If you’re thinking of taking your first ski trip, then it’s a good idea to visit one of the UK’s many indoor ski slopes (or outdoor dry ski slopes) and get in a little practice before you hit the mountains proper. It can really help to get a feel for the boots and the skis, as well as how they move around, before you jump out of your first ski lift and have to make your way back down the mountain. As well as gaining confidence, you’ll also be able to make the most of your ski holiday if you’ve already got the basics down, even just a little.

Surprisingly, there are over 75 ski slopes in the UK, from snow domes and dry ski slopes to actual mountain resorts in Scotland and revolving ski slopes in the South. They all run promotions at different times of the year, and you can hire nearly all your equipment from many of them, as well as get lessons from qualified instructors. Here’s a list of some of our favourite indoor and outdoor ski slopes in the UK by region.

Indoor ski slopes near London and the South

The Snow Centre – Hemel Hempstead

This is a MadDogSki favourite – nothing beats sinking your skis into real snow, and with a 160m slope you get a decent run from top to bottom. You also get a feel for real conditions on the mountain, and if you fall over there’s a nice fluffy landing. The slope is divided into two areas – one for beginners and the other for more experienced skiers. For more information visit: thesnowcentre.com

Skiplex – Reading, Basingstoke and Chiswick

Now here’s a good idea if ever we’ve heard one – a revolving ski slope! The Skiplex set-up means that you can ski continuously without wasting time on queuing for lifts or dodging other skiers. There’s a mirror in front of you, so you can check your stance and refine your technique. It’s intense, but a great way to advance quickly. For more information visit: skiplex.co.uk

Snowtrax – Christchurch, Dorset

This dry ski slope is attached to an excellent independent ski and snowboard equipment shop and workshop. So, if you like it, then you can stock up on gear there and then. For more information visit: snowtrax.eu

Indoor ski slopes in the Midlands

SnowDome – Tamworth
Not far from Birmingham, this indoor snow centre is really active, offering all sorts of fun, snowy activities for kids, as well as an ice skating rink, swimming pool, gym and spa. The main slope is 170m, and there are several shorter dedicated beginner areas too. For more information visit: snowdome.co.uk
Snozone – Milton Keynes

Snozone has real snow slopes open to both skiers and boarders with a lovely wide, gentle incline that makes it perfect for beginners. They offer sledging sessions too, so it’s great for kids. For more information visit: snozoneuk.com

Indoor ski slopes in Northern England

Chill Factor – Manchester

This indoor real snow centre is four miles from Manchester city centre right by the Trafford Centre. Its 180m slope is the longest in the UK, and as well as skiing and snowboarding there’s tubing and climbing on offer. The Alpine shopping street and restaurant make it a great place to spend the day. For more information visit:chillfactore.com

Snozone – Castleford

Castleford Snozone offers real snow slopes for both skiers and boarders. There are lessons for all abilities and sledging too!          For more information visit:snozoneuk.com

Ski slopes in Scotland

Ski Aberdeen
This ski centre has a great range of outdoor dry ski slopes to practice on. They also have an airbag slope for tricks. With several real-life mountain ski slopes nearby (Glencoe, Nevis, Glenshee, Cairgorm and Lecht), the ski centre runs regular club excursions and classes during the winter. For more information visit: skiaberdeen.com

Snow Factor – Glasgow
This is Scotland’s only real snow slope and at 168m it’s the second longest in the UK. There’s also an ice climbing wall and lots of fun events for kids throughout the year. For more information visit: snowfactor.com

Ski slopes in Wales

Ski and Snowboard Centre – Cardiff
This outdoor dry ski slope is a short drive from Cardiff city centre and has a 100m slope. They offer tuition for beginners as well as for more advanced skiers and snowboarders, and there’s tubing too. For more information visit: skicardiff.co.uk
Llandudno Ski Slope
This outdoor ski centre has an artificial ski slope with a Perma-snow surface, so when the sky is blue it looks almost like the real thing. The centre also boasts the longest toboggan run in Britain, so you’ve got to give that a go! There’s a licensed alpine lodge and restaurant too. For more information visit: llandudnoskislope.co.uk

For a full list of all real snow and dry ski slopes in the UK, visit: The Ski Club UK website.