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The Caledonian Sleeper: Getting from London to Edinburgh in (Cramped) Style

The Caledonian Sleeper: Getting from Edinburgh to London in (Cramped) Style | CosmosMariners.com

When traveling between London and Edinburgh (two of the UK's best cities in my opinion!), you have a couple of transportation options: driving and flying are popular choices, but you could always go the hitchhiking or running options. I would not recommend the latter two, as the chances that you would be found in a ditch are fairly high on both.

And then there's my favorite option: the train.

I know it's incredibly old fashioned to say this, but there's just something so romantic about traveling by train. I could be a countess in hiding or a very fashionable (but discreet!) spy. The possibilities are endless.

When Landon and I did our UK Extravaganza trip, we flew in and out of London, and then took trains to and from Edinburgh for the Scotland portion of our trip. On the way up, we drowsily took the standard express train, of which I remember very little since I was operating on about an hour of sleep.

On the way back, however, we decided to go in style and take the Caledonian Sleeper. It leaves every night but Saturdays from Waverley Station in Edinburgh and stops in London Euston. (There are also several other sleeper train routes including Aberdeen to London Euston and Glasgow to London Euston.)

We got to Waverley around 9:30 p.m. and proceeded to do the following at the train station: read, gossip about the other people around us, glare at people who looked as if they wanted to steal our luggage, and drink wine from a plastic cup that we bought from the convenience store. I know--we're so classy we can't stand it.

The beverage of choice in train stations
By the time 11 p.m. rolled around, Landon and I were standing on the platform outside of the sleeper train, ready to jump in our pjs and go to bed in our luxurious twin berth room.



We showed our tickets, hauled ourselves down the minuscule hallway and found our room.

I know that train rooms aren't going to be spacious, but ours was so teeny tiny as to be Hobbit-sized. Landon and I took turns sitting on the top bunk while the other used the sink for tooth brushing and face washing. There wasn't an in room bathroom--just the sink--so be prepared to put on your slippers and use the bathrooms at either end of your train car.

The Caledonian Sleeper: Getting from Edinburgh to London in (Cramped) Style | CosmosMariners.com

Overall, the beds weren't too bad for twin bunks on a train. They certainly weren't down comforters and Egyptian cotton sheets, but we were there for the experience and not the luxury accommodations. The thing that I couldn't get used to was the train moving: I'd fall asleep and then wake up with the foot of my bed about six inches higher than the head when we'd go around a corner. That was a strange feeling!



In the morning, a porter comes around and knocks on all of the doors. You put an order in the night before for coffee or tea, so there's a hot beverage and several packets of shortbread waiting on you upon waking. Sounds like a good morning to me.

What to know when you're booking:

  • There are three types of accommodations: single berth, twin berth, and seated sleeper. Single gets you your very own room, while twin is what Landon and I stayed in. I'd highly avoid the seated sleeper (even though it comes with the cheapest price) until you've got insomnia and really, really want to see what Scotland looks like at 3 in the morning. 
  • There's a first class single berth ticket if you're feeing fancy. It combines a train/sleeper ticket with an Underground pass. 
  • Book ahead. The further out you can book, the better deals you get (see below). 
  • Bargain berths will be your new best friend. I tend to plan so far out that I'm currently working on my 60th birthday party. While this is not always the healthiest (or most normal) option, sometimes I get lucky in my strange ways. Watch this ScotRail site like a hawk: there will often be double perth sleepers for 20 or 30 pounds. Compared to the normal rate of 125 pounds, those are some pretty sweet savings. By booking several months out, Landon and I got a hotel room/train ticket/ breakfast for about half the cost of a cheapo normal night's stay.
  • Make sure there's a bed icon by the price when you book. Otherwise, you just bought yourself a five hour journey sitting straight up.
We had a blast on the train ride, and taking a sleeper train was a highlight of our trip. It wasn't the perfect overnight accommodation, but it was a lot of fun!

Do you like traveling by train? Have you ever taken an overnight train journey?

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