Best place in Scotland

While chilly winter days get most people dreaming about an escape somewhere hot, for adrenaline junkies in the UK the darker nights and lower temperatures only mean one thing; snow!

The Scottish Cairngorms are the only place to head after the first covering of snow. While the Cairngorms provide stunning walking scenery throughout the year, it’s during the winter that the mountain range truly comes alive and is the best time to visit.

Skiers who make the trip north certainly won’t be disappointed when they arrive as the mountain range boasts 11 ski lifts and more than 30km of pistes. So, whether you spend a few days or even a week in the Cairngorms, you definitely will not be bored! Snowboarders are also well-catered for in Scotland with a fully maintained snowboard park available throughout the ski season from December to April every year. For those of you braving the snow for the first time, learning in Scotland with English tuition is a great way to build confidence and nail the basic skills. If you visit in mid January make the most of the celebrations for World Snow Day as Cairngorm and the nearby resorts of Glencoe, Glenshee and the Nevis Range will be offering ski taster sessions, sledging or perhaps learn to build an igloo?

Those who haven’t quite found their ‘snow feet’ might consider a trip to the top station of Cairn Gorm itself via the UK’s only mountain railway. Travelling on the mountain railway will take you approximately eight minutes to reach the peak and rewards you with far-reaching views without any of the effort! Recreate the Alpine mood by indulging in a warming hot chocolate or mulled wine in front of a roaring open fire in the summit’s cafe. As the winter sun sinks lower in the sky, make your way back down the mountain and home to your Sykes Holiday Cottages holiday home. With properties located throughout the most popular ski resorts in Scotland, you’ll find it easy to choose the perfect base for your winter break. Snuggle up after a hard day on the slopes or head to Aviemore for some après-ski action.

Aviemore is also a great place to experience some festive cheer if you’re travelling with the children. Whether you choose to feed Rudolph and his friends, go on a sled dog ride or sledge down a snowy hill, the whole family will undoubtedly leave full of Christmas spirit.

If skiing or snowboarding isn’t your thing, the Cairngorms National Park also welcomes many climbers over the winter months. The ever-changing weather conditions in this part of Scotland means on one climb you might be facing powdery snow and the next nothing but slush! The unpredictable conditions are ideal for experienced climbers looking for a new challenge whilst beginners will also find the Cairngorms an ideal spot for a first lesson. Do make sure to check the weather forecast and avalanche risk with the Mountain Ranger service before heading out and only ever climb with the correct equipment.

So while snow sports in Scotland perhaps doesn’t (yet) have the same cachet as a week’s skiing in continental Europe or North America, the conditions are second to none not to mention a much cheaper option than a holiday abroad. For UK-resident guests, choosing Scotland for your winter holiday means you can easily fit in a weekend of adventure and be back at your desk on Monday morning. What more could you ask for? To start planning your winter holiday in Scotland, why not visitwww.sykescottages.co.uk today to view the full range of Scottish holiday cottages?