It’s a while since we were all forced to stay at home and put our plans – holidays included – on hold. In that time, we’ve cooked up a storm in the kitchen and rediscovered the indulgence of escaping into a book for hours. We’ve negotiated the minefield that is home-schooling and we’ve got to grips with making home our office too.
A few months down the line, there are some things we’ve discovered we can do without going forward. Banana bread is all well and good until the third loaf in as many weeks, and we’d take a real pub quiz over the Zoom version any day of the week. That said, there are some things that we’re hanging onto as lockdown starts to lift and one of those is virtual travel. A few months ago, live streams and virtual tours didn’t play nearly the role in our travel plans as they do now. Some take us behind the closed doors of the world’s museums and beyond the closed borders of countries, while others are introducing safaris and summiting Everest into our bucket list plans (okay, we’ll probably leave Everest to the virtual tour, but still…)
These are the virtual experiences that are still worth a watch, from the museums to the opera, India and everything in-between.
Our summer cruise to the Mediterranean might be cancelled but that doesn’t stop us dreaming about walks across the Rialto Bridge and coffees in St Mark’s. I Love You Venice transports you to La Serenissima from afar, with webcams dotted around the city. Bellissima!
The Taj Mahal
Lockdown has left many of us finally planning the big bucket list trip that’s been on our mind for years. India ranks high on the list of places we’ve always wanted to go and this interactive tour of the Taj Mahal has whet our appetite for a Golden Triangle tour in 2021.
Le Louvre, Paris
It’s the most-visited museum in the world, home to some of the most notable works of art ever created in living history. But while Le Louvre in Paris is poised to reopen within days, travel restrictions mean a visit is still a little way off for most of us. If you’re desperately craving culture, this virtual tour of the royal palace museum will indulge you until you make it to the real deal.
The Vatican, Rome
After the pasta, the Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s Rooms are Rome’s must-sees. This tour of The Vatican invites you into its empty corridors for a closer look at what must the most opulent interior we’ve ever seen. If you’re tired of seeing your own four walls and fancy some extravagant escapism, this one’s for you.
The Sabi Sands Reserve, South Africa
A cruise and stay safari is the type of holiday worth waiting for. Watching the Big 5 prowl Sabi Sands Reserve through a screen doesn’t compare to feeling the goosebumps creep along your arms when you spot them in the flesh, but watching the rangers on their daily drive is mesmerising all the same. Rumour has it there are baby elephants and leopard cubs too…
San Diego Zoo
Zoos in the UK are set to reopen soon; until then, this live stream of San Diego Zoo is a walk on the wild side that will lighten heavy days at home with some animal antics. There are 6500 animals here and they’re all waiting to entertain in the absence of the usual crowds.