October marks the start of winter for keen skiers and snowboarders up and down the country. Whether you're a seasoned skier looking to try the latest equipment or a newbie wondering where to take your first ski holiday, the UK's ski shows are a great place to start.

WhatScotland's Ski and Snowboard Show and The Scottish Outdoors Show
Where: The SECC in Glasgow
When: Oct. 20-21, 2012
Highlights: Try and buy the latest equipment at a discount (skis, boards, boots, jackets, salpettes, googles and more) and get expert advice from professionals on which equipment is right for you.

Chat to tour operators and resorts about ski holidays and book a deal at the World Resorts Section. If it's more of a ski season than a ski holiday you're after, speak to major ski employers at the Natives' Jobs Fair.

When you're done shopping and chatting, watch the Freestyle Jumps Show where pros battle it out to pull the sickest stunts and grab a cold beer at the apres-ski bar.

Price: Pre-booked tickets cost £10 and include: two for one ski pass at any Scottish ski resort worth £15; a free beginner's lesson at Bearsden Ski Club; and free entrance to the Scottish Outdoors Show which takes place at the same location. Tickets on the door cost £12 for the Saturday and Sunday.

WhatLondon's Ski & Snowboard Show
Where: Earls Court, London
When: Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, 2012
Highlights: The Brand and Retail Section offers the opportunity to get your hands on the latest gear and accessories from top brands. Chat to tour operators, resort reps and tourist boards from Europe, USA, Canada and Japan at the World Resorts Village.

Instructors from the Warren Smith Ski Academy will be on hand to help you out on the Skills Slope free of charge. The slope has varying degrees of difficulty and instructors are qualified to coach all ski levels.

Drop by Riders' Heaven to watch top UK riders do their thing on the slopes.

The ice rink returns and is even bigger this year - 180m2. Both kids and adults can skate free for 45 minutes. Challenge your mates to a game of curling in the lanes alongside the ice rink. 

The Salomon Adventure Film Theatre will be showing the latest films from freestyle skiers and back-country boarders.  

Virgin Wines Taste Experience offer hour-long wine tasting (from £8). If beer is more your style, wind down Scandinavian-style at the Norway Resorts Bar for your apres fix of DJs and beer. Santa Claus will be making an appearance on Friday and Saturday 2-3 p.m to give presents and spread holiday cheer.

Price: Tickets cost £18-20 adults; £10-12 students/seniors; £5-7 children (11-16); £25-£35 families; free for Children under 11.

WhatBritish Ski + Board Show 
Where: NEC in Birmingham
When: Oct. 26-28, 2012
Highlights:

SnowDome Kid's Snow Trail - children aged 4 to 8 years can put on skis and boots and slide along the real snow track through a winter wonderland. Experienced instructors will be on hand to help the little ones make their first set of tracks in the snow.

Skills Slope - the mobile indoor slope will provide continual action offering free lessons in skiing for all ages and tubing for the young. All equipment is provided so arrive early and book your session.

Big Air Freestyle Show - the Big Air Demo team is back with Olympic medallists and World Cup Champions strutting their stuff on the slopes.

Fit to Ski - Presented by Olympic skier Graham Bell, the course gives you tips on how to cope with the demands of the slopes.

Tech Camp - top brands will be setting up camp, to show you what’s new for the coming season. Head, Dynastar Lange, Nordica, Atomic, Blizzard, Dynamic and many more. All the latest equipment info and find out what’s hot at the Tech Camp.

Price: Advanced tickets cost £5-£10 adults and £3 children. Tickets on the door cost £10-15 adults and £5 children. Children under 5 go free.