A nationwide lockdown doesn’t have to mean missing out on the UK’s top tourist attractions.
That’s because many have incredible webcams and virtual tours on their websites, which means you can explore them from the comfort of your living room.
Here MailOnline Travel reveals 22 amazing online tours and webcams for royal residences, museums and galleries, national parks and more…
The National Gallery
The National Gallery has an online tour where you can look at some of its fascinating paintings. Pictured is Room 9
The National Gallery, in collaboration with Google Street View, has an online tour of its fascinating paintings across seven of its rooms and its central hall.
According to the gallery, those logging on can look at ‘Renaissance masterpieces from Northern Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany, including works by Titian, Veronese, and Holbein’.
To take an online tour, visit www.nationalgallery.org.uk/visiting/virtual-tours.
The Beatles Abbey Road 360
Britishtours.com has produced an interactive image of Abbey Road (stock image above)
An incredible interactive panoramic image by britishtours.com allows you to explore the instantly recognisable graffitied sign and zebra crossing outside London’s Abbey Road Studios – made famous by The Beatles.
By zooming around, you can see the leafy streets of North London and a family trying to recreate the famous Abbey Road album cover.
To check out the image, visit www.britishtours.com/360/beatles-abbey-road.
Victoria & Albert Museum
The jewellery exhibition at the V&A Museum. The pieces in this display are available to browse on the museum’s online collection
London’s V&A Museum doesn’t offer an interactive virtual tour, but you can browse static images of some of the stunning artefacts that it has showcased via its website.
The museum says: ‘From ancient Chinese ceramics to Alexander McQueen evening dresses, take an incredible journey through 5,000 years of human creativity with our online collections.’
To peruse the V&A collections, visit https://www.vam.ac.uk/collections?type=featured.
The Royal Academy of Arts’ online drawing class
A male model poses during an online life drawing tutorial, run by the Royal Academy’s website
If you want to brush up on your art skills, The Royal Academy of Arts’ website has an online life drawing tutorial.
The anatomy class was originally broadcast in February 2019 and features a male model as well as a miniature horse.
To have a go at the class, visit www.royalacademy.org.uk/article/watch-life-drawing-live-anatomy-class. And have some paper and a pencil to hand.
The Tate Britain gallery, pictured, can be explored through Google Street View
The works on display at the Tate Britain can be explored thanks to the gallery’s collaboration with Google Street View.
There are also more than 270 items in its collection that can be viewed on the site.
To meander past the Tate Britain’s works, visit artsandculture.google.com/partner/tate-britain.
Edinburgh Zoo has a series of live webcams that reveal life inside some of its animal enclosures. Pictured is a grab from the penguin webcam
Edinburgh Zoo might be off-limits for now, but you can still keep an eye on the antics of some of the animals there thanks to a series of live webcams.
The cams have been placed in the enclosures of the pandas, penguins, tigers and koalas. Don’t worry if you can’t see the animals at first – they may just be lurking out of shot.
To keep up to date with the creatures, log on to www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/webcams.
Google Street View allows you to look inside the British Museum’s vast collections
The British Museum’s collection spans over two million years of human history – and it can be explored online.
Thanks to Google Street View, history buffs can view artefacts including the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures and Egyptian mummies.
To step inside a digital version of the museum visit artsandculture.google.com/partner/the-british-museum.
Hidcote Manor Gardens
The Red Borders garden at Hidcote Manor Gardens, located in a Gloucestershire village
Located in the Gloucestershire village of Hidcote Bartrim, Hidcote Manor Gardens is a series of outdoor spaces brimming with colourful plants and flowers.
And thanks to a bloomin’ marvellous 360-degree interactive feature on the National Trust website, you can wander amongst them from the comfort of your own lockdown HQ. Turn on the sound effects to hear birds chirping.
To gaze upon the wonders of nature visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hidcote/features/hidcote-virtual-tours.
Lake District National Park
The view across the town of Keswick and out towards Skiddaw from one of the Lake District National Park’s webcams
The stunning Lake District National Park has a series of webcams placed at its most beautiful sights.
By logging on, you can see live scenes from Windermere, Conniston Water, Derwentwater, Ullswater, Keswick and Skiddaw.
To check them out, visit www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/visiting/webcams-videos-and-photos/webcams.
The rose garden at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, which can be explored online
Sissinghurst Castle, in Kent, has a stunning array of gardens and is best known for its blooms of white roses in the summer.
And on the National Trust website, keen gardeners can explore both the rose garden and courtyard as well as the library in the castle’s stable.
To see more, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst-castle-garden/features/sissinghurst-castle-virtual-tours.
