Best Indoor and Outdoor Snow Centres In the UK | All You Need To Know For Snowboarding On The UK’s Artificial Slopes

All you need to know for getting your snowboard fix in the UK this year

Above: Gaz Andrews at Hemel Hempstead Snow Centre (PC: Tristan Kennedy)

Lockdown is finally over! Now that Boris has let us roam free outside the confines of our home, many of us will be flocking to our nearest dry slope or indoor snow centre to test our long dormant snowboard skills. And look, we get it, the UK’s artificial snow centres don’t exactly hold the same levels of prestige as the peaks of Chamonix, Zermatt, and Whistler (or, Scotland’s very own mountain resorts, for that matter), but they did provide accessible and affordable options to get back on our boards after a painfully long winter away from the snow. Not to mention a bunch of freestyle facilities and coaching and lesson options, too.

“We’ve compiled all the best slopes that the UK has to offer so you can spend less time researching and more time limbering up for that long-awaited lap on the drag lift…”

But lockdown has been a confusing time for us all, questioning what counts as ‘essential travel’, visiting friends in the front garden, but not in the park, even the very definition of a scotch egg. So let us lay out the facts on the UK’s indoor and outdoor slopes below. Which of these slopes are open? Which one is the closest to me? Which one is the best for a beginner, or an expert? We’ve compiled all the best slopes that the UK has to offer so you can spend less time researching and more time limbering up for that long-awaited lap on the drag lift…

The Best Indoor Slopes

Chill Factorᵉ (Manchester)

Price: Hourly Lift Passes from £27, Weekly Lift Passes are £50

Slope: Main is 180m long x 40m wide (the UK’s longest indoor slope)

Opening times: Weekdays are 1pm – 9pm, Weekends are 8am – 6pm

Located just a quick 15-20 minute drive from Manchester city centre, Chill Factorᵉ has great travel links for anyone living close to the city. On top of that, Chill Factorᵉ offers a wealth of different activities to both novices and more advanced riders. The two separate slopes allow beginners to pick up the sport (with 50 minute lessons starting from £59) and everyone else to not worry about flying straight into a learner. On certain days, a quarter of the main has park features installed for anyone wanting to get their freestyle legs back. Chill Factorᵉ is also home to Disability Snowsport UK, a charity dedicated to providing adaptive snowsport opportunities to individuals with any kind of disability. Chill Factorᵉ’s inclusive environment and varied slopes make it a premium choice for any snowboarding Northerners.

More info at:


SnowDome Tamworth

Price: Hourly Lift Passes from £27, All Day Lift Passes from £40

Slope: Main is 170m long x 30m wide

Opening times: 9am – 10pm everyday

With its focus on teaching snowboarders of all ages and abilities, SnowDome Tamworth is the perfect place to pick up the sport or sharpen your skills. Located about a half an hour’s drive from Birmingham, SnowDome Tamworth is easy to get to from anywhere in the midlands. For seasoned park rats, the slope hosts a freestyle session every Tuesday, with special monthly Tamlands Laboratory nights featuring more advanced and experimental features to get creative with with. Within the centre there is a range of places to eat and drink as well as Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports and The Snowboard Asylum, a specialist two-floor shop filled with skiing, snowboarding and outdoor sports equipment.

More info at:

The Snow Centre Hemel Hempstead

Price: Hourly Lift Passes from £29 on weekdays, £39 on weekends

Slope: 160m long x 30m wide

Opening times: Varies from day to day, check here for details

The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead is the closest indoor slope to London, making it a great destination for anyone living in the Capital or in the south of England. With the journey from Euston being only a half hour train followed by a quick five minute taxi ride, you can be on the slope within an hour of leaving the London. It’s a great spot for learners to dip their toes in the sport as The Snow Centre features the largest indoor lesson slope in the country and a wealth of different lesson types, depending on your needs and requirements. Thursday evenings give way to freestyle sessions, with coaches on the slopes to give riders free hints and tips when attempting to tighten up some tricks or learn some new ones.

