Home » Destinations » Visiting the Golden Hind at Brixham Harbour


golden hind

Devon Holidays are not complete without a trip to the beach. And if you’ve ever gazed out over the ocean and wondered what lies over the horizon then a visit to the Golden Hind at Brixham Harbour is sure to fire your imagination.

The Golden Hind was Sir Francis Drake’s flag ship that circumnavigated the world between 1577 and 1580 as part of a expedition to explore the pacific coast of South America, passing through the dangerous Strait of Magellan. The expedition was supported by Queen Elizabeth and he had official approval to bring back riches for himself and the Queen, and to cause maximum damage to the Spanish. Tensions had been building between England & Spain for some time and the Spanish had recently targeted English vessels. Exploration quickly became a secondary objective for the expedition as Sir Francis Drake capture Spanish Galleons and took their treasures.

When the Golden Hind returned to England, Sir Francis Drake was hailed as a hero and he was famed for his exploits throughout the land. He had successfully taken Spanish bounty from several prestigious ships, he had circled the globe through uncharted waters and set up trade links with the far east which would lead to the development of the spice trade. He had achieved all this on a ship only 120 foot long and displacing 300 tons. The Golden Hind eventually fell into disrepair though and was broken up around 1610. It is said that the table in Middle Temple Hall in London is made from some of the Golden Hind’s timbers.

In 1973 an exact replica of the Golden Hind was build in Appledore, North Devon. This is the ship that now lies in Brixham harbour. In the same spirit of adventure we stepped out from a nearby Devon Holiday Park to visit the ship. Stepping on board is like stepping back through 400 years of history as life on board a 16th Century sailing vessel comes to life. Stepping below decks takes you into a dark world that would have been heavy with the toil of sailors struggling to survive in cramped conditions lacking in proper sanitation, being sustained on long trips by poor food and inadequate sleeping conditions. For the sailors the excellent pay and chance for adventure were the reward for living in this way.

The next time you are in South Devon be sure to visit the Golden Hind and learn a little more about Sir Francis Drake and his pioneering voyage around the world.


Leave a Reply