Side Street Style: London to Edinburgh on the Caledonian Sleeper Train

Side Street Style

A UK family travel and lifestyle blog

04/04/2018

London to Edinburgh on the Caledonian Sleeper Train


Sleeper train


A couple of weeks ago we got to tick one of the bucket list by taking the overnight Caledonian Sleeper train from London to Edinburgh and back and it was certainly an experience we won't forget for a long time and is a great way to embrace slow travel and arrive in a different city in a unique way. We had an amazing break in the Scottish Capital which I will share in a larger post but for this one I just want to focus on our family sleeper train experience. Now I have done a few sleeper trains before across Europe a few years back but the UK has a pretty limited service when it come to overnight train travel.

Firstly I would like to point out that all of the Caledonian Sleeper trains are being upgraded and rolled out later this year, around October time and I think this is going to have a massively positive impact on the service this line will provide and the timing is perfect. During our trip we couldn't fault the attentiveness and professionalism of the staff although the train in terms of amenities needed a modern facelift which is what it is getting and I cannot wait to see the new trains for myself.


Caledonian sleeper

Sleeper Train Compartment


On our departure from London we had the chance to pop into the Virgin first class lounge which was available with our ticket type and gave us a space to relax, have a drink and use some wifi before heading up North. The departure time from London is pretty late so you need to have something on had to keep kids entertained, luckily Euston station has plenty of places to eat as well as fast wifi so after food we let our kids watch some movies on their tablets to let the time pass by. 

Once we were allowed to board we made our way down to the platform and were greeted by a lovely carriage attendant who arrange for us to have some coffee and orange juice delivered to our compartment in the morning along with a wake up call. We were lucky enough to try out both of the sleeping options during our trip, on the way up we had two rooms that opened up into one, each with bunk style beds, with cleaver storage these small rooms also fit a sink, storage space and coat hangers. You are also provided with a small necessity pack which has ear plugs, sleep mask, soap, towel and some fresh bottled water. While the boys and I found this perfect for us, John who is 6ft2 was a little cramped but I am glad to say the new compartments coming out later this year offer more space.


Train Lounge

Sleeper train


On the return trip the train left from Edinburgh earlier so we decided to head to the lounge car for a drink and some snack which I recommend as it's a great place to relax, meet other travellers and indulge in some Scottish delicacies. The lounge car was a stylish and comfortable space and is going to be even more impressive on the new trains. The staff were also very friendly and accommodating of the children who enjoyed the experience of being dined on on a train.

Due to an issue with the door of our compartment on our return trip, which was quickly dealt with by the fantastic team we were upgraded to first class rooms which were single rooms joined together and offered up a little bit more space. These rooms are going to become "club rooms" on the new stock and will be fully ensuite each with a private shower and toilet which is fantastic news, along with the option of a Suite which will have a double bed making the new stock the future of over-night travel.


Sleeper train compartment

family sleeper train

So what are the benefits of taking a sleeper train?

1. A relaxed way to travel and arrive in a new city as well as saving on a hotel and being able to wake up somewhere new a refreshed.
2. You have more flexibility with what luggage you take as appose to flying.
3. You can travel with your pet for a surcharge
4. The sleeper train accommodates bicycles if you book in advance.
5. Great family friendly way to travel

Also here are my top tips on getting as much sleep as possible on a sleeper train

1. Use the earplugs! These will help block out any noise which naturally occur when your travelling by train and help you get a more peaceful sleep.
2. Use the sleep masks which are provided - again this will block out any light that make disturb you during the night and help you sleep more restfully.
3. Pack your favourite Pyjamas as the more comfortable you are the more likely you are to get a good night sleep.
4. If your travelling with kids try and keep them up all day and reduce any naps, the train departs around 10-11pm so as soon as you board you can put them to sleep. My eldest slept like a log on both journeys.

My vlog of our journey will be up soon and in the meanwhile here is a sneak peak of the new compartments rolling out this October. I would certainly recommend this experience and imagine it's going to be even more fantastic when the new stock have hit the rails.





Thanks to Caledonian Sleeper Train for providing us with our travel and allowing us to review their service. All our words and thoughts are 100% our own. 


14 comments:

  1. Wow what a fantastic experience, especially as a family! I really want to take my kids on a sleeper train after reading this. Cannot wait to read more about your trip

    Alice x

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    1. Thanks so much Alice, will be doing a big write up of our trip this week.

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  2. I think it's beautiful and it's definitely a good and comfortable way to travel. I think trains like this are great especially when you're planning to leave at night so you can get to your destination early in the morning! So convenient!

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  3. Oh wow I didn’t even know this was something that exists, it looks like a great way to travel and easier than a plane too, love that it looks so cosy and chill! X

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  4. What a super idea! A great way to travel in style, and to not miss a day's adventuring by travelling at night!

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  5. Wow this is such a unique experience! I would love to take my boys (daddy and son) on this. They would surely love it.

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  6. I've always wanted to travel by sleeper train, it looks so comfortable and great for families too. Very impressive.

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  7. What an amazing experience, I would love to do this with the kids. What a fun way to travel!!

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  8. I've seen this service advertised but never really thought about what the trains looked like. They look nice! What a great way to travel through the night! xo

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  9. I have never been on a sleeper train before , it sounds so much fun and a good way to travel do you arrive at your destination refreshed.

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  10. How have I never heard of this before. I love the idea of a sleeper train and I look forward to seeing all the upgrades and improvements they make

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  11. Oh wow this sounds fantastic. I'm a bit of a geek; trains are my favourite mode of transport and going on a sleeper train is something that I have ALWAYS wanted to do. This would be brilliant! xxx

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  12. The sleeper train is so nice and I love how the beds are very relaxing! I would love to experience something like this someday!

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  13. When I saw you share about your Edinburgh trip on Twitter I was keen to hear about your sleeper train experience - all in all it sounds great! A sleeper train journey is one of those little things on our travel bucket list, and it seems totally doable as a family on a trip such as yours. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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Lovely comments

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