Address: Pickford's Wharf, Clink Street, London SE1 9DG


Time: 10.00am to 5.30pm

Phone: 0207 403 0123

450m from London Bridge

250m from London Bridge

The original Golden Hinde was the famous flagship of Sir Francis Drake which circumnavigated the world between 1577-80. It was during this trip that the ship’s name changed from The Pelican in recognition of the crest of his patron, Sir Christopher Hatton. It was renamed just before Drake entered the Straits of Magellan, near the tip of South America. He’d travelled from Plymouth and then sailed up the west coast of the Americas to Oregon before sailing across the Pacific to the Philippines, around South Africa and home.

It left Plymouth in December in a group of five ships with 200 crew, reaching Brazil the following spring. When leaving Plymouth, Drake received a royal charter giving permission to attack and loot ships belonging to England’s enemies, most notably the Spanish.

During the three years he was at sea, his haul was almost beyond belief. He captured the Cacafuego which required the Hinde’s ballast below deck to be thrown overboard to be replaced by the captured treasure. In March 1579, he captured the Nuestra Senora de la Conception and took 360,000 pesos and six tons of treasure. This took six days to transfer across to his ship.

When he returned in 1580, the queen received £160,000 – enough to pay off the national debt and have £40,000 remaining. All the crew members were given fortunes, with even the cabin boy having the equivalent of over a million pounds at today’s value.

The Queen boarded the ship at Deptford and Drake was knighted. The ship was preserved as a museum ship although it eventually rotted away. This replica ship was built in Devon and launched in 1973. It retraced Drake’s epic trip in 1979-80 and did many more voyages, travelling more than 140,000 miles.

It is now moored at St Mary Ovarie Dock in London.

In terms of location, this is one of the best London landmarks, although it’s hidden away to a degree by the tall buildings around it – but well worth finding!

Click on the pics below for an enlarged view and use the arrow towards the right edge of each pic to go on to the next.