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Board the Golden Hinde

Home > London > Fun for Children | Museums
by Kat Parr Mackintosh (subscribe)
Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published November 29th 2010
If you thought life on the ocean waves was all about space then come and educate yourself aboard the Golden Hinde, a full size replica of Sir Francis Drake's Tudor warship moored near London Bridge. How could you not have noticed a great Turdor warship when down this way you might, reasonably, wonder. Well, it's a lot smaller than you might have expected it to be – which is just one of the fascinating things you can learn about the life of a ye olde sailor on board this ship-recreation-cum-museum.

To fully appreciate the 'new Hinde', you need to know a little bit about the 'old Hinde's' history. Drake's flagship, she was the only ship to complete his three year circumnavigation of the world between 1577 and 1580. When he left, Queen Elizabeth I gave him 'permission' to raid and loot any ships belonging to England's enemies, which largely meant the Spanish – who to this day call him a pirate. Apparently they accumulated so much treasure on the voyage that they emptied out the ballast and used gold to keep the ship correctly weighted during the later portion of their odyssey. At the end of which Elizabeth decreed that the ship should be kept as Britain's first 'museum ship', but they weren't very sophisticated about preserving things in those days and the original old battle axe rotted away in the 17th Century.

The 'new Hinde' was built in the 1970s – and has had her own turn at circumnavigating the globe. She's sort of resting at the moment, treating visitors to tales of her journeys, though the museum section of the boat, but also because much of it is still in working order, with cabins and spaces below decks all as they would have been in 'the day'. You can look over it on your own or go with a guided tour, which is probably better, 'cause the Tudor-dressed guide will bring the whole ship to life even more with tales of what it would have been like to be a sailor or even Drake himself. Fun, but a bit cramped, would be my guess.
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Why? History is loads of fun if it's life sized
When: Between 10.00am and 5:30pm daily, except when it's booked out for events
Where: Pickfords Wharf Clink Street, London SE1 9DG, nearest station London Bridge
Cost: Adults £6, Children £4.50
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