I took the girls skiing today … in England!
The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead is one of the UK’s newest indoor real snow ski slopes, and the closest one to London.
TBH, we really didn’t know what to expect. We’ve been to ski learning centres that have rubber/plastic slopes, which are like trying to ski on a giant toothbrush. The Snow Centre has REAL snow, of the frozen man-made variety. If you squint, you can just about imagine yourself being in the Swiss Alps.
The whole set up fosters this feeling. There’s free hot beverages at the base of the slope, so you can ski up and warm yourself up without taking off your skis. You’ll be glad, as the centre is kept at -2 C during the day (and -6 C at night).Larger than life photographic images of the Alps decorate the walls. After skiing, you can go upstairs to The Lodge for lunch or a snack and relax on the sofas overlooking all the action on the slopes.
Every evening the centre makes snow by pumping water out of 10 snow guns. It takes 6 hours for the snow to set before it can be skied on again.
This was a perfect day out for us. The girls had made it to Level 4 skiing in Lake Tahoe, but that was a few years ago. With a lesson at The Snow Centre, they quickly worked their way through the beginner slope and onto the advanced one (the largest lesson slope in the UK), which gave them lots of confidence. We’re planning to ski again in Tahoe this Spring, so this is a great warm up.
How it works:
- You can ski, board or sledge.
- Pre-book a time to go, so you are assured a space. If you already know how to ski you just get a lift ticket, which includes equipment.
- If you are new to skiing book a lesson (which comes with lift use for the lesson and equipment).
- The only things you must have are your own sock and gloves (though you can purchase on-site).
- If you don’t have snow clothes or waterproofs, you can hire them on-site.
- The girls wore their kit to the centre, but there are changing rooms there you can use
- Bring you shoe size and weight so it’s easy to get your skis and boots (though they have a scale)
- Parents can watch from the upstairs viewing deck (with a drink :D)
- There’s a snow play area for little kids
Watch the video of our day trip:
We had loads of fun and the 10-year-old has made me promise to take her there for her birthday!
IF YOU GO:
The Snow Centre St Albans Hill, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire HP3 9NH +44 0844 770 7227 thesnowcentre.com
We were guests of The Snow Centre. As always, all opinions are my own and that of my family’s.