Visit Fort William, the outdoor capital of the UK

Fort William has long been known as the outdoor capital of the UK with its dramatic scenery, fresh mountain air and wealth of outdoor activities.

Travel with Caledonian Sleeper to the Scottish Highlands to experience the true outdoors, whatever the weather.


Climb Ben Nevis

Munro-bagging is a big thing in Scotland, with 282 Munros in the country. At the peak of the list, for keen climbers and visitors alike, is Ben Nevis. At 1,345 metres above sea level, Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the UK.

Translating Ben Nevis from Gaelic, it quite aptly means ‘mountain with its head in the clouds’.

And if you climb Ben Nevis on a clear day, you will have extraordinary views across Fort William and beyond.

There are different routes up the mountain for differing abilities, but remember to plan ahead.


Road to the Isles

If Fort William is your starting point, why not take on the Road to the Isles – beginning in Fort William and making its way west towards Mallaig, where you can get a ferry to Isle of Skye.

Along the scenic route, there are many places to stop and enjoy including Loch Eil, Glenfinnan, Lochailort, Arisaig and Mallaig.


Outdoor activities at Nevis Range

Head along to Nevis Range for an outdoor sports enthusiast’s dream.


Mountain Biking

Home to the UCI Downhill World Cup since 2002, Nevis Range is the perfect place for mountain biking, whether you’re experienced or a beginner. The World Cup itself will be held on 6 and 7 June, attracting mountain bike enthusiasts from around the world.

The range of trails, known as “The Witch’s Trails”, include something for all abilities, such as two downhill trails that are accessed by gondola. There’s even somewhere to wash your bike at the end of the day.


Tree Adventure

Hidden in the trees at the edge of Leanachan forest is Tree Adventure, a series of obstacle courses which provide the ultimate forest adventure for everyone.



Nevis Range has a variety of snowsport runs for all stages, as well as group and individual ski lessons. Popular with snowsports enthusiasts, Aonach Mor is Scotland’s highest snowsports destination.



Nevis Range is home to a range of walks, including the mountain viewpoints and over 25 miles of forest walks. Experience views as far as the Inner Hebrides and the infamous Ben Nevis as you walk.



Another exciting activity on offer at Nevis Range is paragliding. What better way to take in the spectacular scenery than flying amongst Britain’s highest peaks? Travel to one of the viewpoints by gondola then take off on one of the most exhilarating experiences in Fort William.

Celebrate Pancake Day in Glasgow and Edinburgh

Pancake Day is celebrated every year on Shrove Tuesday – 47 days before Easter Sunday – so this year pancakes will be enjoyed on 25 February.

If you’re in Glasgow or Edinburgh, we’ve created a list of the best places to visit to treat yourself this Pancake Day.

Tribeca Bar & Grill

This American-inspired Tribeca bar and grill has a wide range of pancakes year-round, including buttermilk pancake stacks. There’s a wide range of sweet toppings available including cookie dough, Oreo crumbles, fresh fruit and ice cream. If you prefer a savoury topping, try bacon, eggs and sausages. Even better, this pancake day Tribeca is offering half price pancakes from 3-5pm.


Visit Potbelly for some of Glasgow’s most Instagram-worthy pancakes. Choose from a wide range of hotcake stacks with fresh fruit and decorated with flowers – your pancakes will stand out from the crowd this Pancake Day.

Lagom Kitchen

Indulge in some of Lagom Kitchen’s famous pancake stacks – with regular creative specials, this is not one to be missed.

Stack and Still

The clue is in the name – Stack and Still is known for its menu of pancake stacks. With their range of buttermilk, buckwheat, protein, gluten free and low fat pancake stacks, there’s something for everyone. Choose from one of Stack and Still’s out-there savoury combinations like the Mac Stack – mac & cheese, beef, gherkins and bacon, or one of the signature sweet combinations like the Jaffa Stack – hot fudge sauce, orange slices, jaffa cakes and chocolate chips.

If you really want to do something different, go for the DIY option, choosing your favourite pancake stack, toppings, sauces and ice creams.


In Edinburgh’s Bruntsfield, Montpeliers is well-known for its breakfasts. Enjoy pancakes with caramelised banana, butterscotch sauce and crème fraiche, classic crispy bacon and maple syrup or refreshing berries with maple syrup. The perfect breakfast before taking on the day in Scotland’s capital.

