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UK residents who are home for Christmas will all be dreaming of snow. Unlike the rest of the year when it is massively inconvenient to have to try and get to work or school through ice and slush, and the whole country grinds to a terrible halt, snow at Christmas is not only pretty, seasonal and fun. It doesn't matter. We are all hunkered down anyway. There's plenty of food in the house. There's lots of good stuff on television. And if it snows, the kids, and, the kid in all of us can get out there and enjoy it. So please Santa, send us some snow so we can all dig out our salopettes and have all the thrill of the pistes without the lift queues, the exorbitant resort prices and the hire costs. We can come home and make our own hot chocolate thanks very much.

When the UK gets blanketed in white every hill as far as the eye can see is covered in gleeful folk hurtling down on anything they can find to slide on. Bin bags, trays, boogie boards, you don't really need a proper sledge, but they do tend to go faster. If you happen to live somewhere rather flat, the biggest challenge is to find a decent slope.

Those lucky enough to live near Allenheads in Northumberland don't even have to trudge back up after a successful cresta run. They have a rope tow there that means you can get a lift. You do need to be good at balancing though, just like a regular poma, it's all too easy to fall off. The Lake District and Cumbria are all spoilt for choices for wonderful long runs, but do watch out for low dry-stone walls which might get hidden in deep drifts. Scots are also well catered for, especially anyone near the ski resorts which have the advantage of groomed pistes, perfect to pop onto after the lifts have closed for the afternoon but there is still some daylight left.

For southerners, the Ally Pally, or Alexandra palace, in London is a famed spot. It also has the most wonderful view of St Paul's Cathedral and the whole of the city spread out when you get to the top.

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