You'd be forgiven for thinking that with a name like "Midlothian Snowsports Centre" that there'd be some white stuff on the piste at this ski and snowboard facility. However, the centre - still referred to by many local skiers by its old name and locale of Hillend - is a dry ski hill set on the side of the Pentland Hills on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
The Midlothian Snowsports Centre, one of the biggest dry ski slopes in Europe, boasts 2 main slopes, 2 nursery slopes, a jump slope and, since 2020, a 130-metre fun slope with three different types of pitches and various jumps. The facility has a 2-person chair lift (minimum age is four years). Hikers can buy tickets for just the chairlift.
The brush surface material of the artificial slope doesn't really compare to snow at all in its texture or in the way it gives, but new skiers and boarders, and those looking to rediscover their snow legs will find Hillend's mats a good place to work on their technique when there's no snow available.
Skiing, snowboarding, and tubing are all catered for, with lessons available for different ages and skill levels.
The Snowsports Centre is open to children of four and over for skiing and six and over for snowboarding.
The centre itself opens early at 9.30pm and it remains open to 9pm apart from Sundays. Check the centre's web site beforehand as special events can mean it is closed or high winds can close the chairlift.