Unfortunately the UK has only a very limited supply of real ski resorts for budding snowboarders to make use of with most opting to make the short trip to mainland Europe. Considering this is down to the UK’s landscape and climate it is not going to change anytime soon so snow starved boarders have to find alternative venues in the UK with which to scratch that snowboarding itch. Over the last decade business has realised that the UK landscape and climate doesn’t offer sufficient opportunity for snowboarders and have filled this gap in the market with self-contained under cover slopes complete with real snow. Although obviously not on the scale of a natural ski resort these indoor snow venues do at least let snowboarders make use of their kit more than just on the annual trip to France or Switzerland enabling them to maintain and develop their skills ready for that long-awaited trip abroad. They also allow people interested in taking up snowboarding to give it a go in a safe controlled environment that’s not too far away from home and allows them to hire all necessary equipment. This article gives you the low down on three of the indoor snow venues currently operating in the UK so you can find the your nearest slope and give snowboarding a go.
Based in Tamworth, West Midlands the Tamworth Snowdome is perfectly located to be easily reached from much of central England. Since opening in 1994 the SnowDome has become a leading choice for both skiers and snowboarders due to its 170 metre main slope that provides real snow 12 months of the year. Tamworth SnowDome is also ideal for beginners as it offers two teaching slopes of 30 and 25 metres in conjunction with a range of snowboarding lessons run by qualified instructors. As a user you are able to use your own snowboard and boots but SnowDome are provided free of charge if required including protective headwear for people who intend to use the range of ramps or rails. In addition to the slopes, SnowDome also offers a fully equipped fitness suite including a 25 metre swimming pool, spa and gym.
At a whopping 180 metres Chill Factor has the longest indoor real snow slope in the UK. Based just off the M60 in Manchester and next door to the Trafford Centre Shopping Mall, Chill Factor is an easily accessible option from much of the North West. The crowning glory of Chill Factor is that 180 metre by 40 metre main slope that towers up to a height of 40 metres. It is serviced by two ski lifts which are suspended from the roof so as not to take up any space on the slope. In addition to the main slope is a 40m beginner slope, a 40m Tubing Slope and a 60m Luge which is the only one of its kind in the UK. So Chill Factor more than adequately fulfils all your snowboarding needs but it doesn’t stop there with a range of other activities to keep you entertained including a climbing wall, assorted cafes, restaurants and clothing shops.
Based in Hemel Hempstead The Snow Centre is the newest real snow centre in the UK and the closest to the London conurbation. The main slope which is 160 metres in length and set at an angle of 15 degrees is serviced by two POMA button lifts to get you to the top. For the beginner The Snow Centre has a 100 metre training slope, the longest in the UK, complete with two rope tows to ferry you up. The Snow Centre offers both private and group lessons suitable for adults and kids of all abilities with all necessary equipment included in the price. For those of you who just want to enjoy the snow The Snow Centre have a bunch of other activities to take part in including Rubber Ringo and Zipfly Sledges.
So as you can see there are options available in the UK for the frustrated snowboarder. Although they may not give you the same buzz as riding down the side of a mountain, at the very least they give you the opportunity to practise and maintain your skills and enjoy some real snow. Combine this with the host of other facilities and amenities, indoor real snow slopes are a great day out for both snowboarders and non-riders.