Magical moment as Caledonian Sleeper’s future meets present

Caledonian Sleeper’s future met its present on Saturday morning as testing continues on the new fleet of trains.

Six of the new carriages were out for winter testing over the weekend, running between Polmadie in Glasgow and Fort William on the West Highland Line.

And for two fleeting minutes at Tulloch Station, the new carriages – on their way back to Glasgow – passed the current train as it neared the end of its overnight journey from London.

It comes as trial operations enter the final phase, with preparations being made for the new fleet to begin operating by the end of May 2019.

Ryan Flaherty, Serco’s Managing Director at Caledonian Sleeper, said: “We only have a few weeks of testing left so it feels fitting that our current trains were able to sit alongside our new trains in the wild.

“It’s particularly symbolic because ‘old meets new’ is something we really want to capture when we debut our new carriages. We aim to offer a timeless experience and magical journey for guests, combining the nostalgic feeling of railway travel with modern facilities that travellers expect.”

The fleet, built at a cost of over £100m and part funded by a capital grant from the Scottish Ministers of £60m, has been designed to accommodate the modern-day traveller and cater to both business and leisure travel guests. A range of accommodation options will be offered, including:

  • Caledonian Double (double bed with en-suite)
  • Club Rooms (solo or twin with en-suite)
  • Classic Rooms (solo or twin)
  • Comfort Seats
  • Fully accessible rooms for guests with reduced mobility

Other new features will also be included, such as a hotel-style key card entry system, more accessible rooms, charging panels and WiFi throughout the train.

The trains will initially be introduced on the Lowlander route between Glasgow / Edinburgh and London before being rolled out onto the Highlander route which serves Fort William, Aberdeen and Inverness.

To find out more about the Caledonian Sleeper, visit

Undiscovered Shopping in London

London is famous the world over for its shopping. High street shops, iconic designer outlets and towering department stores make the city a shopping haven for those seeking leading brands and bargain prices.


But, away from the hustle and bustle of the likes of Oxford Street and Regent Street, is a closet of smaller boutiques, quirky curios and markets off the beaten path.


Here, we’ve highlighted our favourite shopping destinations where you’ll get lost in winding streets and hidden gems rather than overwhelming crowds.


Neal’s Yard


Tucked away in Seven Dials, Neal’s Yard is a must for cosmetic and beauty fans. Here, you’ll find the flagship of Neal’s Yard Remedies offering organic skincare products, as well as specialist boutiques such as Kiehl’s and perfumer Miller and Harris.


Leadenhall Market


Harry Potter fans will instantly recognise this Victorian marketplace as the setting for Diagon Alley.


Although wands, broomsticks and owls can’t be found here, the cobblestone passageways will bewitch shoppers with their lamp-lit window displays selling clothing, stationery, watches and perfumes.


Camden Passage


If you’re on the hunt for pre-loved treasures such as antiques, vintage clothes and quirky trinkets, then head to cobblestone laneway Camden Passage. Filled with small shops and cafes, you’ll find everything imaginable in this Aladdin’s cave.


Broadway Market


Broadway Market is the perfect place to wander on a Saturday morning. Browse the dozens of stalls selling fresh produce, food and drink, accessories and vintage clothing before nipping into one of the nearby pubs or cafes for a bite to eat.


Regent’s Park Road


Avoid the crowds of nearby Camden Market and stroll along Regent’s Park Road in the Primrose Hill area.


Stocked with quality boutiques selling clothing and footwear, here you can relax in a cosy restaurant or wander along the picturesque canals, taking in the city views.

London’s Theatre Opportunities in the Spotlight

From West End shows to world-famous musicals, London offers some of the best theatre. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a last-minute trip to see a captivating opera, or booking in advance to secure front row seats at a box office play, there’s plenty of theatre opportunities in the Big Smoke this winter.


Here, we’ve listed some of our top choices for theatre buffs, Broadway beginners and families. Climb on board and get the show on the road with Caledonian Sleeper.


Matilda the Musical


Transferring from the big screen to the stage, Matilda the Musical is capturing the imaginations of both children and adults.


Hosted at Cambridge Theatre until spring next year, the musical follows Matilda, a five year old girl with a special gift who learns that sometimes you have to be a little naughty to get through life.


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime


The National Theatre’s much-loved production of Simon Stephen’s play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime ­has returned to London’s West End.


Running at the Piccadilly Theatre until April, the play is sure to delight audiences with its award-winning wit, innovative stage design and thought provoking story.


The Woman in Black


If you’re looking for something gripping then opt for The Woman in Black, currently showing at the Fortune Theatre.


One of the West End’s longest running plays, terrifying audiences in London since 1989, The Woman in Black is based on Susan Hill’s novel of the same name. It tells the story of Arthur Kipps – a solicitor who is sent to a remote town to attend the funeral of a client, during which he sees a mysterious woman dressed in black.


The Great Gatsby


Until the end of March audiences can be transported back to the roaring 1920s by catching The Great Gatsby at Gatsby’s Drugstore.


An immersive adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald’s jazz-age novel which puts the audience at the heart of the action, this is an invite not to be missed, with lively music, unique theatrical performances and flowing cocktails all promised.

Caledonian Sleeper Raises a Glass to Rabbie Burns with Guest Event

Overnight rail service Caledonian Sleeper paid tribute to the Scottish Bard on Friday (25 January) by inviting guests to enjoy an evening of traditional Burns Night celebrations.

Arranged in partnership with Newrest, a tailor-made catering and food service company, the event saw guests welcomed on board the Inverness to London service by a piper before a selection of complimentary canapés, including miniature haggis from Dingwall based Cockburn & Son, were served in the Lounge Car where guests relaxed whilst they travelled through the night.

