The Golden Hinde

Experience the life of a 16th century explorer aboard The Golden Hinde , a full-sized reconstruction of the ship Sir Francis Drake used to circumnavigate the globe between 1577-80.

Located in St Mary Overie Dock, London Bankside, The Golden Hinde is a full-sized authentic reconstruction of the original ship. Built in the 1970s to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Drake claiming California for Queen Elizabeth 1st, 17th June 1579. She was a working ship which has travelled much further than the original.

Explore the different decks to learn how the crew lived and worked on the ship. Envisage a voyage full of drama and adventure, from the mutiny and execution of Thomas Doughty to becoming the remaining ship out of five to continue the journey after passing through the Magellan Straits.

The Golden Hinde returned to England after three years at sea, laden with treasure looted from Spanish ships. It was enough to pay off the national debt and make Drake and his sponsors very rich, any surviving crew members got their share as well.

It’s Drake’s pirate side that fires the imagination of children and adults alike. Drake was considered to be a privateer, authorised by the Queen to plunder Spanish ships, even so, The Golden Hinde does tend to bring out the pirate in all of us.

The Golden Hinde offers fantastic educational programmes for schools. During weekends and school holidays discover guided tours, fun family activities, and sleepovers led by the friendly costumed crew. In the evenings, enjoy a range of events from live music, rum tasting, to talks and storytelling.

Free Entry to Golden Hinde with The London Pass

Look out for…

  • The great view of the Thames from the half deck, where you can also visit Drake’s Cabin which has the only bed on board the ship.
  • Knights’ Heads on the Main Deck – these two wooden carved heads were believed to keep ghosts out of rigging and bring good luck if touched.
  • Gun Deck – this deck has very low headroom which was needed to keep the centre of the gravity low. More weight above the waterline increases the chance of the ship rolling and sinking. Apart from the main armament being on this deck, it served as living quarters for sailors.

Did you know?…

  • The Golden Hinde was originally called the Pelican. She was renamed during the voyage after one of the main sponsors, Sir Christopher Hatton, his family crest featured a hind (female deer).
  • Sir Francis Drake was knighted aboard the Golden Hinde at Deptford Dockyard after returning from the circumnavigation. The ship was open to the public until the 17th century when she rotted and was broken up. Timbers from the ship were made into a chair which was presented to the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

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Audio Guide

Wheelchair Access


Tour Guide




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All information is drawn from or provided by the museums themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.