December 9, 2022
 

London-Inverness on the Caledonian Sleeper

In these CO2-conscious times, this comfortable rail journey really did make the switch from air or road to rail seem a sensible, easy and efficient option.

The train: This overnight sleeper service links London with a range of Scottish cities effortlessly, and with eco-friendly credentials.

The journey: I travelled in a Club Room overnight between Inverness and London Euston, which left punctually at 8.26pm and arrives in London 12 hours later (depending on signalling priorities). Check-in was done on the platform as I boarded and was combined with a welcome explanation of the hotel-style key-card system for my room and dining options. Digital displays in each carriage give location and destination guidance and journey updates.

The seat: My Club Room offered bunk beds, wash basin and an ensuite toilet which doubled as a shower cubicle. The space was limited but good design touches ensured there was sufficient space to stow a bag, hang clothes and power and charge electricals. A collapsible table pulled out from below the sink for those who want to work or dine in the cabin. The lower bunk doubled as seating, with a head rest for added comfort. Each cabin has its own temperature controls, dimmable lights and good, complimentary WiFi.

The service: Towels and Scottish toiletries were provided and the bunks were made up ready for the night with a very comfortable well-padded Glencraft mattress, two full-sized pillows and a generous duvet in quality white linens. The entire train felt clean and modern with décor and colour schemes matching that of the Scottish landscape.

Onboard dinner was available for purchase in the Lounge Car from boarding (45 minutes before departure). Choices included Haggis, Neeps and Tatties or Macaroni Cheese, local cheese board and snacks. Staff were very friendly and cheerful. Breakfast is pre-ordered by door card 30 minutes after boarding for delivery to your room or served the Lounge Car. The menu ranges from yoghurt and granola to a hearty Full Highland Breakfast complete with black pudding.

The verdict: No queuing, no security checks, no luggage restrictions are immediate plus points. In these CO2-conscious times, this comfortable rail journey really did make the switch from air or road to rail seem a sensible, easy and efficient option.

The details: Club Rooms from £205 return for a solo traveller and £250 for shared.

sleeper.scot

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