When the snow falls in Scotland, the first thing anyone does is look to the mountains. Is there enough for snowsports? Luckily, if you base yourself in Grantown-on-Spey, you’re staying within easy reach of two of the north’s best resorts.
In one direction is Cairngorm Mountain, offering snowsports on some of the country’s highest peaks. And in the other, The Lecht – a smaller but no less exciting prospect for skiing. Winter activities are now available at Cairngorm Mountain, including snowsports, where there is enough snow. Fortunately, the resort has some snow-making equipment, which they plan to use to on the lower slopes to provide some snowsports.
Cairngorm Mountain has also introduced an online booking service for equipment and ski passes, cutting the time spent queueing and allowing you to spend more time on the slopes! With pistes offering runs from green to black, there’s something for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities.
The Lecht might be Scotland’s smallest ski area but its situation on one of the UK’s highest roads makes it an excellent choice for snowsports. The terrain is particularly suited to beginners but there are a selection of harder runs for those with more experience.
If you’re planning to go to either resort, keep a check on their websites before you set off. Scottish weather is so changeable and high winds and blizzards can bring a swift halt to snowsports, particularly when the roads need cleared.
Get your skis on!
But when you’re staying in our wonderful Strathspey capital, you don’t need to get in the car to find the perfect winter adventure.
At the first sign of snowflakes, everyone in town rushes to hunt out their sledges and find the nearest slope. And we’re going to share the location of a prime spot close to the town centre!
Grantown Golf Course allows sledging on one of their fairways, close to the car park. It’s always busy with the shouts and shrieks of excited children (and adults). There’s nothing like sliding down the slope at top speed before ending up in a big snowy heap.
And on a clear day, there’s some amazing views of the Cairngorms and Cromdale Hills from the top.
But if speed’s not your thing, perhaps skiing round the woods would be more to your liking? Strap on a pair of cross-country skis and enjoy a proper workout around some of the local woodland trails. Many are perfect for this activity.
Or you could just go for a stroll through the trees. Snow makes our forests look magical and it’s always fun to dodge the branches that are laid low by the weight of the white stuff. And, of course, there’s lots of hiding places when the family snowball fight breaks out!
Find a cosy cafe
After all that cold stuff, you’ll definitely be ready for a winter warmer. We would recommend heading to one of Grantown’s wonderful cafes, where you can sample tasty coffee or hot chocolate and a sugary treat to get you ready for your next adventure. The High St Merchants has a cosy spot beside the fire for you to sit and enjoy their muffins or their speciality, the Magic Slice.
There are also many indoor activities available throughout the winter. One business making a welcome return to the High Street is Smarty Art. With new owners and a bright new look, it’s the same fun concept: pick some pretty ceramics and paint them in beautiful bright colours for a unique souvenir of your visit. There are allsorts of items to choose – from animals to plates, from vases to cars.
Gift vouchers are also available, making a great gift for the crafty person in your life.
And remember, the Scottish winter doesn’t just stop at February. In Grantown, we can see snow in March, even April … so make sure you check the forecast before you visit.