Heading to Edinburgh on something of a ‘luxury budget’ this year? Megabus Gold could be a good shout without causing too much of a dent in your pocket.
Offering a lie-down, bunks-only, overnight sleeper coach that goes from London Victoria to a growing list of destinations, you can drift off to sleep before you’ve reached the motorway out of London. In my case, I travelled to Edinburgh and reached the city in time to wake up in time for breakfast.
Unlike the usual coach service, travellers on board Megabus Gold are offered a bottle of water and a plastic-wrapped chocolate muffin when boarding. As usual, large bags and suitcases are taken by the driver and stowed in the luggage hold whilst passengers are shown to a bed on the lower or upper deck and allowed to get comfortable before the coach leaves London Victoria. All passengers are also each given a thin, maroon blanket that’s not the warmest by any means. If, like me, you’re prone to getting cold during the night, do pack an extra blanket. Or wrap up in your coat, a-la Ad-lib Traveller!
Now on to the main part… the beds. Each ‘compartment’ is fitted with bunk beds, a double on the bottom bunk and a single on the upper – much like something you’d find in a kids bedroom. There’s a hammock-styled net on the side of the beds (I assume to prevent anybody falling out of the bed mid-journey) and each bed has a handy plug socket, night light and several other switches. Ideal for setting up your phone to charge whilst you sleep.
Yes, I said sleep. And might I add, surprisingly well. Earlier in the day I had been at work and spent an evening at home packing for my trip to Edinburgh, before making my way to London Victoria coach station.
It wasn’t a particularly tiring day, but enough to help me to appreciate the unexpected comfort of the beds and to get a decent night’s rest. I fell asleep shortly after we left the coach station and awoke several hours later when I heard the hum of the engine turn off. I assumed we were stopping off or that some issue has arose but no, we were safe and sound in Edinburgh and the driver was pulling into the station almost exactly to schedule.
But admittedly, Megabus Gold isn’t for everybody. At 5 ft 9″, I felt quite comfortable on the beds, with a decent amount of room to shift around and even to get changed (yes, I brought my onesie along, although I did hit my head on the upper bunk mid-change). My travel partner took advantage of having his own bed (there was plenty of space as the neighbouring double bed wasn’t booked). At 6ft 4″ he found it less comfortable to sleep in the shared space and found that the length of the beds were an issue – there’s no room to put your feet over the end of the bed, which could pose an issue for taller people.
Fortunately my section of the coach was void of anybody snoring or invading the privacy of others. No phone sounds going off in the night. Nothing. In fact, it was a reasonably peaceful night in the company of several other sleepy passengers.
As we departed the coach in Edinburgh, I noticed my fellow passengers using the service. A mix of students and professionals seeking an alternative way to escape from London. Everyone looks surprisingly fresh-faced, enjoying the complimentary water, eating a chocolate muffin and heading off in various directions around Edinburgh.
Still dressed in my onesie, I decided it best to head straight to my hotel where I was able to check in, shower and reach a cafe by 8am to enjoy a full breakfast and kick start my sightseeing around the city.
As a traveller that appreciates the novelty factor, Megabus Gold was a fun, alternative way to travel the long road from London to Edinburgh. Note that this is no average Megabus service, it’s Megabus at it’s best. A luxury experience, on a bus, at a reasonable rate.
For a chance to travel overland without breaking the bank on a train fare, nor cutting into too much of the day (the journey is overnight), it’s a good way to head out of London to explore a new destination.
Find out more about Megabus Gold.