A few months ago, I wrote a blog about how you can travel from London to Inverness (i.e the Highland route) by using the Caledonian Sleeper Night Train. From Inverness I travelled the Far North Railway Line and made it all the way up to Thurso, the northernmost train station in the UK, and Wick from where I took the bus back to Inverness.
Being given the opportunity to travel North East Scotland has been an absolute pleasure; its scenery, people and little towns were some of the most unique I’ve ever experienced. However, before leaving Scotland I made a promise; to go back as soon as possible. Few weeks had passed since then and I found myself yet on another train to the most beautiful country on earth! This time though, I was on a mission to explore a different part of Scotland known particularly for its sweeping landscapes, big skies, dramatic seascapes, romantic castles and spectacular wildlife. In this blog I will be primarily focusing on the first leg of my trip starting from London, where I board the late night Caledonian Sleeper train to Glasgow.
Virgin First Class Lounge
The First Class lounge is located on the first floor to the right-hand side when you are facing the platforms and it’s open 07:00-23:00 Monday-Friday, until 20:00 Saturday and 10:00-23:00 on Sunday. You can access the lounge provided that you have a First Class ticket.
There’s plenty of seating inside, although it can get pretty full sometimes. Complimentary drinks, snacks and newspapers are provided along with free WiFi. You can also enjoy some barista-brewed coffee and spirits (£2.50 for gin), wine and Virgin Trains own Tilting ale and cider (£4). You’ve also got access to showers and some departure screens.
Last time I was here the lounge was packed and I couldn’t even find a chair to sit on. This time, though, that was not an issue since there was almost no one around that late in the night which gave me the chance to take a better look of the dedicated corporate area where you’ll find desks and TV screens showing BBC News.
Around midnight is was almost time to leave so I headed to the platform where stewards stand by each door of the very long sixteen-carriage train and direct you to the correct carriage. When you have reached our carriage another steward checks your name off and shows you to your cabin. We were travelling first class and were also asked what we would like for breakfast. Cooked or continental? Tea or coffee? You can even chose the time that breakfast is delivered to your cabin!
Tickets for the Caledonian Sleeper from London to Glasgow
Tickets for the Caledonian Sleeper are available here.
London to or from Edinburgh/Glasgow
|First Class||Second Class||Standard Class (reclining seat)|
|Fixed Advance||From £130||From £70||From £35|
|Flexible||From £160||From £95||From £55|
London to or from Aberdeen, Perth, Avienmore, Inverness and Fort William
|First Class||Second Class||Standard Class|
|Fixed Advance||From £150||From £80||From £40|
|Flexible||From £180||From £105||From £60|
For Railcard holders:
You get a 34% discount on most Caledonian Sleeper ticket types. Please note that from October 2018 onwards, your railcard will give you a 34% discount on single-berth sleepers & seats, but not on 2-berth sleepers.
You can travel in a sleeper but you’ll have to pay the sleeper berth supplement online. If you have a standard class ticket or pass, the sleeper supplement is £75 for one bed in a shared 2-bed compartment. If you have a first class ticket or BritRail pass, you pay £75 for a bed in a single-bed compartment, whether adult or child.
Reservations for Caledonian Sleeper (sleeping car) are available online at their website (select “Berth supplement”), by phone call or at a ticket window in Great Britain. It is not possible to buy reservations at stations outside of Great Britain! Seat reservations are free and available only by phone call ( UK: 0330 060 0500 / international: +44 141 555 0888 ) or at a ticket window.
New Sleeper trains from Spring 2019:
New sleeper trains are due to be introduced on the London–Edinburgh / Glasgow line from Spring 2019. London-Inverness / Fort William / Aberdeen line will follow at some point later. These new trains will include Suites with double bed & toilet, Club rooms with single or twin berths & toilet, and Classic rooms with single or twin berths & washbasin, a club car and reclining seats. Interestingly, the new cabins will be sold per room like a hotel; If you choose a twin then the price covers two people. If you are travelling solo, then you might as well book a single. Club & Suite fares will include breakfast. We’ll be reviewing these new services in another blog post once they roll out.
Taking the London to Scotland Sleeper train is one of the world’s greatest journeys and is an experience that everyone should try and enjoy at least once. When you are travelling it is rare to arrive at your destination so early in the morning which makes it easy to continue your onward journey. Stay tuned though, because this is just the beginning of a very exciting trip! In my next blog, I will be writing about my experience travelling from Glasgow to Fort William through a daunting landscape of mountains, steep-sided lochs, and heather moors.
If you have any further questions, feel free to drop us a line by visiting our friendly forum, where you will always find help.