15 April 2020

As the prospect of continued social restrictions to fight the ongoing coronavirus pandemic stretches out in front of us, many will be wondering just how they'll fill an indeterminate amount of free time we all have. And with non-essential venues and travel restrictions in place for the foreseeable future, many of us will be looking for a way to get our culture fix from home.

We have done a round up of the virtual ways to keep all members of the family entertained, from theatre performances and art galleries to discovering the beauty of Yosemite National Park, there is something to keep all the family entertained.

A performance

What a great way to see a production you may not have had a chance to see first time around and from the comfort of your own living room. The National Theatre has opened up their archives for free. Their first production One Man Two Guvnors has had over 2 million views to date. Be sure to make a date for 23 April at 7pm for the Twelfth Night, starring Tamsin Greig. The Royal Opera House is also allowing you to see world class performances for free via livestream through Facebook and YouTube as part of their #OurHouseToYourHouse series.

Alternatively, why not subscribe to Digital Theatre. They have over 100 theatre shows available including Funny Girl staring Sheridan Smith and The Crucible with Richard Armitage

World of culture

You don’t need to travel the world to visit some of the world’s most impressive art galleries and museums through virtual travel experiences.

Rijksmuseum is closed until 1 June but even though the doors are closed, you can visit the home of Vermeer’s The Milkmaid and Rembrandt’s The Nightwatch as well as many other masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age at one of the most popular attractions in Amsterdam.

Alternatively, go on an online tour through the history of the building of the Musee d’Orsay in Paris which is housed in the former Orsay railway station. Take a virtual stroll through their galleries and explore some of the most famous pieces including one of Van Gogh’s self-portraits.

Go travelling

Have you ever wanted to take a tour around Jerusalem's most famous sights? Go exploring through a series of virtual tours with a voice over tour guide giving detailed insight into the city's holiest places.

Vast and magnificent, one of Arizona’s most distinguishable landmark the Grand Canyon, can now be discovered with a VR archaeological tour. This fascinating site will give you access to archaeological sites that have lay mostly hidden for centuries.

Staying in America, the Yosemite National Park in California is a natural wonder. First protected in 1864, there are nearly 1,200 square miles of grand meadows, waterfalls and vast wilderness to discover. From webcams to videos find out what is happening while the park is closed as well as learn more about the nature and history of the park through their video series.

Now head to Norway and travel along one of the world most famous and scenic railway routes, The Flam Railway through stunning 4k. From the comfort of your sofa, watch from the train driver’s perspective as the train moves through the most stunning and diverse scenery including enchanting woodlands and waterfalls. Watch out for the one of the steepest train journeys in the world as it takes you from the short journey from Myrdal to Flam.

Explore the capital

There is no better time to experience some of the best attractions in London without the crowds and the stress especially for those who love a spot of history.

Why not start with the fascinating Churchill War Rooms which, during World War II was one of the most important tactical locations for allied forces. Tour this underground maze where Churchill and his ministers amidst the smoke-filled rooms orchestrated the defence of our nation.

Then, in 360degress you can venture through Hampton Court Palace. Built in the early 16th century, initially for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, it was home to the colourful Tudor Henry VIII. Start in the Grand Hall with its dramatic stained-glass windows, marvel at the tapestries within the Great Watching Chamber then head to the Great Kitchens where you can imagine the vast amount of food they created for the royal banquets.

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