Buccaneer Expedition 2018

Monday 9th April (am) – Friday 13th April (pm)

Open to those in Yr 4-9, our Buccaneer Expedition is an exciting nautical adventure on the sheltered inland water of the Norfolk Broads. Our young Buccaneers live together in small groups of similar ages aboard motor cruisers and get the chance to explore this beautiful National Park in historic wooden sailing boats. The expedition is designed to allow the young people to experience living and working together aboard boats while also giving them the opportunity to learn to sail. It is a trip that the Exploration Society leaders have run many times and remains one of the favourite Expeditions of both staff and students alike.

Register Interest here!

Living Arrangements

Our home for the week will be Broads cruisers. These are large comfortable boats which sleep up to 10 people each. Each boat has a slightly different arrangement of bunks and cabins, and there are usually two toilets and shower rooms. As well as living aboard, the expedition members will both drive and maintain the boat, and shop and cook for themselves under supervision of the leaders. Boats will be arranged with a mix of  age groups making up each crew. It is possible that some boats will have both boys and girls but where this happens they will always sleep in separate cabins.

The boats will be moored up each night and Esoc Leaders will sleep in a separate staff cabin aboard. All appliances are safety checked and maintained to a high standard.

To view an example boat please click on the link below.

Example Boat Tour

Travel Arrangements

Those based in London will meet at King’s Cross Station early on Monday morning for onward travel to Cambridge.

On arrival in Cambridge they will meet a coach and join with the Cambridge Expedition members to continue the journey to Norfolk by road.  The journey will take approximately 2 hrs, not including comfort stops.

On the return journey, we will get picked up from Herbert Woods boatyard by coach and return to Cambridge. The London group will then come back down to King’s Cross by train in the afternoon.


Due to weather conditions and other unforeseen events, the timings and activities may vary but the following should give a good guide of what to expect.

Day 1: Having arrived at the Boatyard and settled onto our boats, we will give the group an initial safety briefing to ensure that everyone understand the risks involved with this kind of trip and knows how to manage them. We will then set off in convoy, heading for Womack Water so we can do the first shop in Ludham village. Once the shopping is done, we will have time to continue on to Ranworth and moor up for the night on Malthouse Broad. In the evening the crews will cook a meal for their boat and, depending on weather conditions, there may be a chance for an evening activity or game.

Day 2: After breakfast is washed up and cleared away and all the boat chores are complete, we will spend the morning exploring the local area. Half the group will go out onto the Broad sailing in small boats while the other half visit the local church tower and nature reserve. The groups will swap over to ensure everyone has a chance to do all the activities. After lunch the fleet will move down river and through the village of Horning to the beautiful Salhouse Broad. The cooking competition will begin on Wednesday evening where the leaders score the Buccaneers on their Hospitality, Presentation, Punctuality, and Food Quality.

Day 3: We have the whole of Wednesday to spend on the beautiful Salhouse Broad. Everyone will get the chance to hone their sailing skills and visit the local nature reserve. We will also cruise the short distance into the town of Wroxham to visit the infamous Roy’s stores and take on supplies.

Day 4: On Thursday we will run the Buccaneer Barter! – our very own pirate themed wide-game/treasure hunt where each crew competes to discover the fabled elixir of eternal youth. After lunch and a final game at St Bennetts Abbey, we will return to Herbert Woods to spend the night.

Day 5: On Friday we will have breakfast and ensure all the boats are ship shape before heading out to the coast to a beach popular with sunbathing seals! After lunch everyone will board the coaches for the return journey.

Watch the Expedition Video!


The following precautions will be taken at all times:

  • Buoyancy Aids worn when sailing and on moving boats
  • A high ratio of well-qualified and experienced instructors with at least one experienced sailor on each boat
  • Specific Safety briefings given before all activities
  • A small, fast rescue boat accompanying the fleet
  • Well maintained boats sourced from reputable and trusted Boatyards

A trip of this nature has inherent risks but, having run many trips on the Norfolk Broads for several years, we are confident that the risks can be managed and are far outweighed by the benefits. If you have any concerns please get in touch with the office. A detailed risk assessment is prepared for all activities.

Meet our Leader Team

Kit List

You may also want to read our general notes on clothing and kit


  • Kitbag / Holdall / Suitcase (This will be left at the boatyard and kit unpacked into lockers)
  • Shoes to wear while sailing (Wellingtons, wet shoes or old trainers)
  • Shoes to wear for wide games and evenings (walking boots or trainers-  The grass will be wet and muddy so it is important that everyone has at least one pair of waterproof shoes)
  • Shoes to wear inside the boat (slippers)
  • Sleeping bag (bedding is provided but it can get chilly at night)
  • Underwear & plenty of warm socks
  • Thermal underwear
  • Light hard wearing trousers/ warm leggings (not jeans – these are almost impossible to dry once wet!)
  • Warm fleeces/Jumpers
  • T-shirts/shirts
  • Gloves, Hat, Scarf/buff
  • Sunglasses in case of bright sun
  • Full Waterproofs (Trousers AND jacket)
  • General toiletries and Towel
  • Eye care material (if appropriate)
  • Head torch and extra batteries
  • Packed lunch for Day 1


  • Camera
  • Reading book / Games
  • Teddy Bear

Personal mobile phones are not permitted on this expedition. All leaders will be carrying phones and we will update our blog with news and photos throughout the week. Please also avoid bringing large quanitites of confectionary.


The Buccaneer Expedition will cost £495 pp to include:

  • Travel from either London or Cambridge
  • Accommodation on Motor Cruisers
  • Mooring Fees
  • Sailing Boat/Safety Boat Hire
  • Planning, Instruction and Leadership (approx 1:4 ratio)
  • All meals from Monday dinner to Friday lunch

Not included

  • Personal Kit
  • Packed Lunch on Day 1
  • Personal spending money – £5-£10

Siblings will receive a 5% discount when booking.

Register Interest here!