Overnight Rail Adventures From London to Scotland

The Caledonian Sleeper is one of only two remaining overnight train services in the UK. It connects London to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Fort William.

The sleeper service is surprisingly affordable given the comforts offered. It is also eco-friendly and convenient for those looking to avoid the stress of flying.

Sleeping Car

Sleeper trains are a bit of a rarity in the UK nowadays, but this one’s been in operation since 1873. Its current fleet offers a few different room options, including the classic Sleeper Seat (reclining seats in a 2 + 1 arrangement that are shared with other people) and Club and Double rooms with their own en-suite bathrooms. All are fully accessible.

The on-board Club Car is a favorite for many passengers, offering a friendly atmosphere, a menu of drinks and dinner options, and a selection of hand-picked Scottish whiskies and gins. Guests staying in the Caledonian Club and Double rooms have priority access to this lounge prior to their train’s near-midnight departure, while guests in the Classic room can relax here as well if there’s enough space.

It’s dark outside as the train jolts out of Fort William station, its gloomy housing estates giving way to the rugged beauty of Ben Nevis. The train rattles through a few more towns, its speed picking up as it leaves behind dreary urban areas and enters the Highlands. Then, a hush falls over the dining carriage as the train rattles through the last of the townships and into the open country.

Arriving in London around the same time as you would if you were flying, there’s no need to rush for your flight at the airport – simply walk straight from the train into your hotel. You’ll also avoid the hassle of navigating busy, overcrowded buses and the long check-in process of an airline, and you can save on the cost of your ticket by using a 16-25, Senior, or Forces Railcard*. The only drawback is that the swaying and rattling of a night-time train may not be conducive to a good night’s sleep, especially for light sleepers.

Club Car

There’s something romantic about drifting off to sleep on a train and waking up to views of the Cairngorms whizzing past. That’s especially true when you do it on a sleeper train like The Caledonian Sleeper, which is an overnight rail adventure that combines travel to and from London with comfy accommodation in rooms including the Club and Caledonian Double. The trains also have a restaurant and lounge on board, and you can book tickets online, over the phone or at station ticket offices up to a year in advance.

The train runs year-round and is a great way to explore Scotland at any time of the year, though you’ll probably want to avoid winter when climbing munros isn’t an option due to snow. Otherwise, the Scottish highlands are stunning at all times and you’ll see a different face of the country depending on the season.

Guests in the Club and Caledonian Double rooms get an en-suite shower and toilet room and breakfast included. Those in Classic rooms share facilities and can purchase a breakfast if they wish. You can also dine in the lounge before or after boarding. If you’re not staying in a cabin, there is space under your seat for luggage (but please don’t put bags in the en-suite bathrooms as they might block the door from opening).

Prior to your near-midnight departure from London Euston, you’re invited to relax in the new guest lounge — the first of five the service has opened at stations across the country this year. While the lounge specs vary slightly between stations, you can expect a welcome from a host and drinks and snacks on offer.


Taking the Caledonian Sleeper is the best way to travel overnight between London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and other Scottish destinations. The sleeper train is comfortable and offers top class service and a relaxed atmosphere to help you get some great rest on your journey.

All rooms feature Glencraft mattresses, bedding and towels, a washbasin, individual reading lights, Wi-Fi, a key card entry system, temperature control and access to locked storage. Classic Room and Club Room ticket holders also receive a complimentary sleep kit including earplugs and an eye mask and a free bottled water. Room service is available and breakfast can be served in your cabin or in the Club Car.

The Club Car is a space to relax in style and is adorned with interiors by Edinburgh-based designer Ian Smith. Here you can dine on a menu showcasing the finest local produce from Scotland. You will also find a selection of wines and spirits, and a range of soft drinks and teas.

Children (4 – 15) travel for free when travelling with an adult in a Classic Room or Club Room, but they must book their own tickets. Children aged 16 and 17 travel for a reduced rate with a full fare adult ticket.

The Sleeper train runs year round but we would recommend booking your trip as far in advance as possible – particularly in high season when prices are higher. Check the official website for more information about prices and availability. Normally you can book your tickets up to 12 months in advance, although this does vary slightly depending on the time of year you are planning to travel. A good tip is to book your room and travel options as a package (ticket, accommodation, luggage) as this will save you money.

Food & Drink

The Caledonian Sleeper combines transport and accommodation into one package, which can save travellers time and money. Travelling by train means avoiding the hassle of arranging a transfer and cutting out additional travel costs on top. The cost of a Comfort Seat starts from PS45, Classic Rooms from PS140 for Solo or PS170 for Shared, Club rooms from PS205 for Solo and PS250 for Shared and Caledonian Double rooms from PS335 for Solo and PS400 for Shared. Various Railcard discounts are available.

The cabins aren’t as spacious as a hotel room, but they are comfortable enough and offer all the amenities you need for an overnight journey. The bedding is thick and soft and there’s a good choice of pillows for your sleep style. There’s a power socket, USB port, individual reading light and an ensuite shower and toilet. All Sleeper Room passengers receive a sleep kit which includes earplugs and an eye mask.

There’s a choice of meals on board. A full breakfast is served in your cabin or in the Club Car if you’re in a Caledonian Double or Club room, while there’s also a menu for the seated coach. The food is locally sourced and delicious.

The Caledonian Sleeper runs year round and Scotland is a beautiful destination at any time of the year, whether you’re looking to scale munros in the summer or want to embrace the winter scenery. It’s a great way to maximise your weekend too; leave on Thursday evening and arrive Friday morning, then head back to work Monday refreshed and telling all your colleagues about your epic adventure. It’s sure to make them jealous!

Travel Tips

The Caledonian Sleeper is one of the most unique ways to travel between London and Scotland, whisking guests from the heart of their departure city into the heart of their destination at a time that suits them best. With no luggage restrictions, no long security queues and no expensive transfers, you can relax through the night in your own private room reaching your destination fully refreshed and ready to make the most of the day.

Caledonian Sleeper tickets go on sale up to 12 months in advance, and you’ll want to book as early as possible to secure your preferred dates. Rooms can sell out, especially in peak season. It’s also a good idea to book your tickets for the evening before you travel – if you wait until the morning of, there’s a strong chance that the beds you want won’t be available.

Ticket prices start at around PS345 for a Club Double (private twin-bunk en-suite room) or PS205 for a Classic (seating in the lounge car with no en suite). Those traveling on National Rail passes can save a third on seats and single occupancy rooms by booking the sleeper supplement on top of their pass. Children under 5 are free, while 16-25 and Senior Railcard holders can save a quarter on seats and single occupancy Classic rooms.

All tickets include a complimentary Sleep Kit, which includes an eye mask and ear plugs and a pouch of Arran Sense of Scotland amenities (shampoo, conditioner, hand cream, body wash, lip balm and anti-bacterial gel). Caledonian Sleeper Guest Service Centre Ambassadors are on hand throughout the night to help with any questions and assist passengers.

Related Posts