Cumbrian musician embarks on 2,000-mile bike ride from Hadrian's Wall to Rome with cello

Kenneth Wilson is cycling from Hadrian’s Wall to Rome, pulling his cello behind him in a trailer. Credit: Kenneth Wilson

A Cumbrian poet and musician is setting out on an epic cycle journey from Hadrian's Wall to Rome - with his cello.

Kenneth Wilson, who lives in rural Cumbria, will begin his journey on Friday 27 May, performing nearly every day along the route from Carlisle to Dover.

Kenneth describes the tour as a 'musical journey in three movements' Credit: Kenneth Wilson

Once across the Channel, he will cycle through France and Italy with the simple intention to "turn up and play, and see what happens".

The 2,000-mile trip, which includes crossing the Alps on the highest road, is expected to take just more than five weeks.

Until he reaches Dover, Highway Cello is a bit like a traditional concert tour, with 13 dates Credit: Kenneth Wilson

Kenneth is well known across Cumbria for entertaining local audiences with a mix of solo cello and poetry.

He has performed as far afield as South America but this will be his debut tour on a bike.

Kenneth plays a variety of music from soulful Irish laments to tango, Bach, and James Bond.

His live performances also include a short poem to go with each piece of music. This, he says, is to underline, or to tease, or subvert. The poetry is also often funny and is sometimes provocative.

Explaining why he chose to make the journey from Hadrian's Wall to Rome, he described the journey as "from the edge of empire, to its heart".

After a send-off concert at Carlisle's Tullie House Museum on Wednesday 25 May, he will carry a letter of greeting from the Mayor of Carlisle to the Mayor of Rome.

Kenneth said: "So I thought I should call the tour Highway Cello.

"If you can't get to a live performance you can hear some of the music on the special Highway Cello album."