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Virtual tours and trips to expand your lockdown horizons

As we enter another week in lockdown, finding activities to keep busy and to fulfil those longings for travel, theatre, trips and the arts can be tough. Never fear – we have a list of over 35 virtual tours and trips you can take from the comfort of your homes.

Animals

  1. Penguins, sharks, and tropical fish can be found on these live stream cameras, thanks to the Aquarium of the Pacific. Pick your animal and watch for free!
  2. Clearwater Marine Aquarium, in the USA, have cameras set up to watch their dolphins, turtles, pelicans and otters – just bear in mind the time difference!
  3. Animals of Africa! The Tembe Elephant park offer a live stream of their elephants here.
  4. The Sabi Sand Game Reserve, have a stream of their wild African animals available to watch here.  
  5. Why not visit Edinburgh zoo? Take a look at their panda, penguin, tiger, koala and lion cams.
  6. If you want to see the cheetah cubs or naked mole rats, The Smithsonian National Zoo is for you. Find a host of different animal cams here
  7. Chester Zoo have been doing a series of live videos, all available via their Facebook, teaching viewers about how they care for the animals, and giving some background to the history of the different creatures you can find there.

Art galleries & Museums

  1. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum has an online exhibition of work available here.
  2. Want to explore the halls of the National Gallery in London? You can choose from a number of virtual tours here.  
  3. The Tate are displaying over 77,000 pieces of art on their website, alongside artist profiles, video and audio resources and creative ideas for children.
  4. The Ann Frank House in Amsterdam are offering virtual tours of this historic landmark. Click through the rooms and take a piece of history with you, as you explore this unforgettable place.
  5. Explore the timeline with the British Museum, as you scroll through history looking at artefacts from around the world (best viewed on your desktop PC).
  6. Walk the halls of the Natural History Museum through Google’s arts and culture offer.
  7. Interested in maths, space or engineering? The Science Museum has an archive of exhibits and information available via their website.

Food

  1. Wok from home with Wagamama, as they put out tutorials and recipes for free via their YouTube channel.
  2. Jamie Oliver is once again on the case, with his #Stayhome- new cooking skills playlist. Find plenty of new recipes and develop your culinary skills here. There is also a special playlist for cooking with kids.
  3. Former bake off champion, Chetna Makan, has a series of flavour packed tutorials for store cupboard meals available to follow along on her Youtube channel here.
  4. Bread Ahead are offering all-out-carb-comfort recipes each day at 2pm, live on their Instagram. So if doughnuts, bread and buns are your thing, get involved.

 Landmarks and travel

  1. Always fancied seeing the Northern Lights? There’s a live stream camera set up in Canada where if you’re lucky you might get a glimpse!  
  2. If ancient Greece is your thing, why not check out this 360 virtual tour of the Acropolis in Athens.
  3. Missing exploring your favourite cities? With Youvisit, you can explore some of the best tourist attractions in Rome, London, New York, and Rio de Janeiro.
  4. Fancy a trip up the Eiffel Tower? Take in the views with this virtual tour.
  5. Start your adventure today and tour the Pyramids of Egypt through this virtual guide.
  6. Missing connecting with mother nature? You can walk through the Yellowstone National Park here, with videos of tracks and trails throughout the park.

Music

  1. The Berlin Philharmonic are offering a free education programme of concerts for the whole family, alongside exciting documentaries and artist portraits.
  2. There are a wealth of music resources for being creative at home through Music Mark.
  3. The Royal Albert Hall is hosting a series of concerts, you can watch from home. With artists such as Rufus Wainwright, Peter Gregson and KT Tunstall, it’s worth checking out the programme here.
  4. The Shows Must Go On! Or at least they will for Andrew Lloyd Webber fans, as he streams his musicals for free online through his Youtube channel. Shows go live on Fridays at 7pm and are available for 48 hours thereafter.
  5. Need something a little more soothing? Norah Jones is performing via Facebook, live every week. Streams are Thursdays at 10pm.

Theatre

  1. The National theatre are showing their live shows for free every Thursday at 7, through their Youtube channel. Performances so far have been Frankenstein, Twelfth Night, One Man two Guvnors, Jane Eyre and Treasure Island.
  2. You can watch some of your favourite Shakespeare plays through the Globe Player. Usually through a subscription, they have waivered fees during lockdown to help people missing the arts.
  3. The circus troupe Cirque du Soleil are putting up shows via their Youtube channel to keep audiences on the edge of their… sofas?
  4. Chichester Festival Theatre are making some of their previous productions available online, with David Walliams’ The Midnight Gang available during May.

Space

  1. Explore the real surface of Mars with 360 footage recorded by NASA’s Curiosity Rover.
  2. Take a tour of our solar system, the night sky and outer space in real time!
  3. Always wanted to visit NASA? Well you can take a tour of the Mission Operations Room, home of the Hubble Space Telescope here. Go one step further and take on activities, games and missions to get training as an astronaut!

Literature

  1. Harry Potter being read by the cast, and various celebrities chapter by chapter, kicking off with Daniel Radcliffe via Harrypotterathome.com
  2. There are some great children’s books being read by famous faces available via storylineonline.net or their Youtube channel.
Hannah Skinner