Let it snow
It’s the start of the winter sports season and there are so many options throughout the city and shire if you feel like getting a healthy outdoor glow.
Head up to the Cairngorms where you’ll find both the Lecht and Glenshee which offer ski pistes and snowboard runs for all abilities. Glenshee, Scotland’s biggest ski resort, offers disabled facilities and even makes its own snow in the event that the weather is milder than usual.
It’s worth getting a little practice in first so you are not overtaken by fearless four year olds when you hit the slopes. Aberdeen Snow Sports at Garthdee offer group or individual lessons in both skiing and snowboarding, book an open session. Alford’s Ski Centre offers the same facilities on its dry slopes. You can also book sessions with an instructor and there are year-long learn to ski packages available for kids.
If cross-country skiing is more your style and you have super-strong thigh muscles, then Huntly’s Nordic roller-skiing centre is worth a visit. It’s Britain’s only purpose-built
all-weather facility for cross-country skiing and roller skiing, providing tuition at all levels from novice up to recreational skiers. It’s also a great place to pick out new or second-hand skis, boots and bindings.
Sledging is great fun and inexpensive compared to many snow sports. You can hurtle down designated areas at Glenshee, or simply head for your nearest park with a decent unwooded hill. Westburn or Duthie Park, Broad Hill at the beach and Balnagask Golf Course in Torry are all popular. Tubing is the dry-slope equivalent of sledding and available at Alford, Huntly and Garthdee, where they even have a travellator to get you back to the top of the hill.
The Lynx Arena at the beach offers the chance to go ice skating or learn to play ice-hockey. If something gentler appeals, why not give curling ago? You’ll find Curl Aberdeen on Eday Drive, just off the Lang Stracht. The club holds regular sessions where anyone eight or over can try the game for just £4, with all the equipment and instruction included.
If high speed exhilaration is more your style, Huskyhaven, near Stonehaven, offer dog sledding with their teams of Siberian Huskies. There are three trail lengths to choose from and seated carts are available for those who can’t handle their own team.
Of course the best thing about winter sports is the chance to head indoors to somewhere with a roaring logo fire and mugs of hot chocolate complete with marshmallows and a large piece of cake. After all, you’ve worked up an appetite!