The pandemic has brought many changes to our lives and one of them is the constant limitation of travel abroad. If you have a trip to London pending, here is a substitute to prepare you for when the damn coronavirus leaves us alone.
It’s not the same, the hustle and bustle of people, the lights and the smells are missing, but this may be the only way to enjoy London comfortably and safely nowadays.
It is always good to take a tour of those great museums known to all and also, even in person, are still free. All the wisdom of the world within reach of a voluntary donation or, in this case, a click.
The National Gallery is the main art museum in London, and one of the most important museums in the world. Located on the northern edge of Trafalgar Square in the borough of Westminster, in the center of Greater London. Inaugurated in 1824, it has a collection of more than 2300 paintings, mostly European, from a wide historical period between 1250 and 1900. For its content it is a picture gallery and not a general museum, as it does not exhibit sculptures or other arts, which are shown in other important museums of the capital.
Natural History Museum
A fascinating Virtual Tour gives you the feeling of being in the museum for real, with interactive talks twice a week, a tour by Sir Richard Attemborough and the opportunity to discover the images of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards.
Also, as every cloud has a silver lining, visiting the British Museum virtually also allows you to skip the queues that have been forming lately, especially as a result of the security checks to enter.
Palaces, monuments and government buildings
Buckingham Palace can only be visited in person in summer when Elizabeth II is not there, but with this virtual tour you can do it at any time from your couch.
Moving away from London it is essential to visit another of the Queen’s favorite palaces, where she used to go on weekends: Windsor Castle, but now, in times of pandemic, has become the place of residence of Elizabeth II almost permanently. The visit is very very extensive and includes the wonderful Crimson Drawing Rooms and the Semi State Room.
Tower of London
With this virtual tour of the Tower of London we can discover the history of one of the most fascinating buildings in the whole city. There are the Crown Jewels, the place where Anne Boleyn was beheaded and many more surprising and gloomy places.
Palace of Westminster
There are two essential places of the politics of the United Kingdom. One of them is the Houses of Parliament. If the face-to-face visit to the Palace of Westminster leaves you with your mouth open, having the opportunity to see it again from home has been a wonderful experience. First because “there are no people” and second because you see something else that you do not see in person. Besides, they don’t let you take pictures so you can better appreciate the details. But yes, it does not include a visit to Big Ben.
Churchill War Cabinets
Now let’s go underground to visit the place from where Winston Churchill directed the Second World War. The Churchill War Rooms are a royal bunker, dug under the Government buildings between Parliament St and Horse Guards Rd, from which many times the Prime Minister did not leave even to go to sleep at home. When the war ended it was closed and remained intact, without time passing until they decided to recover it and open it as a museum.
Very close by is the Prime Minister’s residence, 10 Downing Street. From the street we can not see the famous door, because it is a street closed to traffic for security reasons. However we can enter virtually to see the place where Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher lived among others.
Churches and other religious buildings
Westminster Abbey is one of the buildings with more history that we can find: the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Coronation Chair, the Poets’ Corner … and even if you want there are available podcasts of religious services to make it complete.
Saint Paul’s Cathedral
I’m going to look on the bright side, the virtual tour of Saint Paul’s Cathedral has its good part because you skip all those stairs you have to climb when you enter or to go to the Dome and Crypt.