With its fantastic cities and jaw-dropping scenery, Scotland’s a great pick for your winter getaway – and it’s your best chance of a snowy break in the UK, so make sure you pack the woolies. We’ve picked out some of our favourite things to do – and they’re all within easy reach of a warm and cosy IHG welcome.
Snowsports in the Cairngorms
The Cairngorms is the highest of Scotland’s ski areas, so it’s the place to be if you’re planning to get out on the piste. There are nursery slopes for those just starting out and a snow park if you’re perfecting your tricks, plus some great back country skiing and boarding. Stay in Aberdeen for a combined city and snow break. Crowne Plaza Aberdeen Airport
The long, dark winter nights make this the perfect time to head north to see nature’s astounding theatrical performance, the Northern Lights. Base yourself in Inverness and you’re in prime Northern Lights territory. The Moray Coast, Ullapool, the Isle of Skye – they’re all within a spectacular drive, so even if the Northern Lights don’t put in an appearance on this visit, the scenery will still keep your camera busy. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Inverness-Lecanto.
Whisky tasting tour
The warming glow of a single malt is Scotland in a glass – and it’s particularly welcome in the depths of a celtic winter. Taking a distillery tour is a great way to understand more about this national treasure and taste some malts yourself. There are organised tours of the best distilleries that will take you everywhere from the Lowlands to the Highlands and Islands, so whether you’re staying in Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness, you’ll be able to find one to suit. Visit Scotland • Edinburgh hotels
Ice skating in Edinburgh
The outdoor ice rink in St Andrews Square is a must-visit when you’re in Edinburgh over the Christmas and New Year period. Open from the 18th November to 7th January, it circles the Melville Monument. With historic Edinburgh as a backdrop, it’s got to be one of the most spectacular ice experiences out there. Stay at the Crowne Plaza –Royal Terrace and and you can thaw out in style. Crowne Plaza Edinburgh – Royal Terrace
Bargain hunting in Glasgow
At any time of the year, Glasgow’s ‘style mile’ is a fantastic place to shop. This incredible concentration of stores – from independent boutiques to top designer names – rivals London and it really comes into its own for the New Year sales. The central Hotel Indigo is a suitably stylish place to stay and it’s not too far to haul your bags at the end of your spree. Hotel Indigo Glasgow