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UK shred at its best: powder in Nevis Range, Scotland. Photo: Steven McKenna

OK, so they might not have the best powder, 200 lifts and a million kilometres of pistes to track – but for a quick weekend snow fix, you can reach all of these resorts with just three hours travelling time from the UK (well, roughly...). As long as you live relatively near an airport, there’s no excuse to not hop on a plane on a Friday and be back at your desk come Monday morning – all without taking off any precious holiday time. That can be saved for your Whistler pilgrimage later in the year.

[part title="Glencoe, Scotland"]

Nothing better than shredding on home powder. Photo: Visit Glencoe.

Proudly entitled ‘the original and best’, Glencoe is Scotland’s oldest resort at the grand old age of 56. With slightly quieter pistes than other Scottish resorts and close proximity to Glasgow, Glencoe is quickly becoming a favourite with British riders looking for a local shred. Hit the country’s steepest black, Fly Paper, for a thigh-burning 800m descent down to the lift.

Nearest airport: Glasgow

Train: Fort William (25 min taxi to Glencoe)

Transfer time: 3 hours by car from Glasgow

Stay: Glencoe Independent Hostel from £13 per night or Clachaig Inn from £48 per night

Lift pass: £60 for weekend

[part title="Les 7 Laux, France"]

Just a matter of hours from your front door. Photo: Alexandre Lombard.

Located between Grenoble and Chambéry, it’s likely you’ll pass this resort on the way to the airport. We wouldn’t recommend spending a whole week’s holiday here but for two days riding, there’s a decent area and a great terrain park. It’s mostly frequented by French locals, so chances are there won’t be a tourist in sight.

Nearest airport: Grenoble/Chambéry

Train: Grenoble

Transfer time: 45 to 50 mins

Stay: Holiday Inn Express Grenoble-Bernin from €73 per night

Lift pass: From €56 for weekend

[part title="Innsbruck, Austria"]

Vertiginous drops from the Nordpark. Photo: Nordkette.

Staying in Innsbruck is an ideal way to pack in a weekend of riding – without wasting time getting to Mayrhofen or Saalbach. There’s nine small resorts with a free bus servicing connecting them to the city’s hotels. Nordpark offers some awesome off-piste, particularly on a powder day, while Fulpmes in the Schlick 2000 area is good for some mellow cruising and park time.

Nearest airport: Innsbruck

Train: Innsbruck

Transfer time: 10 to 30 minutes

Stay: Doug’s Mountain Getaway from €28 for two nights or Hotel Alpinpark from €75 per night

Lift pass: From €52 for weekend

[part title="Nevis Range, Scotland"]

Nevis Range - taking off over Lochaber - credit Steven McKenna

The deceptively titled Nevis Range doesn’t actually sit on Britain’s highest peak – but it is the highest resort found on these shores. Snow conditions can be a little dodgy (we do live in the UK after all…) but when the conditions are right, shedloads of snow is blown into the off-piste Back Corries. Definitely worth a last-minute trip when powder’s on the way.

Nearest airport: Glasgow

Train: Fort William

Transfer time: 3 hours 45 mins by train from Glasgow

Stay: Fort William Backpackers from £17 per night or Torlundy House from £30 per night

Lift pass: £52 for weekend

[part title="Monts-Jura, Switzerland"]

Geneva, land of banks, cuckoo clocks and a gem of a local resort known as Monts-Jura. Often overlooked by foreigners, the resort is made up of the Mijoux and Lélex-Crozet villages with 50km of mixed pistes, all under an hour from Geneva airport. Plus it’s slightly cheaper than the nearby Portes du Soleil resorts.

Nearest airport: Geneva

Train: Geneva

Transfer time: 50 minutes

Stay: Hotel Le Soleil, Mijoux from €60 or Relay Crozati, Crozet from €59

Lift pass: €48.50 for weekend

[part title="Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany"]

If you’re looking for a budget weekend, Garmisch may not be for you. It’s definitely on the pricier end of the spectrum. However, it’s an all-year resort with a decent range of pistes and freeriding spots. It’s made up of three areas: Classic, Zugspitz and Wank (no joke). Classic should probably be avoided unless you’re a fan of skating along the flat. Zugspitz is the most reliable for snow plus home to the resort’s terrain park. Head over to Wank for some decent freeriding and nice little tree runs.

Nearest airport: Munich

Train: Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Transfer time: 1 hour 30 mins

Stay: Haus der Athleten Hostel from €22 per night or Hotel Schöne Aussicht Garni from €60 per night

Lift pass: €74 for weekend (Wank has its own lift pass, €19.50 per day)

[part title="Les Deux Alpes, France"]

Photo: Les Deux Alpes

Parked high on a glacier at 3200m, Les Deux Alpes is the one of the best places to go for early season shred. Just over an hour from Grenoble, there’s something for everyone from your pow-chasing mates to your 70-year-old granny. Cruisey piste runs, powder fields, a decent park and a banging party scene - what more could you ask for?

Nearest airport: Grenoble

Train: Grenoble

Transfer time: 1 hour 15 mins

Stay: Hotel Serre Palas from €20 per night or La Belle Etoile from €70 per night

Lift pass: €86.40 for weekend

[part title="Engelberg, Switzerland"]

Photo: Engelberg Titlis.

With a mixture of laid-back vibes and easily accessible off-piste, Engelberg is pretty much a no-brainer when it comes to a Swiss weekend break. Just one hour and fifteen minutes from Zurich airport means you can avoid the mind-numbingly long transfers blighting other resorts in the country. It’s at relatively high altitude with a whopping 1300m top to bottom run and 200 acres of pisted terrain, plus off-piste lines a plenty – definitely enough to keep you occupied.

Nearest airport: Zurich

Train: Engelberg

Transfer time: 1 hour 15 mins

Stay: Hotel Crystal, Engelberg from 108 CHF per night

Lift pass: 75 CHF for weekend

[part title="Bláfjöll, Iceland"]

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Iceland’s a strange place. A quarter of the population believe in elves and beer was banned until 1989 - but with day’s lift pass at Reykjavik’s local resort Bláfjöll for roughly £15, they’ve definitely got something right. Just half an hour from the capital, Bláfjöll has 19 pistes, 11 lifts and night riding under the Northern Lights (if you’re lucky). Head back to Reykjavik at the end of the day for an inevitably raucous night out with the Icelandics.

Nearest airport: Reykjavik

Train: Reykjavik

Transfer time: 1 hour

Stay: Hotel Bjork from €83 or Kex Hostel 4,600 ISK for weekend

Lift pass: 6,000 ISK for weekend

[part title="St Michael im Lungau, Austria"]

Photo: Lungau.at.

If you’re looking for a traditional snow-sure resort just an hour from Salzburg airport, St Michael im Lungau is the place to go. Located at the bottom of the Katschberg-Aineck area, you can spend the weekend riding the 70km pistes, slashing the half-pipe at Aineck and finish the day with a cold glass of Stiegl. If a fresh dump is on its way, you can almost guarantee there will be fresh tracks for days after.

Nearest airport: Salzburg

Train: Spittal/Drau Millstättersee, Radstadt, Bischofshofen

Transfer time: 1 hour

Stay: Hotel Sonnalm from €83.50 per night

Lift pass: €76 for weekend