City Cafe

City Café is situated just off the famous Royal Mile in Edinburgh and offers an all-American experience, including classic pancake stacks perfectly paired with a premium milkshake.

Whatever you’re doing on Pancake Day, take a walk down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and stop off for a well-earned pancake.

Loudon’s Café

Located in Edinburgh’s Fountainbridge, Loudon’s Café shares delicious sweet and savoury pancakes. If you want to go for a healthier option, try the superfood pancake stack made with gluten and dairy free pancakes, spinach, garlic, chilli and ginger with humus and salsa.

Visit Glasgow during the Film Festival

The Glasgow Film Festival begins on 26 February this year, bringing with it a whole host of exciting activities and great films. And with a packed programme, there’s no better way to get there than with Caledonian Sleeper.

Stay Somewhere Special

For those stepping off the train, the Grand Central Hotel is ideally located within Glasgow Central Station. In a beautiful Victorian style building with sophisticated rooms and suites, as well as two excellent restaurants, this hotel offers quality and convenience.

Malmaison is based in a former Episcopalian church, with boutique rooms and first class wining and dining, this is the perfect choice for those looking to indulge themselves during their visit.

Apex City of Glasgow Hotel has a range of comfortable rooms and suites with a Scandinavian influence. It is located just seconds from the famous Sauchiehall Street, meaning it is surrounded by some of the city’s best bars and restaurants.

For a different experience, Airbnb has a wide variety of properties, spanning from luxury penthouses to peaceful cottages beside the River Kelvin.

What to see

Over the course of the festival hundreds of screenings will be held with themes set to include Local Heroes, Cinemasters and Women Make Film. Visitors should ensure they check out the events programme to find what appeals to them but we have picked out some of the best action for viewers.

For a totally unique cinema experience Glasgow’s iconic Argyle Street Arches will be transformed into ‘Neo-Glasgow,’ and will be screening a host of films between 28 February and 1 March, including Total Recall, Wall-E and Train to Busan.

The opening gala of the festival will be held on 26 February at the Glasgow Film Theatre with the UK premiere of award-winning drama Proxima, from renowned director Alice Winocour.

Other highlights include the multiple award winning Always in Season at the Centre for Contemporary Arts on 29 February and Days of the Bagnold Summer at the Glasgow Film Theatre on 4 March.

Beyond the screen

When not taking in a feature on the big screen there plenty of related activities to keep film buffs happy. The Film Fanatics Walking Tour is a two-hour tour visiting iconic film locations from around the city including Trainspotting and Outlander with some surprises thrown in along the way.

The Glasgow Film Festival Quiz, held on 2 March, offers a chance for experienced quizzers to show off their credentials. Held at Glee Club and hosted by Joe Heenan, this night will be a combination of head-scratching trivia and sidesplitting laughs. Doubletree will be hosting a series of behind the scenes events with well-known industry figures teaching audiences the tricks of the trade.

Where to Eat 

Glasgow is renowned for its fantastic restaurants and for those visiting for a limited time it can be hard to know where to start – so we’ve selected some of our favourites to help those struggling to decide.

The Butterfly and the Pig is situated in the heart of Glasgow’s city centre, just a minute away from the Glasgow Film Theatre, ideal for grabbing a bite after a screening. With a welcoming shabby-chic interior the restaurant serves up generous portions of traditional Scottish cuisine with its own unique style.

Finnieston, one of the coolest areas in Glasgow, has a veritable feast of trendy restaurants to choose from. Alchemilla is one example, serving up delicious Mediterranean inspired small plates and a fantastic selection of wines in a stylish setting.

SushiYa, located in Glasgow’s central hub, offers a selection of Japanese dishes for lunches and dinner. The freshly made sushi platters are a highlight and are perfect for a quick stop off on a busy day.

Explore Dundee and the Tay Country

Explore Dundee and the Tay Country


With a central location and a great mix of city and countryside, Dundee is an ideal location for a break away.

We’ve created a guide to the best and most interesting places that the UK’s only UNESCO City of Design and the Tay Country has to offer, so travel with Caledonian Sleeper to find out more.


V&A Dundee


The V&A Dundee, opened in 2018, has transformed the waterfront in the city. With a calendar of events and exciting exhibitions, it’s a must-visit for anyone going to Dundee.

New to 2020 is Tea and Tour – an experience combining a tour of the museum with an expert guide, followed by afternoon tea at Tatha Bar & Kitchen.