More info at:


SnoZone Yorkshire

Price: Hourly Lift Passes from £21.99

Slope: Main slope is 150m long

Opening times: Monday-Thursday 12pm-8pm, Friday 12pm-9pm, Saturday-Sunday 8am-5pm

Great for any snowboarding northerners, Snozone Yorkshire is located just outside of Leeds and offers a variety of different snowboarding activities for those in the area. The indoor snow centre has reasonably priced lift passes that can really help you get the most out of your money. Hourly passes start from £21.99, but you can get a three hour pass for just £4 more! SnoZone also has freestyle sessions on Friday, and offers NHS workers a free two hour lift pass every week – a great initiative in these challenging times.

More info at:

Snow Factor Braehead

Price: Two Hour Lift Passes from £17.50

Slope: 168m long

Opening times: Currently Closed

Snow Factor is Scotland’s only year-round indoor ski and snowboard centre with real snow. Although they’re yet to confirm their re-opening date (due to different lockdown restrictions in Scotland), towards the end of April / beginning of May is looking like the soonest possible date. Located just outside of Glasgow, Snow Factor is easy to get to for anyone who lives in western or central part of the country. The centre offers very reasonable prices when it comes to lessons, lift passes and tickets to freestyle sessions that happen twice a week, making Snow Factor a great place for all snowboarders in the area. Snow Factor also contains one of the largest indoor urban indoor ice climbing walls in the world, a great unique feature not many of the other indoor centres have. So, when the snow has long since melted from the Scottish resorts, Snow Factor remains a fantastic year round option.

More info at:


SnoZone Milton Keynes

Price: Hourly Lift Passes from £21.99

Slope: 170m long

Opening times: Monday-Thursday 12pm-8pm, Friday 12pm-9pm, Saturday-Sunday 8am-5pm

SnoZone’s flagship location, the Milton Keynes centre shares many similarities with its sister slope in Yorkshire, except it has a slightly longer slope at 170m long. As well as these two indoor snow centres, SnoZone also has a Basingstoke centre focused completely on teaching people to ski and snowboard. Instead of a typical snow slope, the Basingstoke location features a smaller revolving slope allowing patrons to learn in a more personal and relaxed environment. As well as these three UK locations, this year SnoZone acquired a new artificial slope in Madrid. For those of you lucky enough to be in sunny Spain, SnoZone now offers the opportunity to cool down and tear up their 250 metre long slope!

More info at:

The Best Outdoor Slopes

Cardiff Ski and Snowboard Centre

Price: Daily Lift Passes are £15

Slope: 100m long dry slope

Opening times: Closed on Mondays, Tuesday-Friday 12pm-8:30pm, Saturday-Sunday 10am-5:30pm

One of the first dry slopes to open in Great Britain, Cardiff Ski and Snowboard Centre is a great option for those in the city who want to get on an outdoor slope. It’s only ten minutes from the city and offers reasonable prices for recreational use; a perfect fit for any snowboarders living in Cardiff or the surrounding area. They offer both private and group lessons too, and also have options for freestyle and tubing sessions for anyone craving something a little different.

More info at:


Gloucester Ski & Snowboard Centre

Price: Two Hour Lift Pass from £20

Slope: 255m long dry slope

Opening times: Varies from day to day, check here for details

The Gloucester Ski & Snowboard Centre is packed to the brim with different ski and snowboard facilities. Alongside the sizable 255m long main slope, the Centre also features a freestyle slope wit, made from SnowFlex, with a park that contains a stash of features and an airbag on certain nights. The features in the park include two quarter pipes, three boxes, two gas pipe rails, one rainbow rail, kickers and more. There is also a 40m long nursery slope for those new to snowsports as well as a slope dedicated to tubing. If you’ve had your ass handed to you on the slopes, hand someone else theirs with a laser tag session afterwards! Gloucester Ski & Snowboard Centre really does have everything.

