Where’s Sophie?

On the Solent – writing about boats

Inspirational speaker, Sophie Neville
Speaking at Southampton International Boat Show 2022

Please click here for a list of forthcoming talks by Sophie Neville

A talk on the secrets of filming afloat

Ever in the press:

Mail on Sunday - A homage to Swallows, Amazons and a girl with a rather rude name!Awarded Beach cleaner of the Year by Litter Pickers of The New Forest, Sophie is an Ambassador for Keep Britain Tidy


She is collecting marine plastic whilst taking part in Schoolreader’s Race for Reading.

Sophie Neville winning Create!

Winning the Create! Competition for photography

Seascape - artwork by sophie Neville made from sea-plastic

and was Highly Commended for her sea plastic collage.


Enjoying family life

Sophie Neville visiting Windermere Jetty museum in Cumbria

Visiting Windermere  Jetty museum in Cumbria for BBC Antiques Roadshow

Collecting sea plastic on the south coast

'The end of the world' a collage made of sea-plastic by Sophie Neville

Making art from sea-plastic

Sophie Neville - May 2019

Advocating recycling of plastics

Sophie Neville at the House of Commons with the Director of Clean Up Britain and Heroes of the Great British Spring Clean 2019

At the House of Commons celebrating the Great British Spring Clean

Cleaning Solent beaches – photo: Daily Mail

Speaking at the Essex Book Festival

TWT Rider Sophie Neville

Completed her 5th Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride

Sophie Neville selling prints in aid of TWT

Raising funds for community projects in S.Africa 

Sophie Neville, President of The Arthur Ransome Society

Representing The Arthur Ransome Society

Sophie Neville with Robin Pratley and Swallow

On Derwentwater before speaking in Keswick

Rowing in Amsterdam

Sophie Neville in a rowing skiff on the River Amstel

Sophie Neville at the Tavistock Festival

Opening the Tavistock Festival

TWT Ride 2018 Sophie Neville and giraffe - photo Ant Baber

Taking part in The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride

Sophie Neville exhibiting her artwork 2017

Exhibiting her artwork in aid of charity

Sophie Neville at Araminta Blue's art exhibition 2017

At Araminta Blue’s exhibition in London

Sophie Neville at Pin Mill 2017

Sophie Neville in Suffok for a Reading of ‘We Didn’t Mean To Go To Sea’ with Griff Rhys Jones, Libby Purves, Francis Wheen, Julia Jones and Christina Hardyment.

Sophie Neville with the Rushton children at the Marathon Reading of Swallows and Amazons

At a Marathon Reading on Coniston Water joining the children of Cumbria to read ‘Swallows and Amazons’


Sailing in the Netherlands with the Nancy Blackett Trust

Sophie Neville opening the Arthur Ransome Jamboree at Pin Mill

Opening the Arthur Ransome Jamboree at Pin Mill

Sophie Neville at the archery

Worcestershire Archery Ladies Champion

Sophie Neville meeting several rhino

Helping Save the Waterberg Rhino in South Africa


With wildlife film producer Alastair Fothergill and Juliet Maddan raising funds for rhino conservation


At The Nevillery

Sophie Neville in the Emirates

Learning about owls in the desert

Sophie Neville shooting

Preparing for archery tournaments while in the Gulf

Sophie Neville with the pop corn

Fundraising for Hampshire Air Ambulance

Sophie Neville with tortoise by Tanya Baber

Riding in the wilderness
Agincourt 600th at Chatsworth shooting with the longbow at 120 yards


riding through Georgia in the former Soviet UnionSophie Neville filming on Lewis with Ged Yeates trimmed

Filming in the Western Isles with Ged Yeates


Sophie Neville launching an appeal for Medecine San Frontieres


Sophie Neville rowing in the Magna Carta Flotilla 14th June 2015

Sophie Neville with Titmouse in Norfolk

Sophie Neville with Titmouse in Norfolk

Aboard Maud photo Diana
– photo Diana Dicker –

Re-living ‘Coot Club’ on the River Bure

Sophie Neville in South Africa

Sophie Neville in South Africa

A challenging section of the Waterberg Charity Ride

leading the Waterberg Charity Ride

Sophie Neville with Beanie the Otter

Filming with our tame otters in Scotland

Beenie the Otter

and in Gloucestershire


Sophie Neville at Hastings Pirate Day


Riding through Uruguay in South America

Sophie Neville raising funds for Comic Relief on Red Nose Day

Giving a talk to raise funds for Comic Relief

In London, reading from my books with Holly Hamilton and Joanna FosterSophie Neville with the gold pillar-box

~ Posting letters ~

Sophie Neville on Triple 'B' Ranch in South Africa
Sophie Neville at Camp Davidson in the Waterberg

~ At Camp Davidson with Horizon Horseback  Safaris in the Waterberg ~

Writer Sophie Neville in South Africa

Easter Day 1999, unaware that my dress was the same colour as the pool.

Can you guess the species of creature I am holding? We weren’t sure and had to ask our vet for verification. The clue is that I was in South Africa, yet we have the same wild animals here in Scotland. An island was called after one.