Broughty Ferry


Beside the sea, Broughty Ferry’s mix of pubs and restaurants makes it a relaxing and interesting place to visit, not far from the heart of Dundee. Find good quality Scottish produce at Forgan’s, where you can dine in the main restaurant, outside, or in a private bothy – there’s something for everyone.

The Broughty Castle and Museum explores the history of Broughty Ferry as a fishing village, the history of whaling, and wildlife that can be found in the area.

Broughty Ferry beach and esplanade are some of the best places in the local area to spot bottlenose dolphins– particularly from May to September.


Explore the coast


Tay Country has a range of coastline to discover. The Fife Coastal Path is Scotland’s longest continuous coastal path in the 117 miles between Kincardine and Newburgh. Take a walk along or take a boat trip to the Isle of May to see the sea life and wildlife.

Enjoy the abundance of local seafood along the route, including the seafood shacks in Crail, where the fishermen recommend their catch of the day.


Go outdoors


Explore the home of golf in Tay Country’s St Andrews. For the full golfing experience, enter the ballot to play a round at the Old Course, or try your hand at golf in one of the 111 other courses in Tay Country.

Go for a walk around the rolling countryside or beaches, or go adventurous and bag one of Tay Country’s many Munros.

Your 2020 guide to Highland adventures

With activities for all to enjoy and scenery that can’t be beaten, the Highlands are Scotland’s not-so-hidden gem.

And to help shape your 2020 Highland adventure, we’ve created a list to guide your planning. With stops in Aviemore, Fort William, Aberdeen and Inverness, Caledonian Sleeper can take you on the journey of a night time to some of Scotland’s most scenic locations.

The Gathering, Inverness 

The Gathering Festival returns to The Northern Meeting Park in Inverness on Saturday 30 May. The one-day festival boasts a lineup loaded with Scottish talent – including the world’s most famous pipe band, The Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

The family-friendly event will have a variety of stalls offering mouthwatering craft food and drink, sourced exclusively from the Highlands and Islands. In addition, a range of events will be taking place at venues and bars throughout Inverness to tie in with the festival making the city a vibrant place to spend the weekend.

Fort William Mountain Festival

The Fort William Mountain Festival is a five-day festival celebrating the mountains of Scotland – with films, exhibitions and talks from some of the world’s most exciting adventurers.

The event runs from 19 – 23 February with views of the tallest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis.

Aberdeen Restaurant Week

Celebrate the best of Aberdeen’s foodie scene with Aberdeen Restaurant Week, which runs from 24 February until 1 March. Keep an eye out for discounts, events and tastings across the city.

Jazz Festival

Each year, Aberdeen hosts a Jazz Festival in March – with jazz performances held across the city. Visit Jazz On The Green as the city comes to life on 15 March.

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, Fort William

The UCI Fort William World Cup has been staged at Fort William every year since 2002. Held on 6 and 7 June, this year thousands of spectators will gather on the slopes of Aonach Mor to see the best downhill riders in the world fly down the mountain at breathtaking speeds.

The World Cup Village is the perfect place for bike fanatics and casual fans alike to mingle. There will be a selection of the biggest brands attending and all the equipment and gear you could ever need will be there for purchase. The village’s food and drink tent ensures visitors will be well fed serving a range of delicious items, including Haggis Nachos and the renowned Aonach Mor Burger.


Held on the outskirts of Inverness and with a view over the infamous Loch Ness, Belladrum is known as the Tartan Heart Festival.

A family-friendly festival, Belladrum is home to a number of stalls serving locally-sourced goods. There will be performances from global artists as well as local up and coming artists and traditional Scottish music.

This year’s festival is held from 30 July – 1 August.

Climb Ben Nevis

Translated from Gaelic, Ben Nevis means “mountain with its head in the clouds.” This name is fitting for the highest mountain in the United Kingdom, standing at a considerable 1344 metres. The mountain represents a challenging but massively rewarding ascent for the thousands who complete it each year.

There are a variety of routes to the top that offer different levels of climb and changing views. However, it is the summit of Ben Nevis that is truly special, offering incredible views that stretch for miles.

Those who don’t fancy the climb can take the gondola and enjoy similar views of the beautiful Nevis range. Ben Nevis distillery is the perfect place to head as a celebration for those who have completed the climb, located around 7 minutes away from the mountain.

