UK Rail Sleeper Services

Why not save a nights accommodation cost by catching an overnight sleeper train. You not only get a unique and slightly nostalgic way to travel, it's also a great way to save time, as you get to your destination early in the morning after a relaxing night's sleep. This article looks at the two rail sleeper services available in the UK.

There are two sleeper services operated in the UK:

1. ScotRail's Caledonian Sleeper Operates on routes between London Euston to Aberdeen, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh & Glasgow.
2. First Great Western's Night Riviera Sleeper Service Operates on the route between London Paddington to Penzance.

1. ScotRail's Caledonian Sleepers

Trains operate 6 days a week (Sun - Fri night) on the routes between London and Scotland. A rough guide to the time you can board and the time you need to depart by are given below. Times do vary according to the day of the week, so for accurate times and interim destinations have a look at the Scotrail timetable.

Depart Board from Arrive Vacate Time
London Euston 20.30 Aberdeen 8.00
London Euston 20.30 Inverness 8.30
London Euston 20.30 Fort William 9.56
London Euston 23.00 Edinburgh 8.00
London Euston 23.00 Glasgow 8.00
Aberdeen 20.45 London Euston 8.00
Inverness 20.00 London Euston 8.00
Fort William 19.15 London Euston 8.00
Edinburgh 23.00 London Euston 8.00
Glasgow 22.00 London Euston 8.00

The cost of a sleeper birth varies, with prices starting from £19 each way. If you go for one of the Scotrail bargain births which are usually mid week journeys, that typically sell for around the £39 - £49 mark. This includes a complimentary tea/coffee and light snack at your destination. Tickets can be booked from 12 weeks in advance.

How about making it a family adventure, as children under 5 travel free, if they share an adults bed, and those between 5 - 16 travel at half price. You need to have booked both bunks of the sleeper birth if taking a child under 5.

For more info and detailed conditions see the Scotrail site.

2. First Great Western's Night Riviera Sleeper

Trains operate 6 days a week (Sun - Fri night) on the route between London and Penzance. For a rough guide the trains depart / arrive at their final destinations as below. Times do vary according to the day of the week, so for accurate times and interim destinations have a look at the "Great Western timetable".

Depart Board from Arrive Vacate Time
Penzance 21.35 London Paddington 7.00
London Paddington 22.30 Penzance 8.00

On the Cornish Riviera service you need to first purchase a standard ticket for the journey, and then pay extra for the sleeper. The sleeper supplements are £45 for a 1-berth room and £30 per person for a 2-berth room. Alternatively you can buy all in tickets from First Great Western that includes both costs together.

As with Scotrail children under 5 travel free if they share an adults bed, and those between 5 - 16 travel at half price. You need to have booked both bunks of the sleeper birth if taking a child under 5.

For more info and detailed conditions see the First Great Western site.

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