Famous Explorers from England

List of notable or famous explorers from England, with bios and photos, including the top explorers born in England and even some popular explorers who immigrated to England. If you're trying to find out the names of famous English explorers then this list is the perfect resource for you. These explorers are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known explorer from England is included when available.

The list you're viewing is made up of a variety of different people, including Henry Hudson and John Smith of Jamestown.

This historic explorers from England list can help answer the questions "Who are some English explorers of note?" and "Who are the most famous explorers from England?" These prominent explorers of England may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected English explorers.

Use this list of renowned English explorers to discover some new explorers that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}
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  • Bill Tilman
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Major Harold William "Bill" Tilman, CBE, DSO, MC and Bar, (14 February 1898 – 1977) was an English mountaineer and explorer, renowned for his Himalayan climbs and sailing voyages.
    • Age: Dec. at 78 (1898-1977)
    • Birthplace: Wallasey, United Kingdom
  • Henry Hudson (c. 1565 – 1611) was an English sea explorer and navigator during the early 17th century, best known for his explorations of present-day Canada and parts of the northeastern United States.In 1607 and 1608, Hudson made two attempts on behalf of English merchants to find a rumored Northeast Passage to Cathay (China) via a route above the Arctic Circle. In 1609 he landed in North America and explored the region around the modern New York metropolitan area, looking for a Northwest Passage to Asia on behalf of the Dutch East India Company. He sailed up the Hudson River, which was later named after him, and thereby laid the foundation for Dutch colonization of the region. Hudson ...more
    • Birthplace: England
  • Lieutenant Colonel James Owen Merion Roberts MVO MBE MC (1916–1997) was one of the greatest Himalayan mountaineer-explorers of the twentieth century; a highly decorated British Army officer who achieved his greatest renown as "the father of trekking" in Nepal. His exploratory activities are comparable to those of Eric Shipton and Bill Tilman. Born in Gujarat, India on 21st September 1916 to Henry and Helen Roberts, Roberts spent his early life in India, where his father was a headmaster. After attending King's School, Canterbury and then the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, he was commissioned onto the Unattached List for the Indian Army in August 1936 as a 19-year-old subaltern to ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 80 (1916-1997)
    • Birthplace: England
  • John Bicknell Auden (14 December 1903 – 21 January 1991) was an English geologist and explorer, older brother of the poet W. H. Auden, who worked for many years in India with the Geological Survey of India and later with the Food and Agriculture Organization. He studied the Himalayan strata, particularly the Krol Belt where he recognized rocks from the Peninsula thrusting north into the Himalayas. He also studied groundwater and was involved in studying the geology of many dam sites in India. Auden's Col is named after him.
    • Age: Dec. at 87 (1903-1991)
  • John Smith of Jamestown
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    John Smith (baptized. 6 January 1580 – 21 June 1631) was an English soldier, explorer, colonial governor, Admiral of New England, and author. He played an important role in the establishment of the colony at Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in America in the early 17th century. He was a leader of the Virginia Colony between September 1608 and August 1609, and he led an exploration along the rivers of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay, during which he became the first English explorer to map the Chesapeake Bay area. Later, he explored and mapped the coast of New England. He was knighted for his services to Sigismund Báthory, Prince of Transylvania, and his friend ...more
    • Birthplace: Willoughby, United Kingdom
  • Martin Frobisher
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Sir Martin Frobisher (; c. 1535 – 22 November 1594) was an English seaman and privateer who made three voyages to the New World looking for the North-west Passage. He probably sighted Resolution Island near Labrador in north-eastern Canada, before entering Frobisher Bay and landing on present-day Baffin Island. On his second voyage, Frobisher found what he thought was gold ore and carried 200 tons of it home on three ships, where initial assaying determined it to be worth a profit of £5.2 per ton. Encouraged, Frobisher returned to Canada with an even larger fleet and dug several mines around Frobisher Bay. He carried 1,350 tons of the ore back to England, where, after years of smelting, it ...more
    • Birthplace: Altofts, United Kingdom