A guide to travelling on the Caledonian Sleeper, the overnight train journey from Glasgow to London, with everything you need to know, from routes and costs to onboard facilities and accommodation.
Is there still romance associated with rail travel? I think there still is, just about, and getting the Caledonian Sleeper train between Glasgow Central and Euston is probably as romantic as you can get in Britain!
Every night except on Saturdays, the Caledonian Sleeper trains link Scotland with London. If you want to travel in a civilised and environmentally friendly way between London and Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness or Fort William then this is the way. New carriages entered service in 2019, so the Caledonian Sleeper was given a glow up to the present time.
We tried out the Caledonian Sleeper way back in 2013. The service was refreshed in 2019 and in 2021 we tried out the cabins and seats on separate trips between Glasgow and London.
Where can you travel on the Caledonian Sleeper?
The Caledonian Sleeper connects London to Scotland, and back to London, through different routes. There are two different sleeper routes – Lowland and Highland. The Lowland Caledonian Sleeper runs from London Euston and splits at Carstairs, with one half travelling to Edinburgh and the other to Glasgow.
The Highland Caledonian Sleeper also runs from London Euston but leaves earlier as it heads further north. The train is divided into three sections and splits when it gets to Edinburgh – one section goes north to Stirling, Perth, Aviemore and Inverness, another goes east to Dundee and Aberdeen, and the third goes west to Fort William and the stations on the West Highland line.
How long does the Caledonian sleeper take?
The Lowland service takes 7.5 hours to reach Glasgow and Edinburgh. The Highland service takes around 8–12 hours depending on your destination.
How much does the Caledonian sleeper cost and what types of accommodation are available?
Prices for the Caledonian Sleeper vary. Typically prices are cheaper if you travel off-season and not on Friday and Sunday nights.
Sleeper cabins are priced per room and can be booked for either single or double occupancy.
A basic seat starts from £50 and a Classic room from £175. A Club room starts from £235 and the Caledonian Double starts from £345.
It’s not a cheap way to travel, but think of it in the sense that you are saving money on what you may have paid for a hotel room, then factor in the time getting to the airport on time, checking in, the hassle of security, and getting from the airport when you can relax on board a train, fall asleep and wake up in the centre of your destination – this is why we prefer to travel by sleeper. Obviously paying for a room and bed is better than a seat but for budget travel, it is much better than the overnight bus as it’s a smoother and more spacious journey, with the seated carriage laid out like first class, and the seats can recline slightly.
Choice of tickets for Caledonian Sleeper
Caledonian Sleeper Tickets
These rail tickets are only valid for travel on the Caledonian Sleeper and include a reservation for your chosen type of accommodation.
You can buy these tickets up to 12 months before you travel from the Caledonian Sleeper website or from the Guest Service Centre call – 0330 060 0500
Caledonian Sleeper Flexible
The Flexible tickets are fully refundable, with no administration fee, if requested by 12 noon two days before your scheduled arrival time at your destination. After this time no refunds are allowed. Available for Caledonian Double, Club and Classic rooms.
Family tickets are available to all guests travelling with children on any route. To book a Family Ticket online, simply select the number of adults and children required on your chosen route and date of travel. View the travelling with children page.
How to book Caledonian Sleeper
Sleeper times Glasgow to London Route
What’s the Caledonian Sleeper like?
The new Caledonian Sleeper trains offer three types of rooms: Classic, Club & Caledonian Double and wheelchair-accessible rooms. All come with soap, towels, power sockets, USB ports & free WiFi.
Classic rooms are small 1 or 2-bed rooms which can be booked for single or double occupancy. There’s a washbasin with soap and towels provided, power sockets & USB ports, free WiFi, and the room has an electronic card key lock so you can lock it securely when you go to the toilet or club car. There’s a toilet at the end of the corridor, although no shower. Breakfast is not included in a Classic room, but you can order breakfast items for an extra cost. The beds are 190cm long and approx 63cm wide. There’s luggage space under the bottom berth.
Club rooms are just like the classic room but with en suite toilet & shower. There’s a washbasin with soap and towels provided, power sockets & USB ports, free WiFi, and the room has an electronic card key lock so you can lock it securely when you go to the club car. With a Club room, breakfast is included, served in the club car or in your compartment at a time you specify. You tick the breakfast items you want on an order form and hang it on the outside of your room door on departure.
Caledonian Double rooms
Caledonian Double rooms have a double bed and en suite toilet & shower. There is a washbasin with soap and towels provided, power sockets & USB ports, free WiFi, and the room has an electronic card key lock so it’s secure when you go to the club car. With a Caledonian Double room, breakfast is included, served in the club car or in your compartment at a time you specify. You tick the breakfast items you want on an order form and hang it on the outside of your room door on departure.
Seats are an economical way to travel. Each seat has a drop-down table, power socket & USB port. The seats recline slightly. Lights remain on at full brightness all night ‘for safety reasons’, they are not dimmed but you do get an eyemask and earplugs. Each seat also has its own secure locker for valuables with a combination lock, just below the overhead rack. It can also get chilly, so bring a cover.
The club car – food and drink on the Caledonian Sleeper
All passengers with sleeping berths can use the club car, passengers travelling in the seats are not allowed in the club car. There is a seated coach menu available so you can still have hot and cold food and a wide range of drinks.
The Caledonian Sleeper club car menu includes dishes such as haggis, a Scottish cheeseboard or dumpling. The wine list includes red, white and rosé wine, prosecco and champagne. There is also whisky, beer, spirits and soft drinks available. You can find sample menus with prices at www.sleeper.scot.
Luggage, bikes, dogs & pets
There is room for small & medium-sized bags and cases in your compartment, under the bottom bunk or on the floor.
You can take bikes on the Caledonian Sleeper trains free of charge, but a bike reservation must be made as spaces are limited. Call the new Caledonian Sleeper Guest Services Centre on 0330 060 0500 to reserve.
Dogs & pets
You can take dogs or other pets on the sleeper, but your party must occupy all the berths in the compartment and there is a dog charge. Call the Caledonian Sleeper Guest Services Centre on 0330 060 0500. Guide dogs travel free.
At London Euston Club & Caledonian Double sleeper passengers can use the Avanti West Coast first class lounge for up to two hours before their sleeper leaves London or when travelling south, for up to 2 hours after the sleeper arrives in London. The lounge is on the first floor and has free WiFi and complimentary tea, coffee & snacks, with a bar where you can buy beer, wine or spirits. There are free showers in the lounge.
Edinburgh Waverley – Club & Caledonian Double sleeper passengers may use the LNER first class lounge with complimentary refreshments & free WiFi.
Glasgow Central – Club & Caledonian Double sleeper passengers may use the Avanti West Coast first class lounge with complimentary refreshments & free WiFi.
Aberdeen – Club & Caledonian Double sleeper passengers may use the first class lounge next to the ticket office with complimentary drinks & refreshments & WiFi.
Inverness – There is a Caledonian Sleeper lounge for Club, Caledonian Double & Family ticket sleeper passengers attached to the Cal Sleeper Guest Services Centre, with free WiFi & complimentary tea, coffee and soft drinks. It is located outside the station across the road.
Fort William – There is Caledonian Sleeper lounge for Club & Caledonian Double & family ticket passengers at the station, with free WiFi and showers available.
Stirling, Dundee, Perth & Leuchars also have small Caledonian Sleeper lounges, these can be used by Club, Caledonian Double, Classic, Seated & Family Ticket passengers.