Getting to Penzance
We booked our train tickets to get to Penzance by phone as most online sites don’t provide a facility for booking bikes. You need to reserve a space for your cycle and can only book in advance by about 12 weeks but it’s important to book as soon as it becomes possible. There are limited spaces for bikes on the inter-city routes.
Local trains are often at the discretion of the station staff and train guards but providing you travel out of rush hours, you should be ok with solo bikes. For train company policies about tandems see the UK Tandem Club website. We cycled out to Mortimer Station as it’s a lot less busy than Basingstoke and no further away, then took a local service to Reading. The tandem only just fit in the vestibule but we used the last door of the last carriage, so tried to obstruct as little as possible. The guard didn’t look happy but we were moving by then.
Getting back from JOG
Returning from JOG, we booked up with John O Groats Bike Transport who came up to JOG from Inverness, arriving at the Seaview Hotel at lunchtime. They transported us, another tandeming couple and a solo rider with our bikes, back to Inverness. They’ll drop you at the station or a hotel/hostel in Inverness and, for a fee, clean, service and then courier your bike back home while you travel back without the hassle of having the bike to worry about. Train fares from Inverness to the south are expensive and we opted to hire a car and call in on relatives on the way back down. We split the tandem and put it in the back of the Avis hire car.