MidlothianRegions of ScotlandThe Lothians

Tubing at Midlothian Snowsports Centre Visitor Guide

The Midlothian Snowsports Centre is located in the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh where it offers a variety of fun experiences, from skiing and snowboarding to the exhilarating tubing runs that are a firm favourite with children and adults alike. Discover what it’s like to hurtle down the slopes on one of these giant tubes in this complete visitor guide.

Midlothian Snowsports Centre, Best things to do near Edinburgh
Address:Biggar Road,
EH10 7DU
Opening Hours:Monday - Friday 9:30 - 21:00
Saturday - Sunday 9:30 - 19:00
Admission Price:See the official website for details.
Parking:Free on-site car park
Contact:0131 445 4433
Facilities:Toilets, cafe, tuition
Photos:YouTube Video


The Midlothian Snowsports Centre, located in the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh, offers a variety of fun outdoor activities that the whole family can enjoy, even if it’s the middle of summer and there’s no snow.

The centre features two of the UK’s longest artificial ski slopes, so if you’re an ardent skier there’s no need to feel down just because there’s a lack of snow. In fact, it’s possible to ski all year round, and the centre’s expert instructors are on hand to offer lessons to anyone wanting to improve their skills whether on a snowboard or a traditional pair of skis.

There are three nursery slopes for novices and children to practise on, while a separate section of the outdoor area is designated for adrenaline-junkie downhill zorb balls and the more family-friendly tubes. The tube runs are great fun and are suitable for all ages, even though they’re primarily aimed at kids.

So what, you might be asking, is a tube? Well, it’s basically an inflatable rubber ring with a hard, flat bottom. You grab a tube, haul it to the top of the runs – think bobsleigh runs but made from tough fibre mats – then jump into the tube and let gravity do the rest. Before you know it, you’ll be zooming downhill at a fair rate of knots, probably letting out a scream or two.

You’ll find both adults and children flying down the tube runs at the Midlothian Snowsports Centre, whether it’s winter or summer. However, this is one of the few activities where it’s actually better if it has been raining because the water makes the tubes more slippery and therefore much faster. If it’s a dry day, the tubes aren’t quite as fast, but at least the staff spray water on them to grease things up a bit.

Midlothian Snowsports Tubing

The Highlights

1: Tubing is great fun for both adults and children, but if you don’t want to tube you can also take part in ski and snowboard activities instead.

2: For a council-run venue, the facilities at the Midlothian Snowsports Centre are excellent. The café is decent and there are good coaching facilities if you want to improve your skis or snowboard skills.

Visiting Tips

1: This is one of the few outdoor activities where it’s better if it has been raining, as the water makes the tubes go even faster.

2: The Snowsports Centre is close to some lovely walks in the Pentland Hills. Check out my guide to the walk from nearby Flotterstone.

3: If you’re struggling to find somewhere to go after you’ve visited the snowsports centre take a visit to Gilmerton Cove which is a slightly spooky historic underground tourist attraction located a couple of miles to the west (the B701 is probably the quickest route).

Midlothian Snowsports Centre

Tourist Information

There are a variety of slopes at the centre’s tubing area, and you’ll find some that are twisty-turny and others that are arrow-straight. The straight ones allow you to get up a bit more speed, but I found the twisting runs to be the most fun as they’re basically like bombing down a hill on a sledge, but without the snow.

Unlike a sledge, tube runs have a bit of friction towards the bottom so you’ll slowly come to a dignified stop rather than having to bail out as you would on a snowy hill, meaning you have 90% of the exhilaration of sledging but it’s much safer. Plus, you can do it in the summer.

While children under the age of 5 aren’t allowed on the tube runs, older children can go wild on the slopes, and protective helmets are provided to keep them safe. One thing to note is that there’s a minimum height restriction of 1 metre for tubing, so you might want to keep that in mind if you have younger children who want to try tubing.

If you have images of a rubber tube going pop mid-way down the slope, you can rest assured that they’re semi-rigid and very tough, and they also have grab handles so it’s highly unlikely you’d ever flip out of the things. As far as safety goes, I think the Midlothian Snowsports Centre has got all the bases covered.

