Caledonian SleeperScotland

Caledonian Sleeper: 16 Things You Need To Know Before Riding

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The Caledonian Sleeper is one of the most luxurious sleeper car trains in Europe. It is an incredible way to experience a trip to Scotland from London.

What is the best Caledonian Sleeper Route

Starting from London Euston and heading north, the route to Fort William is the best Caledonian Sleeper route. Much of the reason you’ll be riding on this train is to experience the train, and this is the longest route which will give you the most time on board. It’ll mostly be dark outside for your whole trip, so don’t judge based on scenery, or lack thereof.

On shorter routes to Glasgow and Edinburgh, the Caledonian Sleeper ride is so short at around 8 hours that you’ll hardly experience the train during waking hours. On a trip to Fort William from London it’ll take 13 hours, giving you plenty of time to enjoy your journey.

What are the best rooms on the Caledonian Sleeper

The best room on the Caledonian Sleeper is the Caledonian Double. Unique in that two people can sleep on the same level, it is one of the few sleeper rooms in the world that doesn’t utilize bunkbeds. We found the bed to be plenty big for our needs and the included shower and toilet is a real bonus.

Caledonian Double
Caledonian Double

If the Caledonian Double is out of reach, the Club Room is also a great choice. It has bunk beds and the same shower and toilet combination as the Caledonian Double. If neither of you feel comfortable going on the top berth you should opt for the double.

Caledonian Sleeper Club Room
Club Room

Is food included on the Caledonian Sleeper

Breakfast is included on the Caledonian Sleeper, but evening snacks and meals must be purchased from the Club Car. Breakfast was a limited offering, and we thought the evening meals were good, but the portions were smaller than at a restaurant. On our trip we opted for the nachos and sliders. They both tasted good, and at that late hour are about all you will need.

If you show up having not eaten since lunch, just understand you may need to order a few different things.

Caledonian Sleeper Menu
Caledonian Sleeper Food
Caledonian Sleeper Food

Is the Caledonian Sleeper Safe

The Caledonian Sleeper is very safe! The staff and security work hard to ensure passengers are safe and comfortable during their entire trip. We felt safe at all times including while boarding, eating, sleeping and getting off the train. You should not have any concerns over safety on the Caledonian Sleeper.

Are there showers on the Caledonian Sleeper

Caledonian Double and Club car rooms come with a private shower on the Caledonian Sleeper. The shower is integrated into the bathroom, so you’ll flip the toilet seat cover down and it then doubles as a bench for the shower. Water was warm and plentiful when we tried the shower, and overall it was a good experience.

Caledonian Sleeper Shower
Caledonian Sleeper Bathroom

What are the seats like on the Caledonian Sleeper

Comfort Seats on the Caledonian Sleeper are very nice and provide a comfortable ride to your destination. If we were riding this train though, and were not going to get a room, we’d probably opt for one of the day trains from London, which would be faster and cheaper than riding in the Comfort Seats. The main purpose for riding this train is to experience sleeping on the train, and it is hard to sleep in the Comfort Seats on the Caledonian Sleeper.

Caledonian Sleeper Comfort Seats

How long does the Caledonian Sleeper take

The fastest the Caledonian Sleeper can get to its destination is the route to Glasgow which takes 7.5 hours and the longest route, to Fort William, is almost 13 hours. The routes to Glasgow and Edinburgh are too short to fully enjoy.

Do you have to share a room on the Caledonian Sleeper

Rooms on the Caledonian Sleeper all sleep 2 people only. If you book a room with 2 passengers, you won’t be sharing a room with anyone else. There are no 4 or 6 person rooms on the Caledonian Sleeper.

Is the Caledonian Sleeper worth it

The Caledonian Sleeper train is one of the nicest overnight trains in the world and is worth the money it costs to ride. If you want to experience an upgraded luxury feel to your sleeper car accommodations, the Caledonian Sleeper is not to be missed on your next trip to Scotland.

Do you get towels on the Caledonian Sleeper

Towels are provided in sleeper car rooms on the Caledonian Sleeper. You will not need to bring your own towels to utilize the shower facilities while riding.

Can you smoke on the Caledonian Sleeper

Like most trains, smoking is not permitted on the Caledonian Sleeper in any area. You are able to smoke at the station before you board, and when you get off, but there aren’t many opportunities to smoke while riding.

Are dogs allowed on the Caledonian Sleeper

Dogs and cats are allowed in the sleeper rooms on the Caledonian Sleeper. They must remain on the floor and not sleep in the beds. They are not allowed to come to the Club Car with you while you eat. A cleaning fee of 30 pounds is charged per room and you are allowed to bring 2 pets with you on your trip.

Do you have to change trains on the Caledonian Sleeper

You will not have to change trains while riding the Caledonian Sleeper. All of the trains go directly to their destinations without the need for changes so you can sleep while the train is moving.

Can you upgrade your room on the Caledonian Sleeper

You can upgrade or change your room type on the Caledonian Sleeper Flexible Ticket up until two days before your trip. If you are on a Fixed Advance ticket, no refunds, changes, or upgrades are allowed.

Is the Caledonian Sleeper Expensive

The Caledonian Sleeper is an expensive train to ride, and the high cost is justified by luxury feel and updated train cars. While more expensive than other sleepers in Europe and the USA, it is the most updated experience you can get on a train and is worth the price.

How long before departure can you board the Caledonian Sleeper

We were surprised to know that we could board the Caledonian Sleeper quite early before our train departed. Take advantage of this, as the train ride isn’t very long. Trains to Edinburgh and Glasgow are available to board up to 1 hour and 40 minutes before departure. On longer routes to Fort William, Inverness and Aberdeen, you can expect to board 45 minutes before departure.

Robert Marmion
Rob is married to Allie and together they have been traveling the world for the past 2 years. Rob is one of the most published photographers in the world, having published over 750,000 images in the last 15 years. He enjoys doing landscape and astrophotography while on the road.