The original dining room at Anglesey Abbey, a Jacobean-style house with gardens
Anglesey Abbey is a Jacobean-style house with gardens and a working mill in Cambridgeshire.
Online, you can take a tour of the original dining room, formal garden and tapestry hall.
To start exploring, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/anglesey-abbey-gardens-and-lode-mill/features/anglesey-abbey-virtual-tours.
Hyde Park and Kensington Palace Gardens
Both Hyde Park, pictured, and Kensington Palace Gardens can be explored on Google Street View
Two of London’s most famous parks, Hyde Park and Kensington Palace Gardens, can be explored via Google Street View.
You can tour Hyde Park’s education centre as well as meander around its footpaths and see Kensington Palace, the official home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
To get exploring, visit www.royalparks.org.uk/learn/learn-in-hyde-park-and-kensington-gardens/planning-your-visit/our-facilities/virtual-tour.
A la Ronde
Inside the cosy drawing room of A La Ronde, an 18th-century, 16-sided house in Devon
A La Ronde is an 18th-century, 16-sided house located in Lympstone, Devon, that is owned by the National Trust.
Online there is a virtual tour of its ornate shell gallery and cosy drawing room as well as a panoramic view across the River Exe from its gantry.
To take a peek, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/a-la-ronde/features/a-la-ronde-virtual-tours.
There is an online tour of the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, which comes complete with the sounds of crashing waves
The rugged landscape of the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland is a sight to behold – in real life and online.
On the National Trust website you can take a virtual tour of the landmark from four different angles – the Grand Causeway, Aird Snout, Giant’s Port and Port Noffer.
To check it out, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/giants-causeway/features/take-a-virtual-tour-of-the-giants-causeway and remember it comes complete with the sounds of crashing waves and birds.
The Throne Room, which is one of three rooms at Buckingham Palace that can be explored online
Royal fans can venture inside Buckingham Palace and explore three of the rooms – from their own home.
They can discover the Throne Room, the White Drawing Room and the Grand Staircase. Users can click on the icons to learn more about the rooms and the objects in them.
To catch a sneak peek, visit www.royal.uk/virtual-tours-buckingham-palace.
Palace of Holyroodhouse
The Morning Drawing Room at the Queen’s official Scottish residence, the Palace of Holyroodhouse
It’s not just the Queen’s official residence you can tour virtually.
You can also discover three of the rooms at her official Scottish home, the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The rooms you can explore are the Grand Stair, the Morning Drawing Room and the Royal Dining Room.
To see the rooms, visit www.royal.uk/virtual-tours-palace-holyroodhouse.
Houses of Parliament
Inside the House of Commons, which can be explored in an online tour of the Houses of Parliament
No area of the Houses of Parliament is off-limits in this 360-degree virtual tour.
Online you can discover parts of the grand, historic building, including the Central Lobby, the Peers’ Corridor, the Robing Room, the Royal Gallery and both the House of Commons and House of Lords.
To step inside, visit www.parliament.uk/visiting/virtualtour/.
Royal Pavilion, Brighton
The banqueting room inside Brighton’s Royal Pavilion, which has virtual tours of four of its rooms
Brighton’s Royal Pavilion has a virtual tour of four of its rooms, with each providing a 360-degree angle.
Not only will those logging on get to see inside the banqueting room, great kitchen, music room and the usually off-limits red drawing room, you can also listen to an audio guide.
To find out more, visit brightonmuseums.org.uk/royalpavilion/whattosee/virtual-tour/.
The quire inside Canterbury Cathedral, one of several areas inside the building that can be explored online
There are several areas of Canterbury Cathedral that the public can enjoy online.
These are the crypt, the quire, the nave and Trinity Chapel.
To start a tour, visit www.canterbury-cathedral.org/visit/information/tour/.
There are virtual tours of the collections and exhibitions at the RAF Museum in London
The RAF Museum in London has virtual tours of several of its collections and exhibitions.
These include the Grahame White Watch Office, the historic hangars and Bomber Hall.
To fly in, log on to www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/things-to-see-and-do/virtual-tours.aspx.
Natural History Museum
Inside the Natural History Museum on Google Street View. Some of the exhibits in the pictures may have changed
The Natural History Museum has a collaboration with Google Street View so naturalists can explore the venue from home.
Large parts of the museum can be discovered, although some of the exhibits in the pictures may have changed since the tour was generated.
To virtually visit the museum, visit artsandculture.google.com/partner/natural-history-museum.
The virtual tour of Stonehenge puts you inside the ancient monument
Bring the mysteries of Stonehenge in Wiltshire onto your computer screen thanks to the English Heritage website 360-degree tour.
It puts you inside the monument – with clickable white circles revealing more about the unfathomable structure.
To explore, visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/history-and-stories/stonehenge360/.