Wrap up warm and take a journey to the icy ends of the earth. From the countless attempts to find the fabled North-West Passage in the Arctic Circle, to the race to reach the South Pole, read about the triumphs and the tragedies of history's polar explorers.
1895, William Smith, They forged the last links with their lives.jpg
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.
Roald Amundsen is one of history’s most celebrated explorers, famous for navigating the North-West Passage and being the first to reach the South Pole.
Captain Robert Falcon Scott.jpg
Captain Robert Falcon Scott was the first British explorer to reach the South Pole and explore Antarctica extensively by land in the early 1900s.
In 1818 John Ross was sent to search for the North-West Passage. He turned back, mistakenly believing there was no passage through Lancaster Sound.
Ernest Shackleton 3.jpg
Sir Ernest Shackleton was an Anglo-Irish Antarctic explorer, who made three expeditions to the continent, most famously in 1914 on the Endurance.
Explorer Luke Foxe led an expedition to search for the North-West Passage in 1631. He set out at the same time as rival explorer Thomas James.
A View of Cape Stephens in Cook's Straits with Waterspout
Polite society was thrilling to the idea of an undiscovered continent in the south. Was it even there and what would count as proof if it didn’t exist?
In 1576 Martin Frobisher was the first English explorer to search for the North-West Passage – the seaway linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
In 1907, Ernest Shackleton embarked on an expedition to the South Pole aboard his ship Nimrod. He was almost successful, falling just 97 miles short.
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen was the first man who successfully navigated the North-West Passage by boat, on a voyage that lasted from 1903 to 1906.