Sunny days for Scotland's ski centres

WHO needs Switzerland when Scotland is enjoying its best ski conditions for a generation? Hoteliers may have slumped into deep gloom on hearing the forecast for Scotland this week – severe winter weather conditions that threatened to kill off the tourist trade. But our ski centres are enjoying their busiest Easter weekend for years, due to perfect conditions combined with sunny intervals that turned the Highlands into a dramatic picture postcard.

It may be less than perfect weather for people staggering out of garden centres with their bags of compost and lawn care products. But why burden yourself with moss killer and pruning shears when the grass is seized by frost and the spring bulbs barely visible through the snow?

Nevis Range, near Fort William, has had its best season since 2001, with about 32,000 visitors since just before Christmas. With blue skies and no clouds, the conditions are described as "awesome – you couldn't get better". After years of disappointing conditions, Scotland's winter sports resorts have roared back into popularity, while the magnificent scenery provides a further reason for visitors to head north.

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Gardeners, meanwhile, should not lose heart. Put on the snow gloves. Fit the lawnmower on to motorised skis and give it a push, while relaxing indoors with a glass of Schnapps. What could be better?