Few ships are as famous as the Golden Hind, which first set out from London to explore the globe in 1577, captained by Sir Francis Drake. A replica of this iconic ship, the Golden Hinde, is docked on the River Thames in central London. Visitors can go aboard and learn more about the ship’s place in British history.
The Golden Hind’s round-the-world voyage was a triumph of the Elizabethan era. The galleon also took part in the unsuccessful battle against the Spanish Armada in 1589, an expedition also captained by Drake. The ship was deconstructed in 1668—some of the ship’s timbers were used to make a chair that sits in the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
The Golden Hinde, a full-size reconstruction of the original galleon, was made in the 1970s. It also traveled around the world, sailing more than 140,000 miles (225,310 kilometers) and visiting San Francisco, Japan, and the Caribbean along the way. Now docked, the ship welcomes visitors to climb aboard and follow an interactive self-guided tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Golden Hinde is a must for history buffs.
- Entry to the Golden Hinde is via paid ticket.
- Discounts are available for children.
- Purchase your tickets in advance online to avoid waiting upon arrival.
- The ship is not accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The Golden Hinde is docked at St Mary Overie Dock in Southwark. The closest Underground stop is Borough (Northern Line). Many public buses stop nearby, including 17, 21, and 40. The ship is easily accessible on foot along the Thames Path riverside walkway.
When to Get There
The Golden Hinde is open daily during daylight hours. It’s typically busiest on the weekends, especially in the early afternoon, so plan your visit during the week for a quieter experience. London in general is busiest in late spring and summer, so consider visiting in early spring or fall for relatively smaller crowds.
Enjoy the Food Stalls at Borough Market
Just around the corner from the Golden Hinde is Borough Market, one of London’s oldest remaining produce markets. You’ll find everything from fruits and vegetables to gourmet sausages on sale here, and there are many different street food stalls offering an array of delicious lunch options.