Caledonian Sleeper - London to Scotland

Monday, June 11, 2012
Kris and I decided it would be best to travel from London to Scotland via the Calendonian Sleeper train.  We figured after hours of travel from Dallas to Boston then Boston to London, we'd be pretty tired.  Instead of trying to drive or take another flight, we just thought we'd sleep away the night on a train and wake up in a new world.

We used the rails at London Heathrow to make our way over to the London Euston station.  It took over 40 minutes, but it was easy to do and only cost 5.40 GBP each.  Just grab the Piccadilly Line to Green Park station, then catch the Victoria line to Euston.  We then hopped on the Calendonian Sleeper train to head to Edinburgh.

I researched a lot about train fares and stumbled upon information for the ScotRail tickets called Bargain Berths.  To actually get a Bargain Berth rate, I had to use this special link.  It was well worth checking out.  I looked for routes from London Euston to Glasgow, Inverness, and Edinburgh.  I was able to secure tickets for £49 per person for the Euston to Edinburgh route.  The regular rates for advance purchase non-refundable twin berth sleeper cars were going for £83.80 per person.  Glasgow was even cheaper, but they only had one ticket left.  (I was buying these 35 days in advance.)  I will note that I found a direct flight from LHR to EDI for £62 per person, but that didn't include the price of a hotel for the evening or a possible missed connection and those associated fees.    Plus, we thought the train would be fun.

My impression: this was quite an experience. I would do it again, but next time I would wear earplugs to bed. We had spotty water at best, and we wound up using a bottle of water to brush our teeth and wash our faces. They provided hand towels and little bars of soap - but you can't use them without water. I will say that they provided a bottle of water per passenger and a small disposable cup.

The cabin was TINY. I mean tiny. The hallways too. Kris and I blocked everyone while trying to load into our room. Then the next couple did the same. It was quite funny.

But, if you are looking for an efficient, inexpensive way to travel across the UK, this sleeper train isn't a bad gig. Even the food onboard seemed reasonably priced.

At 30 minutes before departure, a small package of shortbread cookies and our morning beverage order (tea for me and orange juice for Kris) was delivered.

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