The Caledonian Sleeper: The Overnight Experience
Rolling my bursting at the seams suitcase through the City of London, my inability to pack light becomes well and truly apparent. Making my way into the office my colleagues don’t delay in making the predictable “Where are you dragging the kitchen sink love?” jokes and I’m convinced each time I reply, my response get increasingly more random with each trip that I take.
So where is this destination this time I hear you say? Glasgow!
*cues the typical response*
“Why the hell are you going there?”
Well! Here’s the story… the plan was to visit a destination that was reachable via the famous Caledonian Sleeper train. Obviously we could use a normal mode of transportation such as fly, drive, cycle (over my dead body) or take a normal train during the day. However, we’re all for experiencing new things so this was the perfect opportunity to do something a bit out of the ordinary.
The Caledonian Sleeper, is an overnight train that runs services six days a week between Fort William, Aberdeen and Inverness. Our train departed from London Euston at 23:40 and arrived in Glasgow Central at approximately 07:20. Considering that I finished work at 5:15pm, that gap in between makes for dangerous drinking consumption. Three bars later and the world’s fastest raid of the Euston Virgin Lounge, it was safe to say I was well and truly hammered by the time we had to board. Swaying through the corridors of the carriage it wasn’t long before we located our cabin for the night. If you are travelling as a couple, the key is to book adjacent cabins. This is simply so both of your cabins can be opened up, or otherwise you’ll end up knocking on each other’s doors all night and that will just get frustrating after a while.
When this idea first arose, I originally envisioned sleeping in a terrifyingly claustrophobic chamber, but I’m happy to admit that this wasn’t actually the case at all. It’s actually pretty spacious! You can easily get changed, dance around and achieve excellent selfie angles without knocking into anything. The cabins consist of storage, hanging space, a sink, USB-only charging facilities, a pull out table and a surprisingly comfortable single bed…I honestly had the best sleep. Couldn’t say the same for the Mr, but hey that’s his own fault! (I’m sorry!)
Whilst booking your ticket you get the option to have dinner and breakfast on board. By booking first class, you’ll automatically secure a reservation within the dining car. When dinner time arrived, I literally inhaled my mac and cheese… absolutely perfect for aiding a speedy recovery from the wine, cocktails and bubbly which had been downed prior to boarding the sleeper. Like a true Scotsman, my partner indulged in the Haggis. All meals on the sleeper are sourced from Scotland, so you’re living and breathing the Scottish experience from the word go. For breakfast we both went for the Salmon and Eggs, again all sourced for the Highlands. So delicious!
I’ve had a lot of people ask me whether you get your get your own en-suite bathroom. I can confirm that you don’t but toilets are located at the front and rear of each coach. Upon disembarking the train, you will be supplied with a token that lets you make use of the shower facilities at the station you arrive in. We we’re provided with a ‘Caledonian Sleeper’ branded shower pack. It included all the essentials such as towels (so you don’t have to remove the ones that you’re supplied with on the train), shower gels, body lotions, shampoo, etc. I wouldn’t say I’m OCD, but I do have a thing about clean showers. Walking in hoping for the best, I was pleasantly surprised at how nice and clean the showers were! They actually gave my gym a real good run for their money.
A set of new revamped trains are currently being introduced, so I’m intrigued to see how they compare to the older sleeper.Travelling on the sleeper train was an experience that I will never forget and I would absolutely do it again.
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