They’ve even provided a travelator to help you get back to the top so there’s no need to drag your tube up the slope for your next go. While the tubes aren’t heavy for adults, they’re a bit cumbersome for kids to move about so the travelator is a much-appreciated feature.

If you have a group of youngsters to entertain, the centre also offers tubing parties where they can burn off some energy on the slopes for an hour before heading to the party room in the on-site café for a celebratory meal.

Midlothian Snowsports Centre

Things to Do

Tubing: For a fun-filled family activity, try tubing. Sit in a large inflatable ring and slide down the dedicated tubing slopes. This adrenaline-pumping activity is perfect for all ages and guarantees plenty of laughs.

Skiing and Snowboarding: The Midlothian Snowsports Centre is home to one of the longest artificial ski slopes in Europe. Perfect for beginners and seasoned pros alike, you can take to the slopes for a session of exhilarating skiing or snowboarding. Instructors are on hand to guide you, ensuring a safe experience for all.

Fun Slope: The new fun slope offers three different types of jumps and other features that will appeal to freestyles who are at ‘competent’ and above skill levels.

Mountain Biking: Multiple mountain biking tracks cut through the Pentland Hills, so load your bike onto the car and spend a day exploring the beautiful landscapes of Midlothian.

Cafe: After a day on the slopes you’ll no doubt be gasping for a drink and something to fill hungry bellies. Thankfully, the snowsports centre has an onsite cafe to accommodate all tastes. It also takes children’s parties if you have a birthday coming up and are looking for an activity to keep the wee ones occupied for an afternoon.

Tubing Midlothian Snowsports Centre

Things to Do Nearby

Pentland Hills. Flotterstone EH26 0PP. 8-minute drive.
A regional park near Edinburgh that offers walks across several peaks. There are picturesque reservoirs inside the park as well as the ancient remains of pre-Roman civilization in places like Castlelaw Hill Fort. The car park at Flotterstone offers the best route into the hills and there is a café and pub within a few minutes walk of it.

Gilmerton Cove. 16 Drum St, Gilmerton, Edinburgh EH17 8QH. 10-minute drive.
A subterranean labyrinth of caves and passageways that are believed to be hundreds of years old but have an unknown purpose. Visitors are taken underground on a guided tour that explores the history of Edinburgh and the secrets of the caves.

Rosslyn Chapel. Chapel Loan, Roslin EH25 9PU. 10-minute drive.
This chapel is widely recognized as one of the most beautiful buildings in Scotland. Rosslyn Chapel was founded in 1446 and is covered with intricate stone carvings. The chapel features a visitor centre with a shop, toilets and a café with outdoor seating.

Rosslyn Glen. Roslin EH25 9PX. 10-minute drive.
A riverside walk with rough paths that follow the River North Esk. The country park is a short walk from Rosslyn Chapel and there is a car parking area with nearby seating and picnic benches.

Castlelaw Hill Fort. Penicuik EH26 0PB. 14-minute drive.
A raised earthwork that’s believed to have been used for storage by the tribes that lived around the area 2,000 years ago. There is a car park nearby and a footpath that continues past the fort in the direction of the City of Edinburgh bypass.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a tubing party?

Similar to tobogganing, tubing involves sliding down a slope in a specially designed rubber and plastic inflatable ring. Tubing parties are birthday parties where children take part in tubing activities before heading indoors for a birthday meal.

What Hill is Hillend ski slope on?

Caerketton Hill (1,568 feet/478 metres) is the nearest hill to the Hillend Ski Centre slope.

When did Hillend Ski Centre open?

Hillend Ski Centre (AKA Midlothian Snowsports Centre) opened in 1965. The centre celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015.

What visitor facilities are there at the Midlothian Snowsports Centre?

The Midlothian Snowsports Centre has car parking, a café, and public toilets. Visit the facilities page for updated information on available facilities.

Craig Neil

Craig Neil is the author, photographer, admin, and pretty much everything else behind Out About Scotland. He lives near Edinburgh and spends his free time exploring Scotland and writing about his experiences. Follow him on Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube.