Glenshee Ski Centre Cairnwell, Braemar, Aberdeenshire AB35 5XU

t: (013397) 41320
f: (013397) 41665
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GPS Coordinates:
Longitude: -3.414242
Latitude: 56.886312   

Resort URLs:


Getting there

The Glenshee ski area is located at the top of the Cairnwell pass on the A93 between The Spittal Of Glenshee to the south and Braemar to the north. In heavy snowfall, the road from the south is usually the first to get closed. If you are heading up on Friday evening when the road is clear park up at the top of the pass rather than the Spittal or Braemar since you may find the snow gates closed the following morning until the plough has been through! Snow chains/winter tyres - or following someone else's tracks are often useful in getting up the hill from the south!


Aire/Campsite details

Jan 2015 - Update by Andy Gray. The site now has 12 hook ups for Motorhomes in the car park adjacent to the cafe. The price is £5 for 24 hours and you pay in either the ticket office or the cafe.

There's no waste and generally not much sun except late season. For water, ask staff nicely, and have a container handy, and they'll fill it. There are toilets, and these are now open all night. They are a bit grotty - for better toilets, head up to the Butcharts cafe instead.

The car park at Glenshee on the east side of the road is massive. Park right outside the ticket office facing it. Space here for 10+ vans (more than I have ever seen there). Small ramps are handy. If you want to avoid being hassled to move in the morning after arriving when its quiet then park either right at the front of the car park facing the generator shed (you'll then be pointing north into the prevailing wind). Cars will start arriving from about 7:30-8:00AM, and if you are not parked tidily, you'll be asked to move! As an alternative, park at the other end of the car park several hundred metres to the south, or park on the west side of the road either right outside the cafe nearest the A93, or to the side of the cafe near the dink-dink poma. At the weekend, if the snow is good, then the place will be mobbed! Park considerately as the car park will get very very busy.

We've had several weekends at Glenshee now, and never had any hassle, the lowest temperature we encountered were Jan 2009 when the temperature dropped to -10C. It should be noted though that Braemar holds the record for the lowest temperature ever recorded in the UK at -27C, and it hit -17C in Aviemore in Jan 2009. A dose of Scottish skiing could be just the ticket for testing out your van prior to a trip to a resort on mainland Europe! We have a panel van conversion which coped with -10C.

Food & Drink

There's the cafe at the car park, a cafe at the top of Butcharts Access, and a further cafe at Meal Odhar (although this is rarely open). Nearest shops, including a spar, and half decent outdoors shop may be found in Braemar. If you are approaching from the south through Blairgowie then there is a 24hr Tesco (turn right at the lights after going through the town, and then directly left again). Bridge of Cally, Spittal of Glenshee & Braemar are all good locations for a feed - the Chinese in Blairgowie is not bad either during the trip home. Mobile Phones Vodafone and T-Mobile get reasonable 2G signals, I don't know about the rest. There's a payphone at the ski centre.



Ski Area

Info Glenshee, with its 20 lifts and 40KM of piste spread over 36 runs is Scotland's biggest and in my opinion, best Ski area. With full cover on a nice day and with a wee bit of imagination once could picture ones self at one of the smaller mainland European resorts. The car park is at 650M with the skiing extending up to 1068M (Glas Maol). The ski area heads out both to the east and west each side of the car park over three valleys (Scotland's very own 'Les Trois Vallees' ;-) taking in 3 Munro's in the process.

West Side

To the west, there is Skiing almost from the summits of two Munros: The Cairnwell & Carn Aosda. Access is via the one-man Cairnwell chair (an experience in its-self!) or via the Butcharts Access Poma (both are bottlenecks at peak times). From the top of the Cairnwell chair, you'll find reds and blacks, while from the top of the Butcharts access poma you'll find the Ceanlochan and Butcharts Poma's giving access to blues/greens. The Cairnwell T-Bar is another route up the Cairnwell, and the Carn Aosda T-Bar gets you onto a nice red or some nice off-piste which will likely result in a short hike back up the road! The west side is also home to the Dink-Dink absolute beginners poma and slope. Its location means that cover is often poor, and I would recommend beginners head to the Ceanlochan as soon as they are able! The Ceanlochan is accessible without using the often troublesome (steep) butcharts access poma by walking around the back of the cafe on the left hand side and climbing up the track (5 mins walk) - this also avoids the butcharts access queues! The Butcharts Access Poma (which used to be a bottleneck) has been joined by a new chairlift (Baddoch Chair).

East Side

To the east of the A93 is a larger area bounded on its eastern most edge by the munro Glas Maol. Access from the car park is via a 2 man chair and 2 poma lifts - there is not so much of a bottleneck this side. The initial chair/poma takes you to the top of Sunnyside from where several blues bring you back to the car park. Further east is a drop down to the Meall Odhar cafe, followed by 2 poma's taking you to the top of Meall Odhar. From here, there is often good off- piste back west, or a nice long blue down to Tom Dearg again back west. The Tom Dearg Poma can be a bit of a bottleneck. Out east, there are the two Corrie Fionn red's served by 2 poma's, or off piste possibilities from Meall Odhar heading east as well. From Corrie Fionn, heading further east is Glas Maol, served by a single poma. When this is open (rarely!), its busy, but there are excellent runs both red and black from the top, and the views on a nice day are spectacular.

Ski Pass

If you are skiing at the weekend, either buy your tickets online, or be ready to get to the head of the queue from about 8AM. The price in 2012 is £28/day (reduced when not all open). There are also beginners passes, and ski-deals (ski's, tuition & ski pass) available. Contact the ski-school. Ski hire is available at the resort as well as at several places on the way there: Braemar, Spittal of Glenshee & Bridge Of Cally. At the weekends it will be necessary to pre-book your ski gear especially if hiring from Glenshee its-self.

Report by Nigel Webber.