How to

8 June 2017

Where to go for UK Winter Sports in the Summer

The UK isn’t known for its excellence in winter sports – just look at our medal tallies in the Olympics – but there is still interest from people in the country looking to try their hand at what’s on offer.

It can be hard to satisfy this need in the summer when winter feels like a distant memory and competitive seasons have reached an end, but there are still plenty of facilities across the country providing sessions in a great selection of sports. From indoor snow resorts to ice rinks, there are opportunities to learn the basics or potentially train up and become part of a team.

You might end up finding something you’re extremely passionate about, and it’s always a great way to cool off on a hot summer day.

Skiing & Snowboarding

For a lot of people, skiing and snowboarding are the main things that come to mind when they think of winter sports. Unfortunately for the UK, there aren’t many opportunities to try them out on real mountain ranges.

That’s where places like Chill Factore in Manchester and Snow Factor in Glasgow come in handy.

These indoor sports facilities – which are open all year round – provide a range of lessons for people of all ages and skill levels, with the chance to have a taster session if you’re not certain about committing to the slopes. You can learn in a group or one-to-one – whichever suits you best – and all equipment is available at the location.

Although these centres specialise in skiing and snowboarding, there are other activities like snow climbing and airboarding if you’re looking for a different way to spend your time in the snow.

Ice Skating

Ice skating is probably one of the most accessible winter sports in the UK due to the amount of rinks that pop up during winter. Unfortunately, that’s not hugely beneficial to people during the summer, but there are still a great selection of fixed establishments offering ice skating services across the country, from Planet Ice in Basingstoke to Linx Ice Arena in Aberdeen. A visit to Tamworth’s SnowDome will give you the opportunity to try out the UK’s only ice track, with a variety of skating options, from beginner lessons to family evenings and teenage club nights.

Ice Hockey

One of the more brutal winter sports, Ice Hockey gets a lot of attention over in the States and has now started to build some traction in the UK too.  The full-contact sport might seem a little daunting, but in reality it’s a lot less aggressive that it looks on the TV.

Out of season, it can be harder to find somewhere to participate in the sport, but places like Grimsby leisure centre sometimes offer free beginners sessions for kids and teens. Ice Hockey is great for your body by building up strength, agility, speed and precision, and it’s worth looking into if you’re interested in taking up a team sport. There are plenty of clubs across the country looking to take in new players when the season starts again at the start of autumn.

Unfortunately, the difficulty in finding somewhere to play over summer is a common problem in other sports. Fenton’s Rink – England’s only curling facility – isn’t available between May and September, nor are any of the 20+ rinks in, apart from for the occasional summer camp.

At least there’s still plenty to try out in their absence.

James Darvill

James is a passionate scriptwriter and reluctant poet with a talent for the dystopian. When he’s not staying up late watching the Simpsons he’s beating the world at Mario Kart, always with a glass of wine in hand.