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Planning a trip to wee bonie scotyland..............HELP :?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Right advice needed. NehNeh

After a few cheeky bevvies last i brought up the subject of grabbing a weekends snowboarding up north of the border. After a bit of scoffing we came up with a cunning plan. What we've decided to do is buy upfront a couple of flights, over a couple of weekends to scotyland with Ryan Air, BA or SleazyJet now, so that they are v cheap, we could wait till next year and see where the snow is, but by then we may as well go into Europe (in terms of cost & possibly snow!) and I would like to at least experience what scottyland has to offer at least once, and this seems like the only viable way of doing it from the Costa Del Brighton. If there isn't any snow then we'll forfit the flights or possibly just go anyway.

For example:

Ryan Air - 0.99p out, £14.99 back
BA - £15 out, £15 back
SleazyJet - not yet out

Ok, now this is where you guys get involved........

+ What is the best airport to fly to in Scotyland? Trains and buses aren't any cheaper booking now or last minue!
+ Accomodation - is there accomodation near the slinding areas?
+ Where should be base ourselves - probably going for a long weekend so could hit a couple of areas.
+ What time of year is generally going to be a good bet for snow levels.

As for snow levels i appreciate it's a bit of a lottery and best time of year you could say November - March, but is there a month when generally it's "better"?

All advice appreciated!

Thanks in advance! snowHead
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Dan, In recent years most of the best skiing has either not been able to open because of lack of snow, or has only opened for a couple of brief periods. (see “Piste”: threads “Glencoe and Glenshee go into receivership” and “Nevis Snow” )
Even in the past when you could expect snow in winter the prevalence of high winds (which mean that most pistes, except to a large extent Nevis Range, are bordered with fences to keep in the snow) generally resulted in boilerplate snow.
Consequently then, and even more now, it is important to go skiing in Scotland in response to good snow reports. See http://ski.visitscotland.com/ and http://www.winterhighland.com/

Really it's advisable to have transport, so why not go to Glasgow with Easyjet and then hire a car with Easycar ( www.easycar.com/ ) (about £12 per day) if you want to ski the West Coast (Nevis and, until now, Glencoe)
Stay in Fort William for the West and Aviemore or nearby for the East. But its not a huge drive from east to west.
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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?
Try the Crannog seafood restaurant on the seafront in Fort William (book earlier in the day or you may not get in).
I think there is some sort of cheap bunkhouse much nearer the Aviemore slopes than Aviemore itself.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Dan, check airport locations on maps at this stage. Prestwick is some distance to the Highlands, but you get to drive via stunning Loch Lomond. Inverness airport is only an hour (I think) from Aviemore.

I'd ski in April for the best chance of snow and good weather.

Look at youth hostels for cheap accom. Aviemore and Glenmore (beautiful location near foot of Cairngorm) have them.

If you can face a night on a bus, National Express to Aviemore would be cheapest. They had a very cheap national fare last winter (about £10 I think, each way). The overnight sleepers to Aviemore or Fort William are sometimes sold cheap, too.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Here's a new place opening soon for accommodation for Aviemore. But not likely to be cheap - this looks pretty upmarket.
It states it's 40 mins from Inverness airport if any of the cheapy airlines are going that way. 200m from the bus terminal or the railway station.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Living in Newcastle I have been watching Scotland like a hawk but still couldn't manage a weekend trip in the last two years. Like many have said not enough chairlifts (should really be called draglifts here) and runs open. When they did have snow the roads were closed for a few days at weekend. During weekdays the snow went quicker than the roads being cleared.

I have done a few trips from Newcastle and the cost is £150 for a couple for two days skiing and one night hotel. Basically we drive at 6am on Saturady morning and arrive at Glenshee at 10am, stay one night in a B&B within a radius of 1/2 to 3/4 hour drive from the resort. That cost £50 for B&B (2 persons), the dinner for two cost about another £50 and the two day ski passes cost yet another £50. It is ironic that sometimes if we arrive 10 minutes late after 10am the road to the resort could be closed due to the car park completely full! That tells me that there is a lot of skiers going there. For Glenshee we have no problem of booking the B&B on the way to the resorts in the morning.

Tried Aviemore/Cairngorm once. Glencoe is bit small while Lecht is not much better and a bit out in the stick to risk a trip. Haven't tried Nevis Range yet as it is the farthest for me. Generally I didn't find a lot of difference of snow condition between them.

One thing they say right about Scotland: if you can ski there you can ski anywhere because of the challenge by the lack of snow, icy, gale wind, blizzard (the snow really can travel horiztally there)....... It is still enjoyable though. I once had to survive over a small ice hill there and now would not blink my eye on the so called icy patches in the Alpes.

Before deciding on a trip check their web site for the no. of lifts open several days in advance.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I would go around March time, as the days are getting longer and the snow (we hope) will have built up more by then. If you want to see what Scotland had to offer this winter, http://www.highland-instinct.co.uk/winterpictures.htm is the link to the picture page on our site. We will be continuing the regular picture updates next winter aswell, so that should help you know what conditions are like (as after all, pictures speak better than words) and also our daily updates of snow reports.

I think the best airport to fly to would be to Inverness, and if you want to ski at all 5 of the Scottish centres it would be best to base yourself around there aswell as it is pretty central. If not, base yourself around Fort William or Aviemore for the more biased option to either skiing in the west or the east.

Hope this is of some help.
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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!
Prestwick is further to drive and the way goes within a couple of miles of Glasgow airport (and you'd have to spend twice as much if you hired a car). Inverness sounds a good idea, I've never done that.
Of course you can drive up but it takes about 9 hours from London.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
snowball, was working in Grangemouth last year and drove a pool car up from Brighton............nice enough drive but too far from here to do again, plus flights are about the cost of fuel up to as far as london and flight would take about as long.............buying flights and seeing if there is any snow is the only way!

ps thanks for all the advice guys, keep it coming!!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Yes, Dan, driving is only worth it if there are several of you, and is just too time consuming. However both at Aviemore and Nevis the slopes are a little way from their towns and I don't know how often the link busses run.
If you have a car, and haven't been already, it's a must to drive down Glen Coe towards the sea (more spectacular than driving up it, for some reason).


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Mon 24-05-04 9:14; edited 1 time in total
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I just looked at Easycar - (Glasgow) and it isn't any cheaper now than other car hire. It used to be half the price, only 2 years ago(Geneva). What happened?
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