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.
John Davis was the second explorer to look for the North-West Passage, in 1585. He also invented the Davis quadrant, enabling sailors to find their latitude.
In 1741, Anglo-Irish MP Albert Dobbs commissioned William Moor to search for the North-West Passage, in a bid to strengthen Britain’s trade routes.
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.
Antarctica is the most inhospitable place on earth, and largely devoid of life – which makes exploration of the continent extremely perilous.
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.
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.
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.
Sir Ernest Shackleton was an Anglo-Irish Antarctic explorer, who made three expeditions to the continent, most famously in 1914 on the Endurance.