< Back to blog

The world is virtually at your fingertips Posted On 25 March 2020

If you think your chances of an Easter trip to Paris to see the treasures of the Louvre have been scuppered by the coronavirus lockdown, you’re wrong.

Similarly, if you’ve always wanted to visit the world-famous Smithsonian in Washington but have never found the time, well, now you can… and you won’t have to break any quarantine restrictions to do so.

Because a steadily increasing number of cultural institutions and zoos around the world are allowing millions of visitors though their ‘doors’ thanks to the wonder of virtual reality.

Over the years, more than a thousand museums have become part of the VR revolution, allowing at least part of their vast collections to become accessible online, with the same technology which powers Google Street View allowing you to roam freely among the exhibits.

Of course, not all offer the 360-degree access – it’s a time-consuming, expensive process to film all the angles – but many do offer the panoramic-style virtual tours with the Google Arts & Culture portal giving you the chance to enlarge and examine the minutest details in high resolution with information on each item, which is generally in English.

So, where can you go?
Let’s start with the British Museum, whose objects span some two million years from the dawn of human culture to the present day. Their tour offers 360 views of thousands of artefacts as they appear in the halls of the museum and include curators’ notes and a description of how they were acquired.

What about a quick trip across the Atlantic to the MoMA – the Museum of Modern Art – in New York, or the Smithsonian in Washington? Other world-famous museums to sign up for the Google Arts & Culture portal include the Guggenheim (New York), Uffizi Gallery (Florence), the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), the Getty (Los Angeles), the Van Gogh (Amsterdam) and the Louvre, which may not have the same number of exhibits as others but you do get a virtual tour around the grounds where impressive statues stand impassively.

And self-isolation doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors – in the virtual realm, the world is very much in the palm of your hand or, the very least, on your laptop.

Many zoos now offer live webcam footage of their animals, particularly at feeding time, or you can surround yourself in The Great Outdoors, seeing the natural wonders and tramping the trails of the Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks in the US.

And while Covid-19 has managed to curtail travel to the Far East, nothing can stop you taking a trek along the Great Wall of China.
But for a truly out-of-this-world experience this takes some beating. For the really adventurous, NASA and Google have joined forces to offer a tour of a 3D replica of the Martian surface, as recorded by the Curiosity rover, which is currently being developed.
The Google Arts and Culture portal is at artsandculture.google.com while you will be able to take the Mars tour on nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/mars/marsview

< Back to blog

Connect with us

Recent Posts

Stamp Duty Holiday and what it means for you

On Wednesday, Rishi Sunak announced a Stamp Duty Holiday until March 2021. As part of the government’s plans to boost the economy, especially the property market, Sunak has increased the stamp duty threshold to £500,000 for property sales in England and Northern Ireland. This means anyone completing on a main residence under £500,000 from now …

Read more...

Stamp Duty Holiday: Treat yourself this weekend.

With Wednesday’s announcement of a Stamp Duty Holiday, some of you have found yourself with an unexpected lump of extra money in your account. Rishi Sunak’s announcement on Wednesday has led to some of you having a nice lump of money in your account. Money you could use for DIY in your new home, a …

Read more...

Stamp Duty Holiday: What it means for sellers and buyers

Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday announced a temporary holiday on stamp duty for property sales in England and Northern Ireland.  As part of the government’s plans to boost the economy, especially the property market, Sunak yesterday announced a temporary holiday on stamp duty until next March starting from the 8th of July. In reality, what the …

Read more...

Sleep soundly all night, every night

We all need a good night’s sleep. In fact, according to the Sleep Council, an 18 to 65-year-old needs between seven and nine hours of sleep per night in order to properly recharge for the day ahead. So how do you get that good night’s sleep that you need? Mood Using aromatherapy is a good …

Read more...

Shore-fire winners

As the pandemic restrictions start to ease, now’s the time to hit The Great Outdoors to shake off that lockdown lethargy So, with the softening of the Government’s health warnings, now’s the time to start planning where  to feel the sand between your toes, and relish the breeze soothing sunburnt skin in the UK this …

Read more...