The Lowdown on...Virtual Experiences
Step inside the virtual world of some of our best loved gardens, theatres and museums!22 May 2020
Staying at home without travelling means we can’t get our culture fix as we once did, so let us whisk you away into another world with some of the very best virtual experiences around now! Museums, galleries, theatres and gardens have found ways of bringing their worlds into our homes with virtual tours, interactive maps and recorded performances. Here are a few of our favourites...
The National Trust Virtual Tours
Bring beautiful garden scenes and sweeping outdoor views to your own home with some virtual tours. While The National Trust houses, gardens and parks are closed, their virtual doors are open for you to be transported to places in their care. Take in a rose garden while you're having a cuppa, explore the famous Giant's Causeway in your dressing gown and explore the Arts and Crafts-inspired garden at Hidcote.
The National Theatre
The National Theatre is one of the many arts organisations giving us free access to their archives. National Theatre at Home is an initiative for the theatre to continue their work through these times. Shows include One Man Two Guvnors, Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternating lead roles and Antony & Cleopatra.
NatURAL History Museum
Inspect the butterflies, birds and beasts in the Natural History Museum’s collection up close. Dive into the museum's 80 million specimens with unique, new features: encounter a prehistoric marine reptile in virtual reality, discover pioneering Museum research in a short film, navigate the galleries in 360 degrees care of Google's Street View team, take a tour of ten new exhibits tackling natural history themes, and take students on an expedition through the galleries to learn about adaptation in the natural world.
Highgrove Garden Tour
Walk around Prince Charles’ garden at Highgrove, over 40 years in the making. In fact it’s made up of lots of different and very diverse gardens: there’s the green, fern-filled Stumpery where Prince William and Harry’s old treehouse is nicknamed ‘Holyrood House’, the traditional Old Cottage Garden designed by the late Rosemary Verey OBE, the tranquil Lily Pool Garden with its Borghese gladiator, the colourful Sundial Garden, and it goes on. We particularly like the look of his Sanctuary made with Highgrove clay, and Thyme Walk with yew topiary in the shape of crowns.
The National Gallery
The National Gallery is home to thousands of publicly owned artworks from the UK and Europe, spread across 18 rooms, which you can visit with the National Gallery’s 360 degree tool. The tour offers detailed information about each painting as you look at it, as well as floorplans to navigate around as though you are there.
The Titian exhibition opened just days before all the museums closed, but you can still watch a number of Facebook Live interviews about the show on the gallery’s YouTube channel
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
There are lots of free and exciting ways to virtually-attend productions online and stay connected to Shakespeare’s Globe at this time when their buildings are temporarily closed. You can enjoy our YouTube Premieres, follow their Love in Isolation project and support them by renting and buying other films on Globe Player.
To celebrate Shakespeare’s 456th birthday, Shakespeare's Globe invited artists to perform Shakespeare’s words (quotes, sonnets, soliloquies or even stage directions!) from their place of social distancing to create the Love in Isolation project - they hope these words will inspire and comfort you wherever you are.
Street Art with Google
Google Arts Project: Street Art showcases the world’s greatest graffiti works and tells the stories behind them. Take a trip around the world with virtual walking tours, view online exhibitions and learn about the artists themselves through interactive features.
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