldershot ski slope in the 80s! One of my drivers to joining the Army was that a friend of mine seemed to spend the winters in europe skiing and had wonderful tails to tell! I joined up and the plastic ski slope was the closest I got to the Alps Evil or Very Mad However when I left the Army and still lived in Aldershot (ahh the negative equity of early 90s) I used to go there for lessons just before alpine holidays. Recollect the instructor had never skied on snow Puzzled

Recollect my wife was wiped out by a fellow learner on the slope and she swears that she still has a hip injury more than 20 years later. Almost ruined her first proper ski trip to Courchevel.

I have not been to a dry slope in 20 years. May just have to revisit if I have a good reasons (new boots!). Admit I was always scared I would fall over as it hurt Crying or Very sad
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Pendle hill has some pretty good views, and I can't pass the top of Rossendale without being amazed how that landscape looks.

Personally I think Hillend looks better the other way - from the city looking at it.
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Gloucester & Churchill in the West.

Pontypool in South Wales isn't worth the Petrol, I'd travel to the fridge at Tamworth quicker
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
My favourite, long ago, was in the depths of the Ayrshire coal field. Having lessons required one to MTFU as there was no lift.
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pam w wrote:
My favourite, long ago, was in the depths of the Ayrshire coal field. Having lessons required one to MTFU as there was no lift.

... which reminds me of the slope at Rushden, which wasn't huge, but which had the most viscous rope tow. It had little handles you could rent from them, which were a bit too binary in the way they engaged. Never mind the wusses you get on here who wear body armour, that thing could give young people shoulder ache for days after a session.

Bassingborne didn't have a lift either, but it was also pretty short.

I did a few sessions at Rossendale when the lift (they used to have only one) was broken. That kept the crowds down.
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philwig wrote:
Pendle hill has some pretty good views, and I can't pass the top of Rossendale without being amazed how that landscape looks.

Personally I think Hillend looks better the other way - from the city looking at it.


I agree. To a point. On a clear day the views from the top are great. You can see right down the East Lothian coast, over the Fife coast and west to the bridges. When I land at Edinburgh Airport I do enjoy looking out at Hillend.
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pam w wrote:
My favourite, long ago, was in the depths of the Ayrshire coal field. Having lessons required one to MTFU as there was no lift.

Ah! You can surely only mean Newmilns...(technically centre of lace making, not coal, but either way, all gone). Learning to ski there meant four things,

You REALLY knew how to herringbone up a hill

You REALLY appreciated real snow when you finally got to see it

You REALLY appreciated lifts when you finally got to try them

You REALLY had no clue how to ride a tow the first time you used it.

Yep, the hallmarks of a Newmilns veteran were being fit, being an expert going uphill under ones own steam and causing a pile up the first time you got on a tow
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For me, whilst I learnt to ski at Stoke and was there for many many years. I loved growing up there and the atmosphere was great - the parents used to drop me off on a saturday and sunday mornings and id only return home for sleep! Evening race training in the dark always had a special atmosphere. Rossendale always has a place in my heart. The summer race league there was my home for years until Chillfactore opened.

Theres that smell of Mr Sheen, bees wax, wet trees/grass, skiing in the rain/dark and friction burns that fridges cant replace Happy


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Fri 30-10-15 23:24; edited 1 time in total
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@allybrown360, When were you there?? Im getting on a bit now so its been a few years since I last paid a visit (even though its only 15mins up the road!!)
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Spent lots of time at Bracknell, funny the first time you are out in pouring rain and realize who your fellow fully committed crazies are.
Then there was the 20-25yd (walk up) slope in a warehouse in reading where i learned the basics before my first ski trip.
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@Colinthc ah yes! Happened to my son (the can't ride a tow bit) at aviemore after the longest queue I've seen in half a century.

One cold night, having lessons under the floodlights my OH failed to turn and shot off over the frozen grass
It was a while before we heard the crash and even longer before he staggered back,
skis on the shoulder.
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