More info at:

Bearsden Ski & Board Club

Marc McClement, Bearsden (PC: Duthie)

Price: Two Hour Lift Passes from £20

Slope: Over 100m long dry slope

Opening times: Currently closed

Known for its illustrious history, Bearsden has produced some of the best British snowsports talents in the last 50 years. Its facilities, which include both a Dendix main slope and a freestyle snowflex slope with multiple features, are a great place to test out your skills and better your craft. The club has an active social scene with annual membership costing only £73. For those with a competitive streak looking to ride with a community of local riders, Bearsden’s got you covered.

More info at:


Adventure Aberdeen Snowsports

(Credit: Adventure Aberdeen Snwosports)

Price: £16 per session

Slope: 300m (total) dry slope

Opening times: 26th April: Weekdays 2pm – 10pm / Weekends 9am – 5pm

With its impressive selection of five different slopes to choose from, Adventure Aberdeen Snowsports offers a level of variety that can’t be rivalled anywhere else in the UK. Its slopes vary from your typical dry slope, to teaching areas, a freestyle park, and the aptly named Tubey McTubeface. The centre offers group and private lessons, that aim to both teach beginners and improve the finesse of freestyle riders. The centre also offers an equipment maintenance service to get your kit ready for the season ahead.

More info at:

Midlothian Snowsports Centre (Hillend)

Price: Check here

Slope: 400m long dry slope (the UK’s longest)

Opening times: Re-opening on 26th April

Midlothian Snowsports Centre, located just outside of Edinburgh, is known for its 400m long dry slope, the longest one in Britain. As well as the main run, the centre also features multiple nursery slopes and a freestyle area for more experienced riders. There are also plans in place to expand the centre and improve the current facilities. With an already thriving hub of riders, the only way is up for the Hillend slope and centre which we can’t wait to see re-open next week!

More info at:

Snowtrax Alpine Activity Centre (Christchurch)


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Price: Two Hour Lift Passes from £16.50

Slope: 110m long dry slope

Opening times: Varies from day to day, check here for details

Snowtrax in Dorset is a great day out for the whole family. The Centre offers snowboard taster sessions priced at just £10. For an extra £6, you can get a meal afterwards too. There is also a play park for kids to run around in, as well as tubing opportunities for the little ones. For those who are a little more seasoned in the sport, reasonably-priced lift passes make Snowtrax an attractive prospect. Friday and Saturday nights see the slope getting transformed into a freestyle park, the perfect time for weekend warriors to give it a go. But what sets Snowtrax apart is its new state-of-the-art synthetic surface called Proslope which offers a far smoother ride than most other dry slopes around the country. A great choice for families and individuals, alike.

More info at:


Plymouth Snowsports Centre


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Price: 90 Minute Lift Passes from £19

Slope: 200m long dry slope

Opening times: Varies from day to day, check here for details

Located just outside Plymouth, this dry slope is one of the longest in the south-west of England. It offers a variety of different lesson types in order to get novices on the slopes or get snowboarders acclimatised to bombing down a dry slope. The Plymouth Snowsports Centre also offers a variety of different deals on lessons and open practise sessions to get you the best bang for your buck. The Centre is also part of the wider John Nike Leisuresport group, which has other locations at Chatham, Llandudno, and Swadlincote.

More info at:

Stoke Ski Centre

Photo Credit: Callum Clowes

Price: Two Hour Lift Passes from £16

Slope: 200m long dry slope

Opening times: Varies from day to day, check here for details

With its engaging and active freestyle scene, Stoke Ski Centre is a great place to hone your grabs and grinds before the winter season comes around. At the moment, the all-day Sunday freestyle sessions are limited in terms of the features on the slope. However, this is only due to a new freestyle slope being constructed at the centre which we hope will be in operation soon. The new slope will feature waves, moguls, a new kicker and a quarter pipe, making Stoke a really attractive option for those who yearn for the park.

More info at:

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