Sleeper Trains link London with various Scottish cities and the South-West (Devon and Cornwall).  They provide three levels of sleeping accommodation - single-bed cabins, twin-bed cabins and reclining seats.  There is also a buffet service available all night. Twin-bed cabins can be occupied by strangers only of the same gender.

Travellers can usually join the train 45 minutes before departure and can usually remain onboard after arrival until 08:00.

Service details

The trains run six days a week (not Saturday nights) and the timings below are indicative (they do differ on Sunday nights).

The London-Scotland services ("The Caledonian Sleeper") are centred on London's Euston station. There are two main trains, which split into portions once inside Scotland (or join on the return).

  • The Glasgow & Edinburgh service leaves London at 23:50 and reaches the two destinations by 07:20.
  • The other train has three portions, for Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William.  This leaves earlier at 21:15 and arrives at 07:30, 08:40 and 10:00 respectively. Trains also call at Kirkcaldy, Stirling, Perth, Dundee, Aviemore and a number of intermediate stations on the West Highland Line. 

The London-Cornwall service ("The Night Riviera") is a single portion only.  It leaves London's Paddington station at around 23:45, with arrival in Penzance by 08:00.

Benefits

  • The trains leave from city-centre stations, not from distant airports
  • The trains serve other stations, which may otherwise be difficult to reach by air
  • There are no weight restrictions for baggage.  Important: bicycles spaces do need to be reserved but are conveyed free of charge
  • The traveller saves the expense of an overnight hotel.

Points to watch

  •  Services can be very busy during the summer months and at weekends. So advance booking is advisable and discounted tickets might be hard to come by.  At other times, you can have the train almost to yourself, and it is possible to travel 600 miles/1000km for as little as £35 one-way.
  • Restful sleep is not guaranteed.  Joining or splitting of  the portions will probably shake you awake (the southbound Scottish shunting takes place at around 01:00).
  • Washing facilities are adequate but there are no showers onboard. Euston and Paddington stations have showers for First Class passengers.

How to book: London-Scotland and vice-versa

The London-Scotland services can now be booked up to one year in advance. 

Fares vary; this will depend on how early you book and whether you want a fixed, non-refundable non-exchangeable ticket, or something more flexible. If you want to travel in one direction by sleeper train and the other by daytime train you can book these separately. 

London - Scotland 'Caledonian Sleeper' services are operated by Serco, and have their own dedicated website: www.sleeper.scot

Be warned - the new Serco website gives very limited information on ticket types - as a result you can be caught by ticket prices increasing without warning even if the ticket you thought you were looking at was at a standard - non-discounted - price! 


How to book: London - Plymouth/Cornwall and vice-versa 

The London - Cornwall 'Night Riviera' is operated by First Great Western. Unlike the Scottish services, bookings only open during the same window as daytime services, usually 10-12 weeks ahead.

It is possible to book return tickets that include the sleeper in one direction only.

The Night Riviera has its own dedicated page within the First Great Western website: http://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/Yo...