Duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights From £885
We remain true to our values and we're reopening in a considered way, that respects each of you as individual travellers, while in equal measure respecting the communities that we visit.
Trip created by Paul Easto
View Paul's Profile
All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures.Download Itinerary
While it may not be the first destination which comes to mind, you can ski in Scotland and when it’s good, it’s really good. While Scotland makes no claim to compete with the Alps, it can offer a fantastic winter experience both on and off the mountain. If you have a sense of adventure, are flexible and simply enjoy being in the mountains you might be surprised by what Scotland can offer in winter.
This trip is designed to maximise your time skiing while making provision for alternative adventures if the weather or snow conditions don’t cooperate. With a Wilderness Ski Host supporting your trip, all the details will be taken care of and there will be maximum flexibility to make the most of a Highland winter.
After a day’s skiing or other activity, relax in your hand-picked accommodation with roaring fires, local craft-ales or gin and the best of Highland food to round off each day in the mountains.
Please note that the itinerary described below is intended as a guide only and will be wholly flexible based on our in-depth local knowledge of the prevailing snow and weather conditions.
This price is based on a group of 4, prices will vary depending on group size. Please get in touch with the team to confirm the trip price for your group
Many of us at Wilderness Scotland grew up skiing in the Highlands and have since been lucky enough also to ski around the world, working ski seasons in places such as France, Canada and New Zealand.
Put simply, we wouldn’t compare skiing and snowboarding in Scotland with the Alps or North America. New Zealand and Norway perhaps, but certainly not the famous ski resorts of France, Switzerland or Canada.
Scotland offers a different experience and while the quality of the snow and skiing may be temporary, the wild magnificence of the Highlands in winter is permanent. To make the most of skiing here, you need to combine opportunism with knowledge. On any given day, conditions across the country in terms of snow cover, snow quality and weather can vary enormously. Having the insider knowledge and experience of where to ski both in terms of resort and while on the mountain is essential to maximise your time on the slopes. You’ll gain this insight from your Ski Host.
In terms of terrain, there is something on offer for all levels of skiing. If you’re looking to make your first turns on ski or board, then Scotland offers an accessible and cost-effective way to learn before progressing to larger resorts further afield. For the more advanced, Scotland offers some truly amazing side-country and back-country skiing away from the lifts through some of the most spectacular landscapes in Europe. If you’re prepared to ski off-piste or ski-tour, you may be surprised at just what is possible. If you find yourself somewhere between the two, looking to cruise long easy pistes, Scotland isn’t ideal since the amount of runs available is limited. That being said, on a good day at Glenshee (Scotland’s largest ski area), there are 36 runs spread across three valleys, offering 40km of piste skiing and a real sense of travel as you traverse the ski area.
The weather in a Scottish winter is unpredictable and while the weather can sometimes be challenging there are many days of blue skies and sunshine which provide perfect overhead conditions for winter activities. In less ideal weather, having good clothing and equipment makes a huge difference and means that you can still enjoy yourself – the conditions simply become part of the experience rather than dominating it.
If the conditions mean skiing is not possible then spending your day hiking, mountain biking or just relaxing in the Scottish Highlands is a pretty great plan B. However, if the conditions are good you can have your best ever days on skis. We wouldn’t be anywhere else.
As with much of Europe, snow reliability has changed a lot over the years and conditions in Scotland often change rapidly. The quality of skiing (for better or worse) can change overnight here perhaps more than anywhere else in the world. That all being said, if good snow depths and a base have formed by mid to late January then there is typically skiing on offer for the remainder of the season, through to mid-April. During February Scotland often enjoys one to two weeks of very stable weather with little wind and blue skies. The spring months of March and April are often the best of all, offering extensive snow cover, forgiving spring snow and long sunny days. In the event skiing isn’t possible on any given day, your Ski Host will be on hand to arrange alternative activities. One of the advantages Scotland has over many winter ski destinations is that there is a huge variety of non-snow activities possible throughout the season.
Knowing where the best conditions are and how to make the most of your day, is essential to enjoying the Scottish ski experience. On each trip, one of the Wilderness Team will take care of all the details, including transport in what can sometimes be tricky driving conditions, to make sure you maximise your time in the Highlands. In considering a ski trip to Scotland you might think whether such a service is necessary. However, we guarantee that the local knowledge of your Ski Host will massively improve your experience and means you don’t need to worry about the details and logistics and instead spend more time having fun with your family and friends.
For each day, your Ski Host will have evaluated the conditions and weather to determine where the best place is to ski. They will have organised all the necessary lift passes, ski hire (if required) and other equipment. Each day they will deliver you by (winter-equipped) private vehicle to the mountain right where you need to be, helping to bypass parking and lift queues. Once you are done for the day call your Ski Host anytime and they will be there to pick you up right at the base of the slopes. Moreover, if you’re looking for a locals’ guide to the mountain many of our Ski Hosts are ski instructors and guides who will be very happy to ski with you for the day.
In the event of weather not allowing you to ski, your Ski Host will be there to organise alternative activities either outdoors or indoors throughout the Highlands. Options include guided low-level hiking or an intro to winter skills in the higher hills, guided mountain biking or self-guided canoeing. Alternatively, you may want to pamper yourself with a day-spa experience, visit a historic site, enjoy a mini sightseeing tour with your guide or visit a local distillery for a tour and tasting.
You can choose to arrive in a range of start locations by train, car or air. Upon arrival, you will be met by your Ski Host for the week and transferred by private vehicle to your first accommodation. Depending upon your arrival time, there may be the opportunity for an afternoon of skiing (if arriving by overnight sleeper, then a full day will be possible) or other activity. Over pre-dinner drinks, discuss the options for the week with your Ski Host who will agree the itinerary with you having regard to the snow conditions and weather.
