Snow thanks! How the Pentlands made the white stuff almost bearable

Snow thanks! How the Pentlands made the white stuff almost bearable


Now, something to understand about snow is: I hate snow. From inside the house, looking at it falling softly past a streetlight, it’s pretty. But I’m already filled with dread at that point – it means I’ll have to go out in it the next day. It’s cold, wet, you need too many extra accoutrements for the kids – gloves, scarves, hats, 20 pairs of socks..and you know they’ll still end up cold and wet. Then there’s the wellies dilemma – they need to wear waterproof boots (not worth buying snow boots for one day a year) but their feet freeze in wellies. The whole thing is annoying.

But the fall of snow we had in Edinburgh in January this year was very well behaved. It arrived during the evening, falling gently past the streetlights; the next day was fine and sunny and there was just enough of a covering for a quick sledge…and then it considerately melted away.

My parents gave us two sledges when we moved to the wilds of Scotland but so far we hadn’t needed them. Today was the day!

Edinburgh, as well as being excellently served in beaches, also has a range of hills – the Pentlands. After a brief Google I settled on a place that had a free car park – Swanston Golf Club – hoping it wouldn’t be too much of a trek from there to find a slope.

Well, what a find! Just beyond the car park was a set of slopes, at a decent gradient, but not too scary. The place was perfect and in true Edinburgh style busy, but not too busy (one of my favourite things about Edinburgh compared to London). Well I say perfect, Swanston Golf Club had missed a trick by not opening to serve a bit of tea and hot chocolate. Still, the staff were probably too busy sledging.

After flinging ourselves down the hill for an hour, Stroppy fell victim to the welly paradigm and suddenly was loudly in danger of losing her feet to frost bite. So we piled in the car and drove 20 minutes home, in time for lunch. Thank you, Edinburgh, you almost made me appreciate snow!


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