Après ski at Glenshee is extremely limited with the absence of a real resort base or even a single resort village in the vicinity. The centre’s own licensed Base Café is situated at the car park and is a good meeting place that’s popular with beginners. Most skiers and boarders are day trippers from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Perth or Dundee and they head back there once the lifts close, taking any real party spirit with them.
Most of the après-ski opportunities are therefore concentrated within the nearby hotels and village bars of the surrounding area.
Braemar is the closest village and there are half a dozen choices here, including the traditional and pleasant Moorfield House (tel: +44 1339 741 244), with a snug bar area and good range of malt whiskies.
There are three on-mountain restaurants in Glenshee. The Cairnwell Mountain Restaurant is situated mid-mountain, accessed by chairlift, and has great views on a clear day. The cosy Meall Odhar Café is nestled in the middle valley over the road, and is accessed via the Beag Tow. Time your visit well, both cafés close at 4pm.
In the wider area, much of the evening dining is provided by local hotel restaurants such as Dalmunzie Castle (tel: +44 1250 885 224; www.dalmunzie.com), with its restaurant based in a former laird's mansion.
At the nearby village of Braemar, the intimate Gathering Place Bistro (tel: +44 1339 741 234; www.gatheringplacebistro.co.uk) is superb with an eclectic menu of Scottish, British and European cuisine, plus vegetarian options. Taste Braemar (tel: +44 1339 741 425; www.taste-braemar.co.uk), situated within Airlie House, is also very good for a lighter meal or snack – make sure to try one of the homemade cakes on offer.
The traditional restaurant in the Braemar Lodge (tel: +44 1339 741 627; www.braemarlodge.co.uk) is also popular, noted for its wide menu, professional staff and tasty food.
Beyond the slopes
There's a lot to do around Glenshee; however, most activities are located a few miles from one another so having a car is important to take full advantage of the opportunities.
Most of the leisure activities available are outdoors and include hill walking, mountain biking, horse riding, fishing, birdwatching and clay pigeon shooting. There are also many places of interest in the area with a true Scottish theme, including several whisky distilleries and the village of Braemar – famous for its annual summer Highland Gathering, which is normally attended by a member of the Royal Family.
One local facility is the Glenshee Pottery (tel: +44 1250 882 238; www.glensheepottery.co.uk) that – apart from selling ceramics – stages winter workshops in a wide range of craft activities including needle felting, wire crocheted jewellery and silk papermaking.
Glenshee has a very family-friendly atmosphere, which is replicated in the small villages around the resort.
However, due to the ski area's small size and lack of conventional resort centre, indoor facilities such as swimming pools, which are common in larger, more centralised resorts, are absent; Aberdeen, Perth or Aviemore being perhaps the best options for those searching for these types of facilities.
On the slopes, there's no specific ski kindergarten or teaching for the youngest children but there is a good ski school for children aged six and older, who can learn in the safety of the nursery slopes near the main car park.
Glenshee's location close to four major cities means shopping is never far away, but opportunities in the resort itself are very limited, with one ski and gift shop at the centre. Travelling north, Braemar has a small selection of shops covering all essentials and providing tourist gifts. The choice continues to increase as you head east towards Aberdeen through Royal Deeside.
Sign up for an introduction to winter mountaineering with Gubalin Lodge Outdoor Centre (tel: +44 1250 885 255; www.gulabinoutdoors.co.uk). The full-day course provides an introduction to the use of the ice axe, crampons, navigation techniques and avalanche awareness.
Accommodation in Glenshee and the surrounding towns and villages is made up of friendly, comfortable and good value hotels, bed and breakfast guest houses and hostels. There is a wide selection of places to stay in and around Blairgowrie, Alyth, Kirkmichael and the Spittal of Glenshee to the south, and Braemar and Ballater to the north and east. There are also plenty of self-catering lodges, varying in style from traditional wooden chalets to modern builds.
Glenbeag Mountain Lodges
This unique lodging provides private log cabins equipped with hot tubs at over 300 meters above sea level. Several of the cabins have private saunas and even allow dogs.
Telephone: +44 1250 885 204
Dalmunzie Castle Hotel
Located in a stunning 6500–acre estate dating to 1510, a stay at the Dalmunzie Castle Hotel is an authentic way to experience Glenshee. The hotel is just down the road from the resort and offers views of breathtaking mountains and rivers, as well as easy access to tennis, golf, mountain biking trails and a shooting range.Address: Glenshee, 10 Strand Street, Perthshire , PH10 7QG
Telephone: +44 01250 885224
A family-run hostel located 10 minutes from Glenshee ski centre, Gulabin Lodge also provides self-catering or bed and breakfast accommodation. Ski and activity breaks can be organised from here.Address: Blairgowrie, Spittal of Glenshee, Perthshire, PH10 7QF
Telephone: +44 1250 885 255
The Invercauld Arms Hotel
While a bit farther away from the resort than other options, this hotel is a great bargain in a scenic location. World-class fishing on the River Dee is just a stone’s throw away.
Address: Braemar, Glenshee Road, Aberdeenshire, AB35 5YR
Telephone: +44 844 499 9357