Janiqueel discovers a ton of virtual delight to do in London in the summer of 2020
A bad day in London is still better than a good day anywhere else.Unknown
Last night I saw “Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Royal Albert Hall Celebration”. So many highlights! To hear Elaine Paige sing the show-stopping “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”, however, was, for me, the highest highlight. Just to see her descend the majestic steps of the stage in a black and white gown that would have made Eva Peron proud was a magical theatre moment. I ignored the song’s advice. I cried.
Today, safely back in the warm arms of the Garden City, I can relive my fabulous trip to London. I didn’t cost a penny, it didn’t cost a pound, ‘cause I was on a virtual tour – what a way to see the town!
Let’s be honest, in these Days of Covid, visiting London is possible, but not practical by any stretch of the imagination. So let your imagination run wild. For starters, have a look at the panoply of options outlined on Virtually London: things to do at home. Check your mouse’s batteries, have a nice cup of tea, and off you go. Speaking of highlights, there; plenty here. I’ve picked a few to give your trip a jump start.
Whichever city I’m visiting, I like to get an overall feel for the place before getting down to derails. Sightseeing tours are a great choice, especially if you are new to London.
- The Tower of London – What better, more iconic, place to start than THE TOWER! The Historic Royal Palaces virtual tour is led by a real (well, almost real) Beefeater. In real (well, almost real) “E II R” emblazoned coat and a red and black top hat, your exclusive guide will show and tell you what makes “The Tower”. So iconic.
- Thames Clippers – Another great way to get the feel for the geography and iconography of London, the Clippers depart from Woolwich, make a stop a Greenwich and other spots, like Canary Wharf, before cruising under the Tower Bridge in the heart of the city. You’ll want to wear a light wind-cheater just to give you the feel of the cruise.
- Kew Gardens – Ready for a break from the big city? Hop on a virtual tour of Kew Gardens. It’s not far from central London and well worth the time, especially if you are a love of flora. See beautiful roses in the summertime, see bees making honey, and visit an American Prairie, and walk through ten climates.
Now that you have a feel for the city, pick some of the many virtual tours of specific places. There are many, many available, but here’s three that caught the ever-observant Janiqueel’s eye:
- The National Gallery holds so many magnificent works of art, that it can be headache-inducing if you are on foot. But you aren’t! Gra that cup of tea (or a pint of stout) sit, back and watch and listen to the commentary. Take the whole tour, or just individual rooms and galleries. Your choice.
- The British Museum – In addition to virtual tours, the museum offers on YouTube, the Curators Corner series which takes visitors behind the scenes to find out where, how, and why various objects find their resting place in the museum.
- The Churchill War Rooms – A “must visit” stop for history buffs, this vast underground bunker is replete with objects and stories of the time that the British heads of state spent strategizing the fight against Nazi Germany in World War II. The Interactive Guide to the rooms is one of the most sophisticated, yet easy-to-use online guides I’ve seen. Spend minutes or hours exploring the nooks and crannies of the efforts to mastermind the efforts toward ultimate victory.
I’ve barely scratched the proverbial surface. Trust me, though, there is a plethora of places to see and things to do on this virtual site – Online theatres and concerts, adventures for kids, keeping fit, live webcams and more, and more, and more.
For more info, head over to Visit London.
Research and writing help JKJ