Guitarist Richard Durrant has been back on his bike, not for charity this time, but on a pilgrimage, playing and cycling the length of Great Britain.

His pilgrimage started in Orkney, so Richard could visit the ancient stone circles. The musician took his specially crafted guitar, that had been made from the wood of a 5,000 year old Bog Oak Tree in Norfolk, to perform at various venues throughout Britain.

"The guitar is exquisite, and I was invited to stop in Sherwood Forest and play it live under the oldest tree in Britain,'' said Richard.

The pilgrimage was inspired by the music he created for Stringhenge album and tour. It was the guitarist's disgust and despair at the politics of Brexit and Trump that made him want to reaffirm the unity between Britain and Europe.

Swindon Advertiser: Richard Durrant Stringhenge Album Launch Tour by Bicycle!

"At the same time we are celebrating the armistice we are turning our backs on our friends in Europe,'' he said. "So I wanted to merge the European music of JS Bach with our English folk music and so we launched the album Stringhenge, in Orkney. It was spiritual,'' he said.

BBC 6 Music picked up on it and did a 45 minute feature on Richard and Stringhenge. In 2020 the musician will be back in Orkney for a cycle and performing tour all the way to Gibraltar.

"It will be post Brexit by then and all about friendship, a good will trip from Britain playing cafes, street corners, cathedrals and concerts,'' said the guitar maestro.

This Christmas Richard is playing a little closer to home when he comes to Faringdon to perform his now annual Candelit Christmas.

Richard said: "It will be the third year I have done the tour with fiddler and multi-instrumentalist Nick Pynn, who I have known for 25 years. He is a genius folk player and I wanted to inject that British Iles folk flavour into Christmas. And my other amazing guest, singer Amy Kakoura veers in a folk direction. We steal from the Oxford Book of Carols and sing songs such as Fairytale of New York.''

The concert will also include songs from Swindon's own XTC, but Richard is keeping which ones under wraps.

"It will be our take on the songs. I am a big XTC fan and think Andy Partridge is the greatest songwriter of all time,'' he said.

This has been a big year for Richard, and next year he has even bigger plans which may even include a trip back to Paraguay.

He has set up an online teaching academy for guitarists, The Richard Durrant Academy at

"I started it because guitarists are mavericks and the least likely of all musicians to learn to read music, and it is so uplifting to learn about the language of music. We do guitar and ukulele, we do a day's filming as well. I am proud of it,'' he said.

Richard performed at the Beautiful Days Festival thanks to his pal fiddle player Jon Sevink from The Levellers.

"He invited me along to follow their set with mine. They are a full on rock band but it went down a storm,'' he said.

The guitarist was also invited to play for Prince Charles' birthday party at Buckingham Palace.

"I met some very strange people, nice but odd,'' he said. "It was part of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. I was asked by George Hinchcliffe, the founder of the orchestra.''

The guitarist has also set up his own 18-piece orchestra which he is hoping to take on tour.

Richard wrote the music for the BBC1 Skating Penguins and will be performing more of his own and other Christmas tunes at St Nicholas Church in Baulking, Faringdon at his sell-out concert on Friday, December 7. For more details about the guitarist visit - Flicky Harrison