Xscape to the white slopes
An opportunity for Scotland's snow-starved ski buffs to hit the slopes all year long.
The largest indoor ski slope in Britain has recently opened at Braehead, just outside Glasgow, with a host of state of the art facilities and the opportunity for Scotland's snow-starved ski buffs to hit the slopes all year long.
The huge building is an optimistic and well-realised project featuring not only the UK's biggest indoor snow slope, but also a smart new shopping centre, a 22-lane bowling alley, a cinema, an adventure playground and a climbing centre. It is smart and well put together with an impressive level of detail and design.
The range of things to do should satisfy most visitors, and the gleaming sports-orientated shops will be a welcome distraction for any adrenalin fanatic, as they offer a wide range of gadgets, hardware and equipment.
The slope itself is around 200 metres long; one big straight line, about 30 metres wide and housed in a humungous, freezing warehouse. If you already know how to ski or snowboard, then the slope won't exactly challenge you, but it will present a good opportunity to brush up on your skills before a holiday or serve as just a bit of fun. There's a dedicated lesson slope for beginners and sledging is available if you're so inclined. The Scottish Ski Team will be using the slope for training and rehabilitation, which says a lot about the quality of the facilities.
If you're a beginner, then Xscape represents a great opportunity to get used to snow sports before you hit Scotland's rugged mountains. There are two button tows (never easy for novice boarders) and at the moment the slope seems relatively quiet, so it's a good time to take advantage.
On Friday you can jib the night away as they bring out the rails and kickers, and this is probably where Xscape will gain its credence, since this is what will attract serious skiers and boarders.
The cost is an issue: at £16 for one hour off-peak (£21 peak-time), it is a lot of money. The best value is in the mornings when you can get three hours in the dome for £29. Mondays and Wednesdays are student nights when you can get 3 hours for £20 and Friday nights look like fun, at £35 for four hours, but that's also trick night, which is probably not a great idea for beginners.
By bus, Xscape is half an hour from Glasgow's city centre, or you can go direct from Edinburgh. Alternatively, there's always the river ferry up the Clyde for £4.00. Happy skiing!
Xscape Braehead, Kings Inch Road, Braehead, Renfrew, PA4 8XQ. To find out more about Xscape call the hotline on 0871 200 3222.. To make bookings for the Real Snow Slope call 0871 222 5672.http://Xscape Braehead, Kings Inch Road, Braehead, Renfrew, PA4 8XQ. To find out more about Xscape call the hotline on 0871 200 3222.. To make bookings for the Real Snow Slope call 0871 222 5672.