If you’re looking for a truly unique day out in around Derbyshire or Leicestershire with the family, I cannot recommend Swadlincote Snowsports Centre enough.
Adults and children age four and above will be sure to leave with a smile on their faces after a visit here, with so many different activities to enjoy in one day, whether you’re after ideas for a daytrip, something to do at the weekend, in the school holidays, or even ideas for a birthday party.
Arrival & booking
Swadlincote Snowsports Centre reminds me of the dry ski slopes we visited as a kid – it looks like it could do with some updating, but in my mind that would ruin that nostalgic vibe, as it has everything you need for your visit.
We had meant to visit here back in April, just as lockdown 1 set in, so it was lovely to finally be there. We booked a four activity package on an adult and child ticket for their tobogganing, snow tubing, drop slide and a ski taster session, however the packages can be booked in any combination, whether you would like to do just one or all of the activities. We also used the 25% discount code that was on their website at the time of booking.
When we arrived, we were greeted by such a friendly member of staff, who checked our booking and let us know what timings we needed to be where. She was so lovely and helpful, very clearly explaining everything – such a great greeting, which makes a lovely start to the day!
We visited the toilets in the centre and then headed outdoors to the top of the snow tubing for our first activity.
Our first activity was the snow tubing, which Lily could not get enough of. We had a half-hour session at 11am, with one other family in our group.
The ski slope was cleared, and we spent the half hour sliding 70m down the slope on the rubber tubes. It was fantastic! Only one person was allowed on each tube, with children offered smaller ones as you cannot ride in the same one, but you can hold on to each other’s ring to go down together.
You definitely felt it climbing back up the slope again each time with your ring, but it really was fantastic. Children can take part from the age of 4 and I’d recommend taking a bottle of water with you as we were both thirsty by the end!
The 500m toboggan track is just brilliant. Children age 4-7 must ride with an adult, then 8 and above have their own toboggan.
You start at the bottom of the track, where you settle into your toboggan, which is pulled to the top of the track – great for a little rest from climbing up with the snow tubes on the previous activity.
We had three runs with our ticket on the toboggan track. It is a metal track, and you can control the speed you go at with the brake lever on the toboggan, which is why under 8s have to ride with an adult. Adults can go on their own too if they’d like, as it really is fun for all the family!
There are clear signs around the track where you need to brake and on corners too, but it was so much fun!
The drop slide was our next activity. Our tickets gave us 6 drops between myself and Lily, so three each.
It was way faster than I was expecting, but each person goes down on their own, or holding on to your family member’s ring, on the 70m, steeper zig-zag track! Another great fun activity!
Ski taster session
Our final session was the ski taster session. We were both booked on to this, however since Lily had never skied before, and I’d converted to snowboarding, it was more worth Lily joining in with it. The adults in the other family group joined in with the taster session with their two children, so it was just 6 of us in the group for the half hour.
We were kitted up with skis and boots, then led by Rob to the nursery slope, who explained everything and got the group used to their skis. The slope was only small and gentle, but was perfect for the taster and to give the group the feel of the skis.
Under current restrictions, instructors aren’t able to help when you fall over, so I was also glad to be on my feet to help Lily, but she absolutely loved it, and now wants to join the tots ski lessons (for 4-7 year olds) now at the centre!
Food and drink
Under tier 3 restrictions, they are not able to open up the Alpine bar upstairs for seating, however this is available in ‘normal’ times for hot and cold food and drinks.
You can buy hot drinks to take away from upstairs, as well as cold drinks and snacks (including festive biscuits!) from the downstairs reception area.
We had an absolutely fantastic time and were both grinning from ear to ear. It was lovely to have activities that we could both do together, so would be great for families with children with mixed ages or older children, as well as groups of friends too!
Lily definitely got her snow stoke, and the team were just so lovely to us throughout. We also felt so safe – even though there were different family groups arriving, the sessions were all limited with numbers, and the team were clearly making sure people weren’t congregating inside.
We will definitely be back – so thank you to the team at Swadlincote Snowsports Centre for a really lovely day out.
Tips and information for visiting
- Children age 4-7 need to go on an adult ticket for the packages
- Children age 8 and above can go on their own with their own ticket
- Wrap up warm as you are outdoors, whatever the weather. We wore normal trousers with thick ski socks, waterproof gloves, hat, fleece, waterproof jackets, and plenty of layers on underneath.
- Lily wore walking boots for the activities, aside from skiing, however you can wear trainers – just no open toe shoes.
- Bring a drink or packed lunch with you, however you can pick up drinks and light snacks there, such as crisps and biscuits.
- Keep an eye out on their social media or website for deals – we took advantage of their 25% off voucher.
Address and postcode
Swadlincote Snowsports Centre
Sir Herbert Wragg Way