It's not quite sailing the seven seas, but a team from Neatishead is planning a voyage to navigate all seven rivers of the Norfolk Broads. 

The challenge is being organised by boating charity, the Nancy Oldfield Trust.

A team from the Trust is planning an 11-day trip later this year that will see them travel 166 miles in two boats along all seven rivers, taking in 20 different locations.

The expedition is designed to raise the profile of the charity, which provides boating opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged individuals, families and carers, and to celebrate its 40th anniversary. 

Dereham Times: Neatishead-based boating charity the Nancy Oldfield TrustNeatishead-based boating charity the Nancy Oldfield Trust (Image: Nancy Oldfield Trust)

Emily Greves, from the Trust, said: "We like to think we are quite well known in our corner of the Broads, but in many ways we still feel like one of Norfolk's best kept secrets.

"We hope that this trip will help us to reach others within the wider community who may benefit from the services we offer but may have never heard of us.

"It's also a chance to celebrate what we have achieved in our 40 years, and to thank our staff, volunteers and visitors."

Dereham Times: The Nancy Oldfield Trust

The expedition involves two boats, Lions Pride II, a Yeoman sailing boat specially-adapted for use by disabled sailors, and Nancy Bee, one of the Trust's motor cruisers. 

Different volunteers will be on board the craft for different stages, as will some of the customers who use the Trust.

In total, 51 people are expected to take part.

The trip starts in Beccles on the May 8 and is due to finish back at the Trust's HQ near Barton Broad on May 18. 

During the tour the boats will stop at several locations, including: Oulton Broad and St Olaves on the Waveney; Cantley and Coldham Hall on the Yare; Norwich on the Wensum; Loddon on the Chet; Horning and Wroxham on the Bure; Potter Heigham and West Somerton on the Thurne; and Ludham Bridge on the Ant.

Dereham Times: The Nancy Oldfield Trust

The highlight of the trip is an open day at Norwich Yacht Station, near the railway station on May 11, from 11am to 2pm, when the public are invited to come along and visit the boats and find out more about the organisation. 

Stephen Bradnock, the Trust's centre manager, said: "A lot of preparation has gone into the trip; the boats are crewed, transport and moorings are organised, and we have ensured that we can keep our services in Neatishead running as normal.

"We are really fortunate to have the support of organisations along the route who have kindly offered mooring spots and we are very grateful to Cox’s Boatyard of Barton Turf and Ben Burgess Norwich for their generous sponsorship of the tour.

"Everyone at the Trust is excited about it."

Dereham Times: The Nancy Oldfield Trust


The Nancy Oldfield Trust was established in 1984 by Richard Kenyon, who wanted to create a facility where anyone with a disability or who was socially disadvantaged could enjoy water-based activities.

He was supported in his efforts by his parents Nancy and Oldfield, so the charity was named after them.

It has grown significantly since then but is still based in Neatishead at the same bungalow, which can be hired out for self-catering activity holidays.

It has a fleet of 19 sailing and motor vessels for use by visitors, as well as two rafted canoes,  three pedal launches and an eight-person stand-up paddleboard.

It has a small team of staff and is supported by 99 volunteers.

The charity relies on donations to carry out its work. 

For more information, and to donate, visit