STUDENTS from Southampton have designed a Loch Ness Monster-shaped pedalo which will be used by seafaring adventurers.

The six-metre vessel will be taken out onto the open seas at the north coast of Scotland this weekend, in the first attempt to circumnavigate the tip of the country by pedalo.

University of Southampton students constructed the boat over seven months to withstand the dangerous conditions.

The pedalo contains give reclining bike seats and a specially-developed drive train.

Motoring journalist Ed Foster, lawyer Nico Kirby, and actor Sholto Morgan, all 30, will join Nico's sister and banker Natasha Kirby, 28, to take on the challenge.

The group, who all live in London, will set off from Inverness at 9.30am on Saturday (AUG 2) and aim to return by Monday, August 25, having navigated the Caledonian Canal, Loch Ness, Loch Leahy and the Irish Sea.

The inspiration for the trip came from Nico and Natasha, who lost their mum Antonia to lung cancer last year, while Ed's father has been living with Parkinson's disease for more than six years.

Natasha said: “What we are doing is completely mad and has never been done before. But that's part of the thrill of something like this.

“I think mum would be very proud of us doing this for her and for other people.”

The quartet aim to raise £250,000 for Cancer Research UK and Parkinson's UK.

To sponsor the team visit, @500milepedalo on Twitter, or