I'm looking for advice on the Sleeper Service betwen London and Fort William.

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BML

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My wife has long wanted to undertake a sleeper return journey between Didcot to Scotland. It was only when I discovered the Caledonian Sleeper Internet page today that I thought now is the time that I should discuss the adventure with my wife and I suggested a date in late March 2021. Showing the good sense that she has her first suggestion was that bearing in mind the vagaries of the political thought process of this Government regarding the length of the existing lockdown it might be better to consider a date in mid April. Then questions such as, is Fort William the best place to aim for or should we consider Edinburgh came up? And where would we stay for the few days we would like to spend wherever we finished up in Scotland? The final question being, what discounts such as Rail Cards etc are available? So, my next step is to look for a forum of some sort that discuses such matters and I found that I actually joined this forum in 2011. So, can anyone offer sugeggestion on this post and if not maybe someone could suggest a forum or even a travel agent that specalises in such matters.
Regards, BML
 
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CW2

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I'd make it a round trip. Go Euston - Fort William outward, with a wake-up call early enough for you to appreciate the West Highland Line in full.
Have a couple of days in Fort William, including a trip to Mallaig and return (on the steam train if it is running then).
Get the bus up the Great Glen from Fort William to Inverness.
Stay a night to explore Inverness, and travel on the train to Kyle and return.
Sleeper Inverness - Euston.
 

JonathanH

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Get the bus up the Great Glen from Fort William to Inverness.
Stay a night to explore Inverness, and travel on the train to Kyle and return.
I think I'd do that in a different order - coach from Fort William to Kyle, then train to Inverness - I've always found the coach ride between Fort William and Inverness (and indeed driving a car) to be a bit tedious in one go.

I'd also note that March 2021 is on the fairly optimistic side of when it may next be possible to make the journey.
 

DannyMich2018

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Maybe wait till May/June/July so you can enjoy the much longer daylight hours to enjoy the Highland scenery.
 

CW2

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I think I'd do that in a different order - coach from Fort William to Kyle, then train to Inverness - I've always found the coach ride between Fort William and Inverness (and indeed driving a car) to be a bit tedious in one go.

I'd also note that March 2021 is on the fairly optimistic side of when it may next be possible to make the journey.
Or indeed get the ferry from Mallaig to Skye, and bus up the Isle of Skye to Kyle.
 

Iskra

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Wait while Autumn or even winter, it's just as beautiful then and more likely to go ahead with the excellent lounge car available.

I'd go to Fort William and cover the Mallaig line either on the steam service or Scotrail depending on budget and how much you like steam trains.
Then have as much time as you desire in Fort William.
Then get the train from Fort William to Oban with a change at Crianlarich, take in the local sights and possibly get a ferry to one of the nearby islands for as long as you fancy. Head back to Oban when ready and spend as long as you like there. Once finished, get the evening train back to Crianlarich and get the sleeper back to London.

It's up to you if you wish to get the sleeper in both directions, but I would actually recommend using the daytime train fron/to Glasgow Queen Street in one direction so that you cover the West Highland Line in daylight for the views.

The more research you put into this trip, the more enjoyment you will derive from it in return. It's an amazing part of the world and I have always enjoyed my travels on the Caledonian Sleeper, although they have all been on the old rolling stock.

If you choose to travel to Inverness, I would recommend the Kyle Line and a trip to Fort George.
 

jfollows

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Or indeed get the ferry from Mallaig to Skye, and bus up the Isle of Skye to Kyle.
I've done this twice, on both occasions visiting and staying in Portree on Skye. The first time I used the bus services on Skye, and they were fine. The second time I booked a taxi to take me to/from Portree (meeting the ferry from Mallaig and then taking me back to Kyle for the train to Inverness during the day). The second time there were four of us, but if I did it again with just two of us I'd book a taxi again.

If you're going to make the effort to get the sleeper to Fort William, in my opinion it's worth making the extra effort to visit Skye, and if you can stay a night or two in Skye, so much the better.
 

65477

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much longer daylight hours to enjoy the Highland scenery.
and the midges!

As to your itinerary I agree with @CW2 and @JonathanH make a proper trip of it. If this is your first time to Scotland Edinburgh and Glasgow will provide enough interest. This was the first sleeper trip Mrs 65477 and I made to Scotland. Since then we have tried to visit every two years or so. Fortunately Mrs 65477 is keen on train travel so is happy to spend time on trains but the trip does not need to be fully focused on rail. Also after a few days you might want to get home quickly and maximise your last day. Often we fly back which is usually (prior Covid) cheaper than the train (even with advance tickets and railcards). While in Scotland we tend to use their excellent Rover and Ranger tickets.
 

30907

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If it's not stating the obvious, join the train at Euston not Crewe.
Anecdotally, in normal times the Ft Wm portion is the first to book up, so I would have a Plan B involving the Lowland service.
I note from the Sleeper website that the Two Together railcard (if you are not eligible for one of the long-established ones) doesn't offer discounts in Sleeper accommodation.
 

Bletchleyite

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If it's not stating the obvious, join the train at Euston not Crewe.
Anecdotally, in normal times the Ft Wm portion is the first to book up, so I would have a Plan B involving the Lowland service.

Or the Inverness. The Highlander (all 3 bits) still has that bit of extra civility due to the earlier departure enabling more use of the lounge car.
 
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