As the weather continues to get colder, you may be put off your usual outdoor activities like running or cycling. But don’t worry, there are still loads of ways you can keep active this winter by taking part in some fun winter sports. From snowboarding to curling, we pick out the best winter sports in the UK.
Play Ice Hockey in Sheffield
Put your hand-eye coordination to the test, learn a new skill and make friends when you try out ice hockey!
What is it? A fast, full-contact sport played on an ice rink between two teams of six skaters, who attempt to drive a small rubber disc or puck into the opposing goal.
A popular national sport in the US, ice hockey is gradually growing a following over here too. The Sheffield Steelers is one of the most successful teams in Britain’s Elite Ice Hockey League, so it makes sense that you’d want to try the sport in Sheffield.
iceSheffield boasts two Olympic ice pads and offers ice hockey lessons delivered by experienced coaches. If you fancy playing a winter team sport that involves ice instead of grass, then ice hockey is an exhilarating choice.
Location: Coleridge Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S9 5DA.
Getting there: From Sheffield Station, you can take the X1 bus from Charles Street (Stop CS3) all the way to iceSheffield. Total journey time is around 25 minutes.
Go Tobogganing in Tamworth
Twisting, turning and shooting down a snowy slope - tobogganing is fun whatever age you are.
What is it? If you’re not sure what tobogganing is, you’re really missing out! Sit on a toboggan and zip down a snow-covered slope; we dare you not to scream!
At the Snowdome in Tamworth, tobogganers take the travellator to the top of the 170-metre main slope before racing back down. Negotiate the bend, head down the long straight and don’t forget the brakes as you compete with your family and friends to get to the bottom first. Whether you win or lose, tobogganing is one of the best winter sports in the UK.
Or why not try tubing instead? Here you’ll hurtle down the slope in specifically designed inflatable tubes…hold on tight, this one’s not for the faint hearted!
Location: Snowdome, Leisure Island, Riverdrive, Tamworth B79 7ND.
Getting there: The SnowDome is an easy 12-minute walk from Tamworth Railway Station, or if you’d prefer a taxi, you can grab one from outside Tamworth train station.
Skate around an Ice rink in Plymouth
Whether you glide gracefully or wobble and clutch onto the sides, ice skating is a great winter sport.
What is it? Never given skating a go? Now’s the time. Get your steel-bladed skates on and glide around an ice rink. Don’t worry, no one’s going to make you do tricks just yet!
There are pop-up and permanent ice rinks all over the country but one of the best is Plymouth’s permanent ice-skating rink which features a snow machine and ice disco!
There are a variety of sessions types on offer from the tots' sessions to a figure skating club and group or private lessons. Plus of course, general public skate times. The Ice Disco isn’t to be missed - it includes DJs, lasers and disco lights! Whatever level you are, whatever mood you’re in, you’ll find a skate session to suit you.
For some festive skating this Christmas, read our blog post on the best Christmas ice rinks in the UK.
Location: Plymouth Pavilions Ice Rink, Millbay Road, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 3LF, England
Getting there: From Plymouth train station, you can walk to the ice rink in under 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can jump on a bus from the station and arrive at the rink in around 10 -15.
Sweep up at Curling in Edinburgh
If getting your skates on doesn’t appeal to you, why not try your hand at curling?
What is it? Lots of people have only seen this one on the winter Olympics, but it’s a sport you can play too! At curling you’ll use brooms to sweep the surface of the ice to get a sliding stone to reach a target area of the rink.
Often described as ‘bowls on ice’, this skilful team sport is both challenging and fun. Any age or ability can try curling, so whether you’re 8 or 80, there’s no excuse.
The ice in most arenas is too sticky for the smooth glide required in curling, so the sport requires a dedicated rink. Murrayfield Curling Ltd, home to Edinburgh Curling Club, is a seven sheet curling facility located in the heart of the city which offers Curling lessons.
Try Curling sessions provide a great taster to the sport with an introduction to the basics and information on how the game is played. You’ll soon see that curling is one of the best winter sports in the UK.
Location: Murrayfield Curling Rink, 13A Riversdale Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 5XN
Getting there: If you take the train to Haymarket Station (one stop from Edinburgh Waverley), you can walk to Edinburgh Curling Club in 20 minutes. Alternatively, there are several buses that run from the station to Murrayfield Road, which is a 5-minute walk to the curling club.
Enjoy Skiing & Snowboarding in Glasgow
Many people travel abroad to go skiing or snowboarding, but you can easily partake in both winter sports without leaving the UK.
What is it? Skiing and snowboarding basically involve sliding down a snow-covered hill with boards attached to your feet. See how fast you can get to the bottom or try to perfect your parallel turn!
Whether you’ve been skiing since you were a youngster or want to try it for the first time, there’s no better place to practice than the Snow Factor in Glasgow.
There are several indoor snow slopes across the UK, but Glasgow boasts the longest indoor slope with real snow! The main slope is 168m long and is served by 4 ski lifts. There is also a dedicated teaching and instruction slope for beginners and those wanting to build confidence before progressing to the main slope.
And that’s not all, Snow Factor also houses an ice climbing wall, a Bavarian Restaurant & Baltic Ice Bar, sledging sessions and an ice slide. To find out more, check out our Snow Factor blog post and discover the health benefits of snow sports.
Photo Credit: Ian Georgeson Photography