A nip of Tomatin 12 year old single malt Scotch was also offered, with glasses raised in celebration of Robert Burns and his much-loved work. Featured on the current Caledonian Sleeper drinks menu, Tomatin is an award-winning distillery local to Inverness with a rich history dating back to 1897 which can be discovered at the brand’s visitor centre and gift shop in the Highlands.

Graham Kelly, Serco’s Guest Experience Director at Caledonian Sleeper, commented: “Burns Night is a special evening in the Scottish calendar and so we wanted to provide our guests with a memorable experience that would allow them to toast the famous bard.

“Not only was this event a celebration of one of the country’s most famous figures but also our traditions and great produce, with Newrest and Tomatin providing a mouth-watering sample of some of Scotland’s finest food and drink.”

The Burns Night celebration is the start of a calendar of on board events hosted by Caledonian Sleeper which will take place this year, including on the new trains which are due to be in operation by the end of May.

With kitchens in Edinburgh and London, Newrest, which is delivering all meals on board the current and new trains, will be at the centre of many of these events, offering guests a taste of Scotland as they travel across the border.

Peter Berkeley, Country Managing Director, UK, at Newrest, added: “We were very excited to kick start our relationship with Caledonian Sleeper with this great event. We’ve worked hard to create a menu of fresh produce with local suppliers which will be delivered on the current and new trains and the Burns Night event is a glimpse of this.

“We hope everyone on board enjoyed the evening and we look forward to creating more events for the coming months.”

To find out more about Caledonian Sleeper, visit

Caledonian Sleeper celebrates Highlands with North Coast 500 event

Overnight rail service Caledonian Sleeper is offering guests a glimpse of the Highlands before they even reach their destination this Wednesday (21 November).

Inspired by Lonely Planet naming the Scottish Highlands and Islands as one of the top regions in the world for travellers in 2019, the event on the London to Inverness service will provide guests with an insight into what makes the area so unique.

Hosted by the North Coast 500 – the ultimate road trip around the north of Scotland – guests in the Lounge Car will be able hear why the area was heralded ‘as one of the wildest, least inhabited and most scenic parts of Europe’. A taste of whiskies local to the region can also be enjoyed with guests served a dram of single malt from Glen Ord and Clynelish distilleries, both of which are owned by Diageo and located on the North Coast 500 route.

Gabbi Armstrong, Business Relationship Adviser at North Coast 500, who will lead the event on board, commented: “The Highlands and Islands is famed for its dramatic scenery, wild landscapes, rich history and mouth-watering food and drink and we couldn’t think of a better time to showcase the very best of the area to Caledonian Sleeper guests.

“Just a few miles outside of London guests will be able to hear why this corner of the world is so unique and popular, learning how the North Coast 500 is one of the best ways to experience it. With a dram of a local whisky in hand, this will be a great opportunity for guests to find out what makes the Highlands and Islands so special. We’ll even be providing a complimentary map of the route so that they can plan their own Highland adventure.”

The North Coast 500 event forms part of a calendar of on board events organised by Caledonian Sleeper to offer guests a series of Scottish-inspired experiences.

Graham Kelly, Serco’s Guest Experience Director at Caledonian Sleeper, added: “There’s something really magical about leaving London in the evening and waking up the next morning in the beauty of the Highlands and with this event we’re bringing that magic to life even earlier.

“We’re really proud to transport guests to this great part of Scotland six nights a week and hope that the event in partnership with North Coast 500 inspires even more people to enjoy an area with global recognition.”

To find out more about the Caledonian Sleeper, visit

Caledonian Sleeper guests treated to bedtime stories of Edinburgh’s dark past

Guests of Caledonian Sleeper were treated to a social history extravaganza as a storyteller from The Real Mary King’s Close climbed on board to tell tales of Edinburgh’s dark past yesterday evening (Thursday 1 November).

Themed for Halloween and hosted on board the London to Edinburgh service, the event offered guests a unique insight into the city’s rich history and some of Edinburgh’s most notable characters through a series of short stories told by Robert Fergusson – a well-known 18th century poet who had a great influence on Robert Burns.

Played by Mark Hannah, a character tour guide from The Real Mary King’s Close, Mr Fergusson regaled passengers with stories of his time in Edinburgh, as well as the people that followed him, including the infamous gruesome twosome Burke and Hare.

Speaking of the event, Mark commented: “There’s no better time than Halloween to bring history to life. At the Close, we invite guests to step down into Edinburgh’s hidden history. We tell the intriguing real stories of the city’s past residents, and offer an immersive walk-through of the city’s uniquely preserved streets and spaces; all located underneath Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile. To be asked to bring a small selection of some of our favourite stories to guests travelling on the Caledonian Sleeper has been thrilling.”

The Halloween event forms a calendar of on board events organised by Caledonian Sleeper to offer guests a series of Scottish-inspired experiences and follows a similar storytelling event with The Real Mary King’s Close last year.

Graham Kelly, Serco’s Guest Experience Director at Caledonian Sleeper, added: “We were very excited to welcome The Real Mary King’s Close back for a second Halloween.

“Travelling through the night on board Caledonian Sleeper is magical in itself but by adding these truly Scottish events, including the historical tales from Edinburgh’s most famous street, we’re able to make the journey even more enchanting and memorable. We hope guests enjoyed the event and weren’t too spooked before bed.”

To find out more about The Real Mary King’s Close, visit

To find out more about the Caledonian Sleeper, visit