Taking passengers from London to some of Scotland’s top destinations, the Caledonian Sleeper train travels through the night, allowing future visitors to maximise their time and wake up amongst brand-new surroundings. A great option for travellers looking to cut their carbon footprint, the train also reveals some unforgettable eco-friendly experiences en route – from cycling trails and sustainable cuisine to ground-breaking science in Glasgow, home of COP26.
Castles, dolphins and vegan brunch in Aberdeen
This port city nestled off the North Sea is known for its wide array of whisky distilleries, parks and grand granite buildings, but history lovers and fans of the great outdoors can also explore Craigievar Castle. Located just 30 miles from the city centre, this majestic location comes complete with fairy tale towers and an insta-friendly pink exterior. Visitors looking to get back to nature can also enjoy the Hill or Woodland Trails. Ranging from 30 minutes to 1hr 30, these easy to moderate walking routes immerse explorers in the beauty of the surrounding countryside and the fresh Scottish air.
Aberdeen is also a dream destination for those with dolphin spotting on their bucket list, as animal lovers can embark on low impact and eco-friendly land viewings. Visitors can discover more about these fascinating marine animals on a trip to Torry Battery or Aberdeen Harbour, spots known for spying bottlenose dolphins all year round.
Having worked up an appetite, visitors can continue their eco-themed trip via the city’s vegan hotspots. One of the best-loved is BioCafe, an all-day vegan eatery serving Buddha bowls, brunches and guilt-free desserts, all just a short walk from the station.
Mythical monsters, cycle routes and glamping near Inverness
Inverness Castle, the Victorian Market and the gothic St Andrew’s cathedral – Inverness is bursting with sights, including the chance to spot the famous Loch Ness monster just 13 miles from the city centre!
Adventurers looking to discover Nessie in an eco-friendly way can travel on two wheels to Loch Ness. Cycling from Inverness via the south side of the loch offers a tranquil ride made up of quiet country roads – future visitors can then explore the shores of the loch and indulge in some bucket-list monster spotting! The Loch Ness 360° Trail is another eco-friendly highlight. Circling Loch Ness, this cycling and walking route covers 80 miles and roams through some of the most striking scenery the Highlands have to offer, with the option to start and end in Inverness.
Those daydreaming of spending the night near the shores of Loch Ness could also be tempted by an environmentally-focused glamping option, for peace and quiet plus creature comforts and a heated pool. And for those looking for eco-friendly activities in the heart of city, there’s the traffic-free River Ness and Caledonian Canal paths.
Mountains, meanders and luxury cabins in Fort William
Hiking fans longing to stretch their legs can alight the Caledonian sleeper train at Fort William, one of the gateways to the Highlands. There are a wide range of walks ready for outdoor enthusiasts, including trails around the highest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis. The mountain’s visitor centre is a scenic 30-minute walk from the train station and offers a wide range of information on walking trails and attractions in the area. Visitors looking to stay off-grid in Fort William need look no further than Wild Nurture. Surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery, this luxurious two-bedroom log cabin features a veranda with views of the Nevis Range, a log burner and a free-standing bath, making it an excellent base for a walking retreat.
Walking tours, green hotels and sustainable cuisine in Edinburgh
The Scottish capital has a world famous reputation when it comes to culture, comedy and history, but Edinburgh is also emerging as a big name in the world of eco-friendly cities. This is never truer than in its sustainable, seasonal and locally-focused restaurants. A few gems for future foodie breaks could include Cafe St Honore, which puts sustainability at the heart of its menu, and The Gardener’s Cottage, which prides itself on using the best local produce in its seasonal dishes.
Visitors looking for eco-friendly hotels will also find a range of options in Edinburgh. One example is The Balmoral Hotel. Having achieved Gold in Scotland’s Green Tourism Awards, the five-star hotel adheres to a range of sustainability measures, including eco-friendly cleaning materials, seasonal menus using sustainably sourced ingredients, and recyclable packaging. And those watching their carbon footprint will find they can easily explore the Scottish capital on foot with a range of guilt-free walking tours. Among the options are ghost and history trips that venture down into Edinburgh’s spooky underground vaults, for a spine-tingling walk to remember. Tours vary in price but can start from £16 for adults and £11 for children.
COP 26, inspiring science and vintage fashion in Glasgow
Known as one of the friendliest cities in the world, Glasgow is another stop on the Caledonian sleeper train route. Home to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow Cathedral, and the striking Riverside Museum, there’s plenty of opportunity to soak up the city’s heritage, history and culture. There’s also the Glasgow Science Centre, which is shining a light on museums’ role in climate change ahead of the city hosting COP26 from 31 October to 12 November 2021.
For an environmentally friendly souvenir, visitors can spend the day rummaging in Glasgow’s many vintage shops. Names such as Glasgow Vintage Co., Mr Ben Retro Clothing and Starry Starry Night are all well-established on the cobbled streets of Glasgow. Fashion lovers can go one step further and grab their vintage look at Glad Rags Thrift, full of retro and up-cycled goodies which help fund youth workshops in the area.
The Caledonian Sleeper – practical information:
The train serves two routes from London Euston: the Highlander, which stops at various stations including Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William, and the Lowlander, which heads to Glasgow and Edinburgh.
With stylish guest lounges, a range of cabins and tempting food and drink served in the Club Car, this eight-hour journey features hotel-style comfort. The luxurious en-suite doubles and twin bunks in the club room come with a complimentary breakfast, handcrafted mattresses and station lounge access. Alternatively, visitors looking to stretch their pennies can book a classic room or comfort seat and make sure to book in advance to secure the best price.
Restrictions on travel to and around Britain are in place due to Covid-19. Visitors are encouraged to always check individual websites for the latest information, as details are subject to change.
For more information contact:
VisitBritain Media Teampressandpr@visitbritain.org