Where . . . Whickham Thorns Outdoor Activity Centre
What . . . The 40-metre artificial slope is floodlit and has a sprinkler system to ensure optimum conditions. Drag lifts service each side of the slope. Groups can exclusively book the slope with one of the instructors. Beginners' skiing courses and private tuition is available throughout the winter months.
Sledging and snowtubing is also available: one-person plastic sledges (Swiss-bobs) are for ideal for kids; rubber rings (snowtubing) is available as a party option or exclusive booking and, unlike sledging, is not restricted to under 11s.
The centre is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays (April-Oct.) and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays (Nov-March). Weekend times are the same year-round: 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturdays and 12-3 p.m. Sundays.
Other amenities . . . The centre offers a host of other outdoor activities, including archery, climbing, high ropes,mountain biking, orienteering, sledging, and snowtubing.
Price . . . £8.50 per person, per hour.