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Date: 08/10/2015

Holiday without flying: five of the best overnight sleeper journeys

Interior of a coupe in a passenger train car

There is still a touch of old-school romance associated with going to sleep on a train in one city and waking up as dawn breaks in another. We look at five of the best overnight sleeper journeys.

No. 1. London to Penzance

Take the train from Paddington to Penzance and you will enjoy laid-back luxury at an affordable price. With fares from £100 based on two sharing a private cabin, you will enjoy a bacon sandwich on arrival and can bed down for the journey from 10.30pm onwards. Penzance is a great destination for families, with miles of Blue Flag beaches and plenty of sunshine.

No. 2. Cologne to Warsaw

The Jan Kiepura train from Cologne to Warsaw has DVD players and en-suite facilities in deluxe class and serves a delicious German breakfast as you pass through Berlin. It is an affordable journey too, with fares from £65 based on two sharing a private cabin. Warsaw is packed with culture and it is a really affordable city; alternatively, you could always hop on a high-speed train for the two hour journey to Krakow.

No. 3. Oslo to Trondheim

Where else can you enjoy Norwegian tapas and a luxurious bed for the night? Fares on this sleeper train start from just £56 based on two sharing. The tapas are pretty tasty, with elk sausage and reindeer pate on the menu, and you can grab a space in the dining car 30 minutes before departure.

No. 4. Budapest to Sofia

Brand new routes installed in December 2014 run from Budapest to Lviv (Ukraine) and Sofia. This is a 21-hour journey covering more than 650 miles of stunning scenery ‒ expect Romanian fields and snowy peaks all viewed from the comfort of your own private cabin. You can also head for the dining car and enjoy Hungarian beer and goulash. Fares start from £89 based on two sharing.

No. 5. Istanbul to Lake Van

Europe's most affordable sleeper journey may surprise you with its high on-board standards. With delicious fresh Turkish meze on offer, the Van Golu Express journey offers some of the most stunning scenery of any journey. Luxurious private cabins have fluffy feather pillows and huge picture windows, with prices starting from £34 based on two sharing a cabin. There are plenty of other sleeper train journeys not mentioned here, such as the popular London to Scotland route that runs regularly from London Euston. If you fancy a flight-free holiday this summer, why not get on board and enjoy a great night's sleep during your journey?