Departing Peterborough just after 6am, the second Saturday in December had brought an early start to allow a full day of exploring and adventuring. The Isle of Wight was my ultimate destination, but first I had two trains and two tubes to catch, as well as making my way across to the Island from Portsmouth.
Following on from the couple of posts last year on 5 places I’d like to visit in the UK and 5 places I’d like to visit in Europe, we come to the next continent in my bucket list of destinations, North America. For the sake of clarity and to avoid any arguments, ‘North America’ in this sense is as the UN recognises it, the continent comprised of Northern America, Central American and The Caribbean.
Less than 12 hours after arriving back from Aberdeen, I was back at Inverness station to begin my journey home. As I mentioned in my post about the sleeper (read that here) there are just two direct London to Inverness services each day, with the sleeper making up one of these. The other pair of services are LNER’s ‘Highland Chieftain’ which leave Inverness and King’s Cross at 0755 and 1200 respectively, arriving at their destinations just under 8 hours later.
Following my day exploring the Capital of the Highlands, I decided to spend my final full day in the Highlands exploring a bit more of the Scotland’s railway and visiting another of the country’s seven cities, Aberdeen, the Granite City.
When planning my trip to Inverness, I was aware that I’d have a bit of an issue in that I wouldn’t be able to check in until 1500 and I’d have a bag with me until then. Rather than traipse around the city, luggage in tow, I decided to take the opportunity to discover what is possibly the most beautiful railway line in the UK.
Inverness, capital of the Highlands and one of Scotland’s seven major cities, lies at the mouth of the River Ness where it meets the Beauly Firth just to the south of the famous Moray Firth. With Inverness sitting 903km from London, the UK capital is just 1km closer to the Highland city than the Norwegian capital of Oslo, and having arrived into the city of the Caledonian Sleeper, I certainly felt I was in a completely different world to the one I left behind in England.