There are many places where you can go to indulge in winter sports, including Scotland, North America and Europe, although opportunities usually exist closer to home if that’s what you prefer. So what kinds of things could you be doing? Here are five sports you really should try this winter.
Skiing is probably the first thing to spring to mind when you think of winter sports – it’s certainly one of the most popular. You have a choice of types – you can race downhill at speeds of up to 100 miles an hour, or else ski cross-country if you prefer. The latter is more like walking – but on skis – and you can go at your own pace. Either way, you get a great aerobic workout.
Curling is similar in nature to bowls, but it’s played on ice rather than grass. It’s a team sport, and players have to slide stones – large pieces of polished granite with handles attached – over a sheet of ice towards a target. The team with the most stones closest to the target wins. The person who controls the stone is called the curler, and two sweepers busily change the surface of the ice in front of the stone as it travels to help it arrive in the right place. It’s more common to play on a rink, but outdoor curling is also available.
Ice skating is a great way to keep fit and have fun, and opportunities abound. Many cities have outdoor skating rinks available during the festive season, and there are many indoor rinks, either dedicated or in leisure centres. If you fancy being a little more adventurous, there’s a wide range of ice-skating holidays available that cater for people of all levels of ability. You can skate across a frozen lake or travel long distance on natural ice, all while enjoying breathtaking scenery.
If you enjoy sledging when there’s enough snow to warrant scrambling up a hill, you’ll love zooming down dedicated slopes in a controllable toboggan with the wind on your face as you zip along. Opportunities exist worldwide, including trails with twists and turns, and floodlit courses for evening sessions. Great fun!
You’ve probably seen people wearing snowshoes, even if only in films or on television. They look like giant tennis rackets that you strap to the soles of your feet, and they work by spreading your weight more evenly over the surface of the snow, so your foot doesn’t sink in every time you take a step. As well as being an easy sport even for beginners to master, it’s good fun and terrific aerobic exercise, and you can enjoy beautiful scenery as you walk.
Date of Prep: November 2016