When the snow arrives the Cairngorms come alive with skiers. Two of Scotland’s five ski centres – Glenshee and Lecht – are only a 40min drive from Ballater.

Glenshee, which takes its name from the Gaelic ‘Glen of the Fairies’, lies on the A93 (the highest A road in the UK) near Braemar on the road from Blairgowrie and is the largest ski and snowboard area in Scotland. Glenshee covers an area of more than 2,000 acres extending across four mountains and three valleys and offers a choice of 36 runs, including the infamous Tiger, one of the most challenging black runs around and Glas Maol, the longest single run, providing a fantastic 2 kms of skiing. It also has 21 lifts and tows. The centre is often open for longer due to their extensive snow-making facilities. A buzzing cafe serves hot drinks and food, while skis, boots, snowboards, snowblades, helmets and other kit are all available to hire. See their website here.

The Lecht lies on the A939 between Tomintoul and Strathdon and has something for everyone.

Situated in the stunning location in Eastern Cairngorms at 2,090 ft above sea level it is in the heart of Scotland’s largest National Park. This is one of Scotland’s top ski resorts and is accessible from one of the most scenically beautiful roads in Scotland, the A939, between Tomintoul and Strathdon. With on-site snow-making facilities it offers some of the most consistent snow and is ideal for all levels of skiers and snowboarders and is especially good for beginners and intermediates. All equipment can be hired online or at the centre, though it is strongly recommended to book in advance due to a high demand. Clothing can be hired on-site in the Ski Snow Shop. See their website here.