I was giving a talk in the ballroom at the Norfolk Arms Hotel in Arundel. Very smart. I thought I ought to wear a dress. This was a mistake. I merged, almost entirely, with the long brocade curtains and the cover on the grand piano.

Sophie Neville and the curtains of the Norfolk Arms Hotel


and again –

turned up at a talk wearing clothes that merged with the curtains

Talking at the RLYC

27 thoughts on “Where’s Sophie?”

  1. From the floor you were clearly distinguishable from the soft furnishings! and we certainly felt honoured that you’d taken the trouble to dress so nicely for us. A dream of a talk and a privilege to be there.

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed the talk! Do let me know what you think of my postings about making ‘Swallows and Amazons’ (see Home page). I am off to visit the charcoal burners next – any questions you might have are most welcome.

  2. The backstage shots and snippets are rivetting, and you’ve really answered most things in your account. Do you think the other children identified much with their characters?

  3. Hi Sophie (and Simon!) I have much enjoyed reading your website – but haven’t found an email address, yet! but we will, no doubt, or will phone you … love Charlotte and Bill in wonderful Worcestershire

  4. Hi sophie

    I hope you dont mind me asking, I went to school with Tamzin, i have not seen her in years. I have fond memories of a warm and caring young lady who would treat me with respect & honesty. I would love you to pass a message onto her her please if you would be so kind.

    They were great times all those years ago, i hope she & all the family are well

    with upmost respect

    Tim Collett

    1. Tamzin is very well, busy writing Christmas cards. Have you managed to read ‘Funnily Enough’ or ‘Ride the Wings of Morning’? – which would not have been written without her amusing imput.

  5. Hello, i just wanted to say how much i love this blog and how exciting your adventures look. I am 13 and swallows and amazons is my favourite film ever and you played titty so well, it is so lovely to see you now and may i say that your smile hasn’t changed, it is very enchanting, love emmie x

    1. Dear Emmie,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write.

      Do leave a review of the film on the Amazon site – it is a great encouragement to the distributors who have been organising cinema screenings. We might be able to have another one in Oxford over the Christmas Holidays, which would be fun.

      Have you been able to get hold of a copy of ‘The Making of Swallows & Amazons’. I can now be ordered from your library.

      Do let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.

      Are you a member of The Arthur Ransome Society?

      1. Thank you very much for replying, I have got The Making of Swallows and Amazons and I’m really enjoying it, very well written!
        I am not part of The Arthur Ransome Society, how can I become a member?!
        Also, I was in my grandpa’s house the other day and I noticed that there was a picture in a frame in the kitchen; it appeared to be one of yours!
        I think it was a drawing of some pigs, but I can’t quite remember. My auntie told me it because she said that she knew you; her name is Camilla McNair – I wonder if you remember her?
        Emmie x

        1. Dear Emmi, How amazing that Camilla is your niece. Please send her my love. If you Google ‘The Arthur Ransome Society’ you can see details of what they do and how to become a member on their website. ‘The Nancy Blackett Trust’ is also a great society to join if you enjoy sailing and can get up to the River Owell in Suffolk. We are going to be screening the movie at a cinema in Woodbridge on 19th April to raise funds for them and have Swallow – the dinghy used in the film coming along. I am so glad that you are enjoying ‘the Making of Swallows & Amazons’ . would you do me the honour of pasting your comments about it on the Amazon site? It would be a great help. You should be able to get to the right page by clicking on the side-bar of my blog. Many thanks for adding a comment here. I loved hearing about the pig picture, I drew them here in South Africa where I cam currently writing.

  6. Dear Sophie,
    what ever happened to the rest of the cast? Did the other children now adults, keep in touch or get in touch?
    If so, do you all still meet up?
    Or was that it, and never the twain shall meet.


    1. We’ve never managed to have a cast re-union!

      I have been in touch with Suzanna for some time, and met up with Sten and Simon recently. Kit and I planned to go to see Suzanna in a play she was in this summer but Kit forgot that she was off to the Commonwealth Games and I went down with bronchitis. The only person we have lost contact with is Lesley Bennett who played Peggy. I’m hoping she will get in touch.

  7. Dear Ms Neville,
    Fantastic feeling to have found your website. I am trying to get in touch with Reinhild v Bodenhausen. Her mother Anga was my mother´s best friend. I remember well my first crush (on Reinhild, of course). I was 5-6 years old. I havn´t seen her since and would very much like to have her e-mail adress or any other information making it possible to reach her.
    Kindest regards
    Bjorn Undall
    (Lidingo Sweden)

  8. This is so rich and awesome. What an adventurous life! I love animals and have just seen some splendid pics of you in Africa with animals! What an inspiration. Where do you get all the energy?!! You have left a golden trail for generations! Very beautiful collections of pics and events for anyone to be very proud of. Congrats!!

    1. Thank you! I was based in Southern Africa for twelve years accumulating stories I put together in ‘Ride the Wings of Morning’, which is available online as an ebook or (rather large) paperback.

  9. Very touching trying to keep in touch with the cast! Found Peggy yet? Everyone must be waiting to see a reunion pic or a write on where everyone is now and doing what. It can happen!

  10. What a very busy lady you are, Sophie; and adventurous too! I don’t know how you find time to fit everything in but it is fascinating to read about. Thank you very much for sharing it all with us.

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