Outdoor activities with a healthy dose of curiosity, brought to you by Laure Latham
Enjoying what you're reading?
Subscribe via Email and never miss anything on Frog Mom!
How do you get to Scotland without flying or driving? A night aboard the night train to Scotland is the answer to your problems. For us, it was a matter of making the most of a weekend outdoors with our girls. We wanted to leave after school/work on Friday and be back by Monday morning. The night train to Scotland, the Caledonian Sleeper, goes out of London at 11.50pm and reaches Edinburgh or Glasgow for breakfast. Going as a family, it’s quite the adventure. There’s staying up late until boarding time, brushing your teeth in the sink below the tablet, sleeping on the train, listening to the wagon sounds on the tracks and best of all, waking up in the land of tartan and kilts. It’s so exciting! We’ve now done it four times and love the convenience and budget-friendliness. Sleeping on the train means one less hotel night and if you book in advance with discount cards, train tickets are really affordable.
I could tell you how the train is but I’d rather let my train-lover 10-year-old say it in her own words. She’s got you covered in terms of kid-friendliness.
Getting To The Station
For kids, the train is super late and keeping them awake is not always easy. However it is really fun to sleep on a train and wake up in the morning and see that you have arrived at destination in Scotland. If you wake up early, which is highly improbable because the train reaches the station at 7am and that’s already early, you can look out the window and see the beautiful landscapes passing by and even the sunrise.
When we got to the train station, we looked on the departures board and found that it was leaving from Platform 14. Once on the platform, we found a train assistant (it’s like a flight assistant except for trains) who told us where we would sleep.
In the cabins, there are two beds but if you go in first class, they don’t put down the top bed and you have a cabin to yourself. With a family of four, they can connect the cabins by opening the middle door, that way you can keep an eye on your grown-ups.
My first reaction when I boarded the train was that the cabin was really clean, not too big and convenient. There’s a place to put your luggage at the top of the cabin against the outside wall. The sink was under a panel close to my bed and I left it down for the night after brushing my teeth, that way I could put my things on it.
In second class, my sister slept on the bed below me and they added a ladder so that I could get in and out of bed more easily. The welcome package had a small towel, a square hard soap and ear plugs.
In first class, they put a little welcome package on your bed with everything you need for the night except your toothbrush and toothpaste! It has a small face/hand cloth, liquid soap, hand cream, ear plugs, eye sleeping mask and pillow spray (my sister’s favorite).
Lights! There are several types of lights in the cabin. there’s a main light on the ceiling, a night light above the connecting door, a berth light (to read in bed) and you can dim the main light with a switch by the night light. So many options!
When I got into bed, I realized that it was pretty narrow, even though I am the smallest of the family. I fell asleep after the train left the station. The noise wasn’t very loud and I liked the rocking that the movement of the train made.
At night, everything was calm as everyone wanted to sleep.
The following morning, we were woken up pretty early with a knock on the door and (in first class), breakfast or (in second class), tea or juice. You sleep on the train but sometimes it is hard to wake up.
The first time we took the train, we woke up even earlier because of works on the train tracks. I was so sleepy! By the time was up, we arrived at Edinburgh Waverley train station and in the station, we heard a bagpipe playing. Welcome to Scotland!