For those of us already panicking about the looming half term – yes, I know, already – I’ve been putting on my thinking cap. In fact, it’s more of a woolly bobble hat, as the thought I’ve had is skiing.
I have a friend who’s been taking her daughter, quite regularly, almost all the way to Milton Keynes to get a bit of slope action. But I’ve just found out she doesn’t need to go nearly that far – there’s a place out in Hemel Hempstead which has the longest slope in the UK, does ski lessons and even boasts real snow. They say it’s made of water and air – just like the real thing. I thought snow was just made of frozen rain, but what do I know?
You can hire everything you need at The Snow Centre, including ski suits, but not gloves or socks – though they have those to purchase if yours aren’t warm enough. All the other kit and caboodle – skis, poles, boots, horse-drawn troikas (no, actually, not those) are also available to hire. Children’s beginners’ group lessons cost from £23, and there’s an hour-long adult taster lesson at £35 if you suddenly get inspired to give it a go yourself. Of course, for those of you who love nothing better than to swish down the slopes, there are all sorts of advanced options – have a look on the website.
I’m not pretending it’s a cheap day out but, with any luck, they’ll be so exhausted after a day’s skiing that you can spend the next couple of days of holiday lying on the sofa watching old DVDs. Result!