Quick guide to UK Sleeper Trains


Sleeper trains are trains that provide overnight services, complete with passenger beds to sleep through the journey.  These services offer an excellent alternative to flying or long drives, can save passengers valuable journey time and provide an adventurous way to travel.

The UK runs two sleeper train services; the Caledonian Sleeper (Scotland – London) and the Night Riviera Sleeper (Cornwall – London), both with stops along the way.

CALEDONIAN SLEEPER

The route (in a nutshell)

The Caledonian Sleeper is the ultimate way to travel between London Euston and Scotland.  Every night except Saturday two sleeper trains head north and two sleeper trains head south connecting stations across the UK.  The actual routes are a little complicated to summarise but in its’ simplest form; The Highland Sleeper connects Aberdeen, Inverness, Fort William, Dundee & Perth with London, while the Lowland Sleeper connects Edinburgh & Glasgow with London.  Timings vary according to station but most trains arrive by 8am.  If you are on a budget reclining seats are also available, but don’t offer use of the lounge car.

Facilities onboard (the useful stuff)

Each berth has complimentary bottled water, a sink with soap and face towels.  Each carriage has 2 toilets and although there are no showers onboard these are available at most stations.  Standard ticket holders are provided with a toothbrush kit while First Class ticket holders are given a toiletries bag.  Bicycles are carried free-of-charge but spaces are limited.

The lounge car includes real leather sofas and serves reasonably priced food & drink.  In the morning Standard tickets holders are served a hot drink and shortbread, while First Class passengers are served a full breakfast (continental, cooked or veggie) and given a Scotsman newspaper.  Standard Class passengers may purchase a full ‘Highland’ breakfast for £6.

Prices

Fares start at £70 one-way for one bed in a standard 2-bed berth.  Reclining seats start at £35 one-way advance.  To book visit ScotRail.

NIGHT RIVERIA SLEEPER

The route (in a nutshell)

Runs every night except Saturdays a sleeper service runs between London Paddington and Cornwall stopping at stations long the way.  Timings vary according to station but generally speaking London-bound trains arrive by 7am and Penzance-bound trains arrive by 8am.  If you are on a budget reclining seats are also available, but don’t offer use of the lounge car.

Facilities onboard (the useful stuff)

Standard class single Single berths include an on demand TV service that shows a range of programmes.  Each berth has a sink and toiletries pack and there are 2 toilets on each carriage.  There are no showers onboard but these are available at most stations.

The food car is available to all sleeper passengers and serves reasonably priced food & drink.  In the morning all sleeper ticket holders are given a complimentary light breakfast and newspaper.  Bicycles are carried free-of-charge but spaces are limited.

Prices

Prices start at £49 per person for a single berth and £69 per person for a twin berth.  Unlike the Caledonian Sleeper if you are travelling alone you can’t share with a stranger so must pay full price if sole occupancy of a twin room.  To book visit First Great Western.

LINKS

For an excellent overview of the UK’s sleeper services visit The Man in Seat Sixty-One.

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3 comments

  1. I’ll let you know how I get on – I’m doing London to Edinburgh and back next week, clashing with a possible train strike!

    I didn’t know about the Cornwall one so thanks for the information.

  2. Very good blog! Do you have any recommendations for
    aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m
    completely confused .. Any ideas? Kudos!

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