Within 5 minutes walk from London Bridge Station is this full sized reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake’s warship, The Golden Hinde. It was the first English ship to circumnavigate the globe in the late 16th Century.
The Golden Hinde, Southwark
Opening Daily – November-March 10am-5pm and April-October 10am-6pm
This replica ship was launched in 1973 and sailed over 100,000 miles. I have passed it many times and I don’t think I ever realised it was somewhere you can pay to go onboard. It is a great thing to do solo in London and with an entrance fee of just £5 per adult, can also be combined with another activity. You will be provided with an informative pamphlet, providing all sorts of interesting facts and figures, as well as a timeline of dates of the places she has sailed to.
The Main Deck
Climb onboard the main deck where you can view carved wooden heads of knights which were thought to keep ghosts out of the rigging. They were believed to bring good luck if they were touched.
The half deck was where most of the navigation took place. You can see the ship’s helm, Drake’s cabin (closed for renovation currently) and climb up some narrow steps to the poop deck. This is where Drake used to paint the seashore.
The Gun Deck
The headroom here is very low, necessary to keep the centre of gravity low. I had to bend in half to walk along it. I was informed that this was where some of the crew would sleep and the guns were fired.
The bow has a golden head of a female deer as the figurehead, distinguishing it from other ships.
The Golden Hinde is a super, inexpensive activity, giving you an insight into what life would have been like onboard a ship in the 16th Century.
There are a number of other activities in the local area that you could combine a visit with, as well as some fantastic restaurants. Click on the links to read my solo travel reviews ….