It’s a case of armchair travel in this month’s bulletin as we stay in and stay safe. But with innovation from across our tourism industry, there’s a wealth of ways to experience the best of a staycation at home, from watching a Penguin Pool Party at Chester Zoo, to mixing up some cocktails at #KX2U Kings Cross or exploring our epic film and TV locations online.
Please see below for more information, plus a round-up of other inspirational and virtual experiences from around the country.
Get Outdoors (in spirit) …
Virtually explore England’s Great West Way
Take a journey of the mind and visit some of the many places on, and within easy reach of, the Great West Way, between London and Bristol. If you are fond of beautiful landscapes, history and heritage and are keen to visit some of the Great West Way’s attractions, which include SS Great Britain and Windsor Castle, as well as a virtual pub at Wadworth Brewery, you can now explore England’s Great West Way from the comfort of your couch.
The National Trust is encouraging those who can see a tree in flower to take a moment to pause, actively notice and enjoy the fleeting beauty of blossom, and share their images on social media for those who can’t see blossom themselves - to kick off a new British tradition of #BlossomWatch.
Chester Zoo is home to over 27, 000 animals and more than 500 different species, including some of the most exotic and endangered on the planet. It is bringing animals closer to everyone with its Youtube channel and live streams, so there’s something for everyone, from Sumatran Tiger Lunchtime, to Penguin Pool Party!
Peep at the penguins at Living Coasts Wild Planet Trust, Devon
Keep up with what’s going on at the Penguin Beach with Living Coasts webcam streaming from Torquay’s coastal zoo in Devon. If you are lucky you may spot them being fed and hanging with their Eider duck pals!
Ospreys, puffins, peregrines, owls…and more! Watch wildlife on webcams provided by the Wildlife Trust across the British Isles. Webcams allow an unrivalled view of intriguing behaviours: from courtship, nesting, and hatching to a peep into the first few weeks of a chick’s life. Be warned – it’s addictive viewing.
Always wanted to go to Stonehenge? Take an interactive tour of Stonehenge with the English Heritage 360-degree view from inside the monument or switch to Skyscape and relax and enjoy a live view from within the stone circle.
Enjoy views of Derby from 212 feet, without needing to climb one step
How about climbing the second-highest bell tower in the UK - without leaving the house? Check out the scenic views from the top of Derby Cathedral, thanks to this 3D virtual tour from V21 Artspace. Even better you can enjoy views across the city from its 212 feet high tower, without having to climb a single one of the 189 steps!
Beverley Puppet Festival adapts by promising two months of puppetry online
The award-winning, biennial Beverley Puppet Festival returns this year for its 9th edition, but not as you know it. With everyone now urged to stay at home, the usual format of indoor and outdoor performances across the town will not be possible. To avoid cancellation, to pay artists and to make sure that audiences still get their dose of high-quality puppet theatre for 2020, the Festival will now take place solely online between May and July.
Explore Downton Abbey on a Highclere Castle tour - narrated by Carson the Butler, Hampshire
Highclere Castle is one of England’s most beautiful Victorian Castles, home to the Earl and Countess of Carnavorn, and the real-life location of TV’s Downton Abbey. Narrated by Jim Carter, who plays Carson the Butler in Downton Abbey, the app allows you to explore the history of the Castle, its rooms and treasure to discover what it’s like to live and work there.
Wannabe visitors to Bristol can experience the sights, sounds and culture of the city from their sofas thanks to a bundle of virtual tours, podcasts and playlists. See Banksy’s street murals, wander the decks of the SS Great Britain, listen to a podcast that delves into Bristol’s past, tour a Poldark filming location and hear playlists of Bristolian beats on Spotify – without getting up from your armchair.
Feast your eyes on free opera and ballet shows on the Royal Opera House’s Facebook and YouTube channels.
The Royal Opera House (ROH) is a global artistic force, housed in one of the UK’s most beautiful theatres. ROH takes the very best of opera and ballet across the country and to the world. Now you can join The Royal Ballet’s Peter and The Wolf for the #OurHouseToYourHouse Premiers every Friday at 7pm UK time.
The Abbey Road album was originally going to be called Everest after the recording engineer’s favourite brand of cigarettes. In the end the Beatles decided on the pedestrian crossing outside the Abbey Road studios in North London where they were recording.
There are plenty of ways to keep exploring the British Museum, some of which include: Virtual Museum tours with Google street View, behind the scenes visits with the Museum Podcast, liven up home learning with digital resources or through much-loved Curators corner series on Museum’s YouTube channel.
Get an idea of what it’s like to visit RAF Museum London by taking a virtual tour of collections and exhibitions including: Grahame White Watch Office, Historic Hangars, Bomber Hall and Google Street View of London Sites.
An iconic building and official residence of The Queen had been the focus of many moments of national celebration, from Jubilees and weddings to VE Day and the annual Trooping the Colour, which marks The Queen’s official birthday. Explore the magnificent building via virtual tour, which will take you to the Grand Staircase as well as the White Drawing Room, the Throne Room and more.
#KX2U: online inspiration and activities from King’s Cross, London
A new campaign to bring inspo and activities from King’s Cross to the world – digitally – has launched. #KX2U has everything from shoe designing to terrarium building to cocktail making. There’s even an at-home workout for your face – which should make it all the better for smiling with when you can visit the brilliant King’s Cross development in person again.
Bread Ahead is coming to you to spread some much needed positivity and joy with everyday 2pm Instagram baking lessons. Check their website for schedule and ingredients you’ll need to get baking along with this leading London bakery.
Perfect a new recipe with cook-along videos and tutorials on Borough Market’s Facebook community group.
Borough Market's dedicated community space on Facebook is here to keep us all connected, sharing and talking, whilst we may not be able to in person. Recipes, articles, videos and tips to maximise your produce shopping, as well as tips and tricks.
Get your cheese fix (with next-day delivery!) with the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company
Making traditional cheddar cheese in Cheddar, the birthplace of the world-famous cheese since 2003. Using only fresh local unpasteurised milk in the heart of Somerset. Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company will pack up your fav cheese, cheese straws and cheeseboards and dispatch it to your house.