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Celebrating a diamond jubilee on the Norfolk Broads

Date Posted: 03/12/2014

School: Steyning Grammar School, Steyning, West Sussex
KS: 4
Destination: Herbert Woods, the Norfolk Broads

A testimony of a successful trip is to pay a repeat visit, so using that yardstick destinations don’t come much more highly recommended than the one picked by Steyning Grammar School.

It was back in 1954  that the school organised its first trip to the Norfolk Broads, and  successive generations of teachers and pupils have been visiting the county’s famous waterways ever since.

Eighty students and 19 teachers were on board for this year’s 60th visit to the Broads, where they embarked on a seven-day round-trip voyage of discovery on 12 cruisers from Herbert Woods at Potter Heigham.

Founded in 1926, Herbert Woods is the second largest boat hire yard on the Broads and operates over 140 cruisers. Schools can test the water with a day trip or set sail on an exciting Swallows and Amazons adventure, cruising and enjoying land-based activities by day and sleeping on the boats at night.

With 24-hour support from the boatyard, full instruction is provided for anyone new to cruisers.

In the case of Steyning Grammar School, it has become a tradition to follow the same itinerary each year, and this was upheld for the diamond jubilee week.

The detailed day to day schedule included a church service at Ranworth, a cross country run for the boys, time for shopping in Norwich and a barbecue at Salhouse towards the end of the week.

Pupils also went dinghy sailing and other fun activities included a talent show and a competition to make and sail eco-friendly, wind-powered model boats.

Teacher David Tubbs said: “Nobody can remember why we started coming to the Norfolk Broads but it is now a firm part of the school year. As usual this year’s trip was oversubscribed, and we are now seeing the third generation of families coming on it.

“It’s all about giving the students life experiences and we let them manage the boats themselves as much as possible. There are basic provisions on board but they have to cook, shop and look after themselves as well as having the chance to explore the magnificent Norfolk Broads.”

The school also takes along a film crew, who have their own boat, so it has a permanent record of the week’s adventures.

Amanda Walker, marketing director at Herbert Woods, added: “For us, Steyning School is part of the family. Some members of the teaching staff have been coming here for over 20 years and we always look forward to seeing them.

“We are delighted to have reached such a significant milestone and the fact they have been coming for 60 years is a great testimony to the benefits a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads can bring to young people.

That this trip was again oversubscribed means its appeal is as strong as ever. We look forward to welcoming them for many years to come.”

For more information contact Herbert Woods:
0800-144 4472


School Travel Organiser's Guide