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 slope set on the side of the Pentland Hills on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
The Midlothian Snowsports Centre, once the biggest dry ski slope in Europe, boasts 2 main slopes, 2 nursery slopes, a jump slope and a range of freestyle features. It also has a chair lift.
The brush surface material of the articifial 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.
The Snowsports Centre is open to children of six and over (five year olds can receive private instruction).
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.