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

New Caledonian Sleeper trains out for testing in UK

Brand new Caledonian Sleeper carriages are out for testing on the UK rail network for the first time ahead of their introduction later this year.

The overnight Caledonian Sleeper rail service will be transformed by the introduction of the new £100m fleet which will see Serco introduce 75 new carriages in a phased transition starting this autumn.

A total of four Mark 5 carriages are out for testing this week, running on the West Highland Line from Glasgow to Arrochar & Tarbet. Testing on the West Highland Line will continue over the coming weeks before moving onto the West Coast Main Line.

Magnus Conn, Serco’s New Trains Director for Caledonian Sleeper, said: “Taking some of the new carriages out on the network for testing marks an exciting phase in our development programme. The purpose is to monitor the interaction between vehicle and track, and to check ride comfort in a variety of suspension states and speeds

“As testing progresses onto the West Coast Main Line later this month, we will be conducting a variety of tests including running at up to 110mph.”

Uncover Scotland’s hidden past and archaeological treasures

Along with its epic landscapes, Scotland is covered in impressive structures and places drenched in mesmerising stories and fascinating histories.

Scotland celebrates the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology in 2017, showcasing the very best of Scotland’s rich history and past. Caledonian Sleeper has rounded up some of the country’s historical hidden gems for the whole family to uncover this year.

While exploring some of Edinburgh’s most iconic sites, why not venture off the main trail and discover the Royal Mile’s Hidden Gardens. Nestled behind the city’s high tenements, these gardens are the ultimate hidden gem with many locals unaware of their existence. Dating back to the 17th century the gardens are the perfect, quiet oasis to enjoy a picnic while taking in the capital’s towering dwellings and cobbled streets.

Uncover Glasgow Cathedral, one of Scotland’s most magnificent medieval buildings located in the city centre. This impressive structure was built during the 13th and 15th centuries and is thought to be on the burial site of Mungo, the Patron Saint of Glasgow. Marvel at the building’s carved stone bosses on the ceiling and the post-war collections of stained glass windows on a guided tour.


Capture a glimpse into 18th century military life at Fort George near Inverness. One of the largest artillery forts in Britain, Fort George is home to a vast collection of garrison buildings, military attire and arms. With a full programme of activities and trails, the fort is the ideal place for children to enjoy.

Visit one of Scotland’s most significant castles, Lochleven Castle, in Kinross near Perth. Take a boat trip over to the loch to this 16th century Glassin Tower, where Mary Queen of Scots was once imprisoned. Take a leisurely wander around the peaceful island and soak up its tranquil setting in stunning surroundings.

Complete the journey with a trip to Stirling’s National Wallace Monument, which overlooks one of Scotland’s most famous battle sites. Climb the landmark’s 246 steps to reveal the captivating stories of heroes such as William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. From the Crown of the tower, enjoy panoramic views stretching across to Loch Lomond, the Pentland Hills, Fife, and the Firth of Forth.

Be part of this landmark cultural year and discover Scotland’s many wonders and archaeological treasures with Caledonian Sleeper.