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English Lessons #7

Skiing in the UK

English Lessons #7

Skiing in the UK

Brits often come down to the Alps to ski, but skiing is possible also in the UK. This may seem strange, given that the highest peak in the country is Ben Nevis and it is only 1,345m high. Ben Nevis is in the Scottish Highlands, where also the main British ski resorts are located.

But if you think about reaching Scotland for a ski trip, be prepared to face a completely different scenery: you will neither be surrounded by the high peaks and sharp rocks we have in the Alps, nor by the trees of the forests where our ski slopes usually run.

And British people do not only practice outdoor skiing. Indoor skiing areas, or snow centres, are popular in the UK and a lot of kids learn how to ski there before moving to a proper ski slope. Also, dry slope skiing is gaining momentum. Dry slopes are outdoor ski slopes built onto a hill using an artificial material that allows the skis to slide, so that the snow is no longer needed.

So, fancy reaching the UK for a ski trip?!


The word “ski” is derived from the Old Norse word “skíð” meaning “split wood” or “wooden board”. Skiing’s origins can be traced back about 8,000 years. Following the Ice Age, it is believed that Stone Age hunters in Europe and parts of Asia used early variations of skis in order move around.

On some slopes around the world, certain skiers can go faster than many cars. The title of the fastest skier on the planet goes to Simone Origone. The Italian is the current record holder with a mightily impressive 252.6 kilometres per hour.

English in Use

To be out over one’s skis = Thinking or acting impetuously, before the reality or truth of something is revealed.
A: “I can’t believe he told you to leave!”
B: “Oh, he was out over his skis, as usual. I don’t pay much attention to what he says.”

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