Even if you think that this autumn’s been unseasonably mild, some forecasters are saying there’s every reason we could be dreaming of a white Christmas. Admittedly, the only festive snow we’ve seen over the last few years has been in the big stores’ TV ads but fingers are firmly crossed that late December could be in line for a deluge.
So if you want to stand the best chance of enjoying a seasonal snowball fight, or building a snowman with the classic coal eyes and carrot nose, here are five hot - or, rather, cold – spots that the Met Office has said are most likely to have a white-out this winter.
According to official figures, the weather station at the top of the Cairngorm chair lift sees the highest number of snowy days in the UK all year – an average of 76 per year was recorded between 1981 and 2010. So there’s a good reason why this is the winter sports capital of Britain, with challenging ski runs as well as fantastic tobogganing opportunities. The town of Aviemore is also great for visitor attractions, including a nearby reindeer centre where you may even find Rudolph.
Famous for its traditional, knitted jumpers, Fair Isle is off the north coast of Scotland. If you want to find out whether or not it’s a white Christmas here, it’ll mean putting your car on a ferry from Aberdeen to Lerwick in the Shetlands and then getting a second ferry from Grutness to the island’s north harbour. It’s a journey that’s sure to be worth it, especially if you’re there on one of the 63 days of the year when it snows. For such a small and remote place – with a permanent population of under 100 – there’s a good road network serving all the populated parts of the island.
Copley, County Durham
High in the North Pennines, Copley in County Durham is one of the snowiest places in Britain and definitely top in England - with an average of 53 days’ snowfall a year. Copley sits in an official Area of Outstanding National Beauty just six miles from the historic market town of Barnard Castle, home to the famous Bowes Museum. While you’re in the area it’s also well worth making the trip to Durham itself to see its magnificent cathedral.
In the Borders region of Dumfries and Galloway, Eskdalemuir is home to one of the UK’s oldest weather stations, having been in existence for over 100 years. The town also holds the record for the highest rainfall in any 30 minute period – 80 mm recorded on June 23rd 1953.If it snows like this, you’re sure to be in for a great time.
Around 13 miles north of Ullapool near the Ross-shire and Sutherland borders, the dramatic scenery of Knockanrock and the nearby Knockan Crag promises to look even more stunning in the snow that falls on an average 49 days of the year.
So load up your sledge, pack all your warmest winter wear and don’t forget to read all our tips for safer driving in colder weather.
Then just look forward to the snowy wonderland that awaits you.