Great explorers

Read about the daring exploits of some of history's bravest explorers. From the well-known endeavours of Scott, Shackleton, Columbus and Drake, to the lesser-known adventures of men like Magellan, Flinders and Cabot, we take you on a voyage of discovery.

In the early 20th century the race was on to reach the South Pole. Robert Falcon Scott led the first British expedition.

In the 1570s and 1580s, Queen Elizabeth I granted royal permission to two Englishmen to colonise America.

In 1741, Anglo-Irish MP Arthur Dobbs commissioned Christopher Middleton, a captain in the Hudson’s Bay Company, to search for the North-West Passage.

Henry Hudson was a well-known English explorer and navigator in the 17th century. He was the third explorer to search for the North-West Passage.

Captain James Cook came out of retirement to look for the North-West Passage in 1776. It was to be his last expedition and he never returned home.

Explorer Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) is famed for his 1492 ‘discovery’ of the New World of the Americas on board his ship Santa Maria.

After a failed attempt in 1818, John Ross returned to the Arctic to search for the North-West Passage with his nephew James Clark Ross in 1829.

Who was Sir Francis Drake (1542–96)? Discover the life of the Tudor seafarer, famous for traveling the world on the Golden Hind and fighting the Spanish Armada.

Sir John Franklin made three attempts to find the North-West Passage. His final voyage in 1845 in HMS Erebus and HMS Terror ended in tragedy for him and all his men, becoming the worst disaster in the history of British polar exploration.

Italian explorer, John Cabot, is famed for discovering Newfoundland and kick-starting transatlantic trade between England and the Americas.

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