The 6 Best Documentaries About Walter Raleigh

Jan 19, 2024 | Best Of, History

The life of Walter Raleigh, the English explorer, poet and courtier, has been a source of fascination for centuries. His daring voyages to distant lands, his many influential works and his tumultuous relationships with both Queen Elizabeth I and King James I have made him an enduringly captivating figure in history. Many documentaries over the years have sought to explore Raleigh’s life and his significance to the world. Here we have curated a list of the 6 best documentaries on Sir Walter Raleigh. From TV movies to acclaimed films, these works will leave you inspired and enthralled by this fascinating figure in history.

1. Sir Walter Raleigh – Britain’s Greatest Adventurer

Sir Walter Raleigh was known for his daring exploits and passionate spirit. He made a name for himself as an explorer, soldier, courtier, and writer. His journeys took him to uncharted territories in the Americas, India, Africa, and beyond. His life was full of adventure and excitement – often at great personal cost. Today we look back on his life and remember him as an intrepid explorer who charted new waters in the name of England. He pushed boundaries and inspired generations of adventurers. This documentary chronicles the remarkable life and career of Sir Walter Raleigh. It covers his daring adventures and military exploits, as well as his time at the court of Queen Elizabeth I. Viewers get insight into Raleigh’s controversial relationship with the Queen, including his imprisonment in the Tower of London.


2. The DOWNFALL And Execution Of Sir Walter Raleigh

Raleigh’s legacy is a fascinating one, and there have been numerous documentaries made about him showcasing his bravery, passion for exploration and also his loyalty to the Queen. The following are some of the best documentaries about Walter Raleigh:  This documentary takes viewers on an in-depth journey into Raleigh’s mysterious Lost Colony of Roanoke Island. It examines how the settlement vanished without a trace, as well as looking into Raleigh’s motivations and his quest to colonise the ‘New World’. The Life of Walter Raleigh: This documentary focuses on Raleigh’s entire life, from his rise to fame in Elizabeth I’s court, to him being thrown in the Tower twice, to his many voyages of exploration. It’s a comprehensive look at the life of an iconic British figure. The Spanish Armada and Walter Raleigh: This documentary looks into Raleigh’s part in thwarting the legendary Spanish Armada off the coast of England. It examines how he was able to rally troops against incredible odds and ultimately win the battle against the Spanish fleet. Elizabeth I and Walter Raleigh: This documentary explores the powerful bond between Queen Elizabeth I and Walter Raleigh. It looks into how they grew close, as well as examining their eventual falling out when Raleigh married Bess Throckmorton.


3. Walter Raleigh – The Great Adventurers / Grandes Exploradores

Walter Raleigh is renowned as one of the great adventurers, explorers and writers of an age of discovery. He was a larger-than-life figure whose travels to far-flung destinations inspired countless stories – some true, others legend. Whether it was his role in the colonization of America or his involvement in pioneering expeditions around the world, Raleigh’s life was filled with remarkable adventures. The below documentaries explore the life and times of the famous sailor, from his travels to his involvement in Britain’s colonization efforts. Each doc is an enthralling look into Raleigh’s remarkable life and offers valuable insight into the age of exploration. A fascinating history of Raleigh’s life, from his courageous travels to his role in the English colonization of America. Sir Walter Raleigh: Explorer and Adventurer (2012): This two-part series gives a comprehensive overview of Raleigh’s extraordinary life, exploring his daring expeditions around the world as well as his legacy.


4. The Rise & Fall of a Queen’s Favourite –  Sir Walter Raleigh

This documentary takes viewers on a journey through Raleigh’s life, from his early days as an adventurer and explorer to his later years in captivity. We follow him as he travels to the New World, discovers new plants and animals, founds the colony of Virginia and clashes with rival European powers. Viewers will learn about Raleigh’s courage, intelligence and courtly prowess as they explore his relationships with key figures such as Queen Elizabeth and King James. As well, the film covers Raleigh’s ill-fated trial and execution, showing how his ambition ultimately led to his downfall. This documentary is perfect for those who are interested in learning about one of the most influential figures in English history. It gives a detailed look into the life and motivations of a man who was both admired and feared. It is an entertaining and informative introduction to Sir Walter Raleigh’s remarkable life, one that will leave viewers with a better understanding of this complex and fascinating individual.


5. The VENGEFUL Execution Of Sir Walter Raleigh – The Tudor Explorer

In honour of his life and legacy, some of the best documentary films about Sir Walter Raleigh have been produced. These documentaries explore the life and times of this famous Elizabethan explorer, from his humble beginnings to his ill-fated death. From classic BBC documentaries to more modern explorations into Raleigh’s life, these are some of the best documentaries for learning more about this fascinating historical figure. One of the most popular documentaries about Raleigh is the BBC film “Sir Walter Raleigh: The Man Who Founded Virginia”. This award-winning documentary gives a comprehensive overview of Raleigh’s incredible life and career, from his early years in Ireland to his later exploits in colonising America. From interviews with historians and dramatisations, this gripping documentary looks at why Raleigh was such a respected explorer and what made him so successful. Another great documentary about Sir Walter Raleigh is “Raleigh: The El Dorado Adventure”. This fascinating film follows a group of archaeologists as they retrace Raleigh’s steps to find the legendary city of El Dorado.


6. The Brutal Execution Of Sir Walter Raleigh

An interesting part of Raleigh’s legacy is the strange and mysterious stories surrounding his life, some even leading up to his death. He has become a figure of fascination and curiosity throughout time, prompting multiple documentaries on his captivating and complex life. Here we have compiled a list of the best documentaries about Walter Raleigh. The Life Of Walter Raleigh (2007): This documentary about Walter Raleigh is part of the series ‘The Great British Adventure’. It looks at the life of Sir Walter, and examines his rise to fame, his fall from grace, and ultimately his execution. The Myth Of El Dorado (2010): This documentary takes a look at Raleigh’s search for El Dorado – the mythical city of gold. It follows his journey to South America and examines the stories behind El Dorado and what Raleigh was looking for. Walter Raleigh: The Man Behind The Myth (2012): This documentary delves into the life of Sir Walter Raleigh, from his early exploration days to his imprisonment in the Tower of London.

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David B