With 40km of runs and 20 lifts, Glenshee is Scotland’s largest ski area. In good conditions, the terrain extends across three different valleys. The furthest of these is Glas Maol which opens up some great on and off-piste skiing, including the challenging West Wall for more experienced skiers. If the conditions are right you may also want to try out the Tiger run on the Cairnwell which is one of Scotland’s most famous pistes. Ski for as long as you wish before your Ski Host transfers you back to your accommodation for a relaxing evening before a welcome dinner. (B)
If the conditions are good you will probably want to head back to Glenshee for a second day of skiing, or ski Cairngorm or the Lecht as great options to break up the transfer to the west. For the more experienced, one option to consider is a day of guided off-piste skiing/ski touring which is perhaps the best way to experience Scotland’s mountains in winter. Alternatively, enjoy a day off the slopes by exploring the Cairngorms National Park on foot or by mountain bike. After skiing or other activities we will transfer cross country to the West Highlands following the sun as it sets and settle in for the night. (B)
With an incredible variety of terrain and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere Nevis Range is a fantastic place to ski in Scotland. On clear days the views across Ben Nevis, the Highlands and the West Coast of Scotland are unforgettable. Access to the slopes is quick by modern gondola and once on the mountain you can choose from blue and red pistes on the frontside of the ski area or, for the more experienced, explore the back bowls which Nevis Range is famous for. In good conditions, skiing “over the back” at Nevis is a true adventure as you slide through remote terrain deep in the heart of the UK’s finest mountains. (B)
If conditions allow, ski again at Nevis Range or perhaps Glencoe whose spectacular location is on a par with Nevis. Alternatively, the area offers a fantastic range of land and water based activities in the mountains or along the beautiful west coast. Depending upon your departure time and location, we will transfer from lunchtime onwards to make onwards travel connections. (B)
Each trip typically features two accommodations – one each in the Eastern and Western Highlands. This approach is designed to allow you to experience skiing across at least 2 different ski areas during your trip as well as enjoy a range of off-slope activities.
Our preferred accommodation is typically 3* to 4* small hotels with their own restaurant for easy and relaxed end of day dining. There is also the option to upgrade to 5* hotels in most locations. If you prefer we can base the entire trip from one location. In this case, the ski options and off-snow activities will then be focused on either the Eastern or Western Highlands.
Each accommodation featured has been chosen for its warmth, comfort, and of course its location close to the slopes. After a day out in the snow, head back to your cosy accommodation where you can kick back in front of a fire with a pint in hand before tucking into some delicious local dishes.
If you would like to extend your trip, either to enjoy more days on the slopes, experience different activities or maybe even a day or two at a Highland spa, then get in touch with us to discus the options.
Breakfasts are included at your accommodation each morning. Packed lunches are not included but can usually be ordered from your accommodation the night before or from local cafe/deli or you may choose to enjoy lunch at the resorts.
Please get in touch for recommendations.
If you would like to extend your trip, either to enjoy more day on the slopes, experience different activities or maybe even a day or to at a Highland Spa then get in touch with the team to discuss the options. Upgraded accommodation is also available.
There is also the option to upgrade to 5* hotels in most locations. If you prefer we can base the entire trip from one location. In this case, the ski options and off-snow activities will then be focused on either the Eastern or Western Highlands.
Enjoy a guided hike lead by a fully qualified hiking guide and tailored to you. Learn the stories of the land and keep an eye out for winter wildlife. If conditions allow you might enjoy an introduction to winter skills using crampons and ice axe. We can arrange the hire of these along with crampon compatible boots.
After a bike fitting, you’ll head out for the day. The ride will be tailored to you and you can choose from gentle forest rides, land-rover trails or technical single tracks. Mountain biking is a great way to explore deep into the landscaped your guide will take you through spectacular scenery on some of our favourite local routes.
Head out today to explore the Highlands. With your Host driving you can sit back an enjoy the scenery. You may want to visit some sights of historical interest or enjoy a tour and tasting of a local distillery. Your Host will discuss the route and will tailor the options to your interests. Whatever you decide you’ll finish the day having got to know the Highlands better.
Connecting Inverness to Scotland’s west coast is the Caledonian Canal. Canoeing a short section of this 19th-century canal on a self-guided voyage is a relaxing way to explore a scenic part of Scotland’s famous waterway. This afternoon you’ll have free time to explore. Maybe choose a local hike or enjoy a special afternoon tea in a castle hotel.
As an avid adventurer, Stevie has life-long experience in Scotland’s outdoors. He’s Co-Owner and Head of Adventure with Wilderness and been with us for over 15 years in a variety of roles, with innovative trip design being both a passion and a speciality. In his spare time Stevie runs the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival, bringing the world’s most inspiring adventure filmmakers and athletes to an audience of over 1,500 each year. His experience of living in the Cairngorms National Park has helped design this exciting walking trip.Ask Stevie a Question
At Your Own Pace – Self Guided Holidays
Our ‘At Your Own Pace’ trips are all suitable for anyone to enjoy, regardless of fitness level. Journey at your own pace, stopping as often as you like to soak up the magnificent scenery of the Scottish Highlands.
You have the flexibility to choose how you spend each day and can choose from the many walking routes described in the information pack. There are also many non-walking activities featured in the pack that are suitable for all fitness levels.
Further information for specific trips can be found in the relevant Trip Dossier. If you are in any doubt at all regarding your suitability for a trip, please contact us and we will be glad to talk about the trip in detail and provide you with a recommendation.