At Leisuretime, we love to travel, having been to every corner of the UK and loving every second of it, so when we can’t travel we have to get creative and bring the world into our homes, exploring culture, art, history and heritage from our sofas!
Did you know you can take virtual tours of some of the top attractions in the UK? Lovers of art, culture and history can go online and take a tour through some of the top museums and galleries without leaving your home, even enjoying voiceover descriptions and zoomable functions on the tours so you can get much closer to the work! So, if you fancy explore the world from your sofa, why not take a look at our favourite virtual tours of the top attractions in the UK! No entrance fee and no queuing required!
The British Museum in London is home to a remarkable collection which spans two million years of history and culture, with items such as Egyptian mummies and the Rosetta Stone! The museum partnered with Google to create a virtual tour, so people unable to visit in person can still explore the collection. Using a desktop or laptop, you can travel through time with some easy navigation, click on items, listen to audio guides and find out about the items in the vast collection. The tour is divided into categories and continents, making it easier to choose what you want to see first!
Stonehenge is one of the best-preserved prehistoric monuments in England. The mysterious stones attract millions and while you can’t visit in person you can take a 360-degree virtual tour of the ancient site. Zoom around the English Heritage site on a laptop, desktop or tablet device to see the stones in a completely different way. You can also click on some of the stones, and watch videos about the rock art, Stonehenge’s connection to the Summer Soltice and even how the stones where shaped and moved into place.
Houses of Parliament
The home of the UK Government is a place we are used to seeing on TV but a virtual tour of the Houses of Parliament is a chance to explore every inch of it, from the House of Commons to the House of Lords. This tour provides loads of information about the building, its architecture, the different rooms and what’s in them. You can navigate the various rooms and click the information buttons to learn about the history of the iconic Houses of Parliament.
Wherever you are in the world, you can still tour the National Gallery in London. You can enjoy the panoramic views of the famous gallery, immersing yourselves in European masterpieces, see the works of Monet, Seurat, Rubens and Van Gogh up close. There are different tours to pick from too; the Google Street View tour where you can zoom in close to the paintings, or you can take a virtual reality tour of the Sainsbury Wing (if you can get your hands on a VR headset, it’s even more impressive!).
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
With a virtual tour of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, you can look inside without needing to step inside! There are four tours of the museum to choose from, allowing you to explore every level and room! You can begin in the Round Room and Edwardian Tearooms, or walk through 700 years of art in the art galleries. In the Staffordshire Hoard Gallery you can discover the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found, or learn about the history of Britain’s second city by virtually touring the History Galleries. You navigate around the museum based on the floor plan.
It’s not just the art gallery and museum attractions in the UK which offer a virtual tour, as Edinburgh Zoo has set up various webcams so you can see the animals go about their business! There is a camera looking in on the pandas, penguins, tigers and koalas at Edinburgh Zoo. The animals may not always be very active – they like sleeping as much as us humans! – but it’s entertaining to have the webcam feed on. It’s always fun to see the penguins waddle about their enclosure!
Buckingham Palace is one of the UK’s most recognisable landmarks and an interesting place to tour if you ever have the opportunity when it opens to the public annually from July to October. However, for the those who can’t visit, you can take virtual tours of some of the famous rooms inside, such as the Throne Room, White Drawing Room and Grand Staircase. You can click on the information icons to learn about the history and design of the stunning rooms.
Excursions to Canterbury are a favourite for many Leisuretime customers, and when the place is closed, you can still explore the medieval Canterbury Cathedral with a virtual tour! You can pick a 360-degree tour of the Nave, the Trinity Chapel and even enjoy the views of the city from the top of Bell Harry Tower! Simply move the mouse around to look up at the stained glass windows and elaborate carvings throughout, and it will be as if you are stood in the cathedral yourself!
These are just some of the virtual tours of the UK’s top attractions which are sure to keep you occupied in the next few weeks but you will be able to visit some of these places for real on our coach holiday tours soon. In the meantime, keep an eye out for our next blog which will take you overseas to explore some of the world’s top attractions, all from the comfort of your own home!