Excited students from a Norfolk high school are set to discover living heritage as they board one of the UK's most historic vessels in the coming weeks.

Excelsior LT472 - a traditional Lowestoft fishing smack, built a century ago - will be taking part in the international Tall Ships Race this year.

And joining those aboard the historic sailing smack for the "prestigious" annual event will be a group of students from Alderman Peel High School, in

With Excelsior taking part in the first leg of the 2023 Tall Ships Race, this "once in a lifetime opportunity" will see them embark on a trip from Lowestoft to Dan Helder in the Netherlands, and then on to the UK host port of Hartlepool.

A spokesman for the Excelsior Trust, which operates the maritime sailing icon Excelsior LT472, said: "The Tall Ships Races are races for sail training 'tall ships'.

"The races are designed to encourage international friendship and training for young people in the art of sailing."

Held annually in European waters, the races consist of two racing legs of several hundred nautical miles, and a 'cruise in company' between the legs.

To take part, more than one half of the crew of each ship participating in the races must consist of young people.

The Excelsior Trust spokesman added: "This is a very exciting date in our annual sailing season and we are delighted to have the Wells students aboard to participate in the race!

"It will undoubtedly leave a memory for all involved for many years to come."

A school spokesman said: "We live by the sea and all young people should experience the joy of being on the sea, but to experience the Tall Ships Race - that really is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"We are very grateful to The Excelsior Trust and The Norfolk Boat Charity for their generous sponsorship.

"Special thanks also to Richenda Thompson and Neil Thompson Boats Ltd for being the creator of this wonderful partnership."