Who said you needed to get off the sofa to enjoy London’s best art and culture? Many of London’s cultural institutions provide virtual tours of their collections, so now you can get your cultural fix without taking off your pjs!
From Tate Modern to the Natural History Museum, there is an absolute treasure trove of online content to discover, with some of the capital’s biggest museums and galleries throwing open their doors to let armchair visitors have a nose around. So, without further ado, here’s our guide to London’s Best Virtual Museum Tours.
Always slightly ahead of the game, The Tate was one of the first cultural institutions to offer virtual tours of its collection. This offering, which is led by the Gallery’s Director Frances Morris alongside BBC DJ Nick Grimshaw, takes you on a tour of the new Blavatnik gallery, with works by artists such as Louise Borgeois and Carl Andre. Enjoy.
You can access Tate Modern’s virtual tours here.
The Courtauld Gallery of Art
The Courtauld seems to have been closed forever, but that hasn’t stopped the gallery producing this fantastic virtual tour.
The tour is certainly impressive. You have a choice of five rooms to visit with the camera panning round each one so that you can see each exhibit.
You can change the direction of the camera or zoom in to get a better look at the paintings. We recommend checking out rooms six and seven. They have a wealth of impressionist and modernist masterpieces to delight you.
You can access The Courtauld Gallery’s virtual tour here.
The British Museum
The tour of the British Museum comes courtesy of the Google Art & Culture Project. There are 7281 items to see, with essays, discussions, videos and a series of “views” that allow viewers to wander around the building. The tours are a tad eerie, however, as the museum is completely deserted and it makes you feel as if you’ve stumbled into the venue in the middle of the night.
You can access the British Museum’s virtual tour here.
The National Portrait Gallery
Ahhhhhh, the National Portrait Gallery. It’s always been a favourite of mine. The building has a warmth and atmosphere that many large scale galleries lack, and its collection is beyond compare.
This tour gives you a chance to explore the Tudor, Victorian, Wheldon, Lerner and 17th & 18th century galleries and he Main Hall.
We recommend that you start with the wonderful Tudor Gallery. Here you can gush at the truly breathtaking Coronation portrait of Elizabeth I as well as see a selection of her courtiers.
After you’ve seen the Tudor Galleries move on to the Victoria Galleries. We recommend you check out William Theed’s moving tribute to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The statue captures the Royal couple in traditional Anglo Saxon dress enjoying an emotional final embrace. The couple are depicted on a shore with waves lapping at their feet. Victoria is looks lovingly at Albert, yet the Prince looks detached. With a single finger he points to the heavens. Victoria had the work commissioned after Prince Albert’s death in 1864. The sculpture is also commonly known as The Parting.
You can access the National Portrait Gallery’s virtual tours here.
The National Gallery
Is there any end to Google’s usefulness? This tour comes courtesy of the company’s street view technology. The technology allows you to zoom in and out of Rooms 4, 5,9, 10,11, 12 and 15 at the National Gallery.
There’s a wealth of treasures to see including paintings by Titian, Veronese and Holbein.
You can access the National Gallery’s virtual tours here.
Well, that’s the end of our guide to London’s best virtual museum tours. Remember, this is only a tiny proportion on what’s on offer. So, if you feel like checking our your favourite museum and gallery, go to their website and see what’s available. You might be pleasantly surprised.
For more ideas on how to access London’s arts & culture at home, please click here.