Highland Games

Most Highland cities and towns are home to Highland Games – something that has been part of Scotland’s culture for hundreds of years.

With Scottish produce, Highland dancing, stalls, and events including cycling, races and the caber toss, it’s a truly Scottish experience. Games are usually held between May and September.


Caledonian Sleeper officially launches £150m new fleet of trains

Serco Caledonian Sleeper has launched its new £150m fleet – with the first guests travelling on the revitalised overnight rail service.

The new carriages made their debut last night (Sunday 28 April) on the Lowlander route between London and Glasgow/Edinburgh. This will be followed by their introduction on the Highlander route between London and Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William in the coming weeks.

Designed to accommodate the modern-day traveller, the new trains offer accommodation ranging from completely new comfort seats for the budget traveller to rooms with double beds and en-suites – for the first time in the history of Caledonian Sleeper. Accommodation includes:

  • Completely new redesigned comfort seats with personal locker, reading light and charging point
  • Classic Rooms (solo or shared use with an option of interconnecting rooms, toiletries included)
  • Club Rooms (solo or shared use with en-suite, station lounge access, breakfast, luxury toiletries included)
  • Caledonian Double (double bed with en-suite, station lounge access, breakfast, luxury toiletries included)
  • Accessible Rooms (double or twin, toiletries included and directly adjacent to accessible toilet)

Combining travel to and from the heart of London with comfortable overnight accommodation, prices for Comfort Seats start from £45, Classic Rooms from £140 for Solo or £170 for two people sharing (equating to £85 per person), Club Rooms from £205 for Solo and £250 for Shared and Caledonian Doubles from £335 for Solo and £400 for Shared.

All Accessible Rooms are priced at the same level as Classic Rooms – including those with double beds. Caledonian Sleeper has engaged extensively with experts from The Shaw Trust to ensure the best possible experience for guests with access needs, including placing accessible toilets adjacent to accessible rooms. In addition, Caledonian Sleeper’s Guest Lounges in Dundee, Fort William, Leuchars, Perth, Stirling and Inverness all offer accessible shower facilities.

Other new features are included on the new trains, such as a hotel-style keycard entry system, charging panels and WiFi throughout the train.

In addition to introducing its new fleet, Caledonian Sleeper has also launched a new marketing campaign which will inspire potential guests to ‘Dream Big’. Debuting across digital, social and outdoor advertising platforms, it is designed to encourage a new audience to discover Caledonian Sleeper and the world of possibilities it unlocks.

Ryan Flaherty, Serco’s Managing Director for Caledonian Sleeper, said: “Our new trains have been years in the making and to see them make their debut is a huge moment for everyone involved in making this dream a reality.

“The overriding ambition has been to deliver on our vision of a Caledonian Sleeper service fit for today’s traveller, one that combines the modern facilities people expect with that feeling of nostalgia that comes from long-distance railway travel. We want guests to have a magical journey with us, whether they are travelling for business or for pleasure.”

Rupert Soames, Chief Executive of Serco, said: “This is a proud and exciting moment for everyone who has been involved in bringing these new trains into service. It has been an incredibly complex project and this is the culmination of a huge effort and investment by all parties. We are very grateful to everyone who has contributed and we can now look forward to the new service and all that it offers to travellers between Scotland and London.”

The fleet, built at a cost of £150m, has been part funded by capital grants from Scottish Ministers and from the UK Government.

Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, said: “The Scottish Government is proud to have played its part in the launch of this new Caledonian Sleeper service. In subsidy over the 15 years of this Franchise, in support for this fleet of new trains, and in funding for stations and passenger lounges – this is clear evidence of our genuine commitment to both rail and tourism in Scotland.

“The scale of change is remarkable, and a credit to everyone who has worked on this project. I know those involved have been driven by an ethos of transforming the passenger experience and putting guests first. This is demonstrated by the on-board staff, the real stars of this service.

“Caledonian Sleeper shows the best of railways, and the best of Scotland. It’s time for this franchise to shine, and to be a real source of pride for the people of Scotland.”

Rt Hon David Mundell MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, said: “It is fantastic to see the launch of the new Caledonian Sleeper service. The UK Government has invested £50 million in the new fleet, improving vital connectivity between Scotland and England, and improving the service for the thousands of passengers. I was pleased to travel on their debut journey and look forward to using this service for years to come.”

To book a journey on the new Caledonian Sleeper, visit