Relocating to London means so much more than merely living in a new London apartmentand city; it’s your ticket to the world! There’s any range of experiences to be had with the UK as your base (and discount airlines at your disposal), and one realm in particular is skiing.
I’ll say it because my husband is too modest to—he is an amazing skier. I haven’t had the opportunity to see this for myself as I’m a loser who has never gone skiing (and probably never will, so leave me alone!), but our friends keep telling me. He’s had plenty of experience since childhood on slopes all over the United States and Canada, so living in the UK allows him to take it to the next level in continental Europe. So far since moving to London, he’s skied at Les Deux Alpes, Davos, and another ski resort town in the French Alps that I’m totally blanking on…and as of this last weekend, he has conquered Val D’Isère.
Skiiing in Europe vs. the US
When it comes to skiing in Europe, what my husband particularly loves are the greater number and variety of ski runs at a given resort. One can take the lifts up and over to ski down the pistes of adjacent resorts as well! The engineering of the lifts is also more advanced, sometimes including features such as conveyors that move you forward slowly as the chair approaches so you can get onto it with greater ease.
Undoubtedly, though, his favorite aspect is off-piste skiing, which is allowed far more liberally on the Continent. It’s at your own risk. Guides are available, however, to help you navigate this more treacherous terrain, testing out conditions in advance to troubleshoot and help you pass safely. They also set you up with the proper equipment, like beacons and airbags in the case of an avalanche—the former are tracking devices that help rescuers find your location, and the latter are rafts of sorts rolled in a backpack that you can then inflate with the pull of a string.
If your ski gear is too much to pack and ship over during your move to London (it’s probably one of the easier items to cut from the packing list if you’re only going to ski once or twice a year), renting it on-site is easy and not too expensive. My husband has his ski boots, helmet, and apparel here in London, but rents the rest, so if a skier of his caliber is satisfied with rented equipment, you likely will be, too—it’s a great way to keep up with the latest designs, after all. One thing you can be assured of is that Europe is always up to date with the latest in ski and safety technology.
Making the Most of Living in London by Traveling Outside it!
Once you’ve relocated to the UK and explored all the many, many flats to let in London, you’ll want to treat yourself to a side excursion outside of the city, and skiing is the ideal trip during the winter and early spring. It’s very common for Europeans to go on a ski holiday for at least an entire week (often from Saturday-to-Saturday), but the proximity of these slopes to London makes it just as easy to squeeze it in over a weekend as well if you’re pinched for time and money. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post, in which I share how to enjoy a European ski weekend even if you don’t ski!