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5 best free UK virtual museum tours for the whole family

Without exaggeration, virtual museum tours exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having their doors shut, many museums were forced to come up with innovative ways to engage visitors remotely.

For one, Google Arts & Culture has teamed up with more than 1,200 museums and galleries around the world to allow people to enjoy art in the comfort of their own homes. The UK, which has some of the best museums in the world, is no exception. Today, we'll tell you about the most exciting virtual museum experiences out there, which can help kids and teens explore art in a different way and better understand its importance and value.

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum in London is a great place for natural history lovers and everyone who's interested in the history of life on Earth. It exhibits about 80 million items from botany, entomology, mineralogy, palaeontology and zoology.

It also has excellent virtual tours, including a 360° virtual tour of some of the museum's collections, 35 digital exhibitions, an audio-guided tour around the museum's Hintze Hall narrated by Sir David Attenborough, an in-depth look into some of the specimens via augmented reality, and 18 amazing podcasts related to natural history and science.

British Museum

The British Museum first opened to the public in 1759, and today it's one of the most important and popular art museums in the world. Its vast collection includes world-famous objects such as the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures, and Egyptian mummies.

A unique and beautiful interactive experience The Museum of the World allows users to see the interconnections between different historical periods, continents and cultures, by exploring various amazing objects and listening to the insightful commentary of British Museum curators. An online visitor can also freely access other amazing online resources, including a 360° virtual tour of the museum's rooms and 54 online exhibitions.

The National Gallery

Visiting National Gallery is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself and take a deep dive into the works of the most famous painters of all time - from Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo to Rembrandt and Vincent van Gogh. And you don't have to be physically present to enjoy some of the museum's best paintings. For example, the Sainsbury Wing VR tour allows you to take a detailed 360° tour of Early Renaissance paintings from 1200 to 1500 and explore over 270 paintings in virtual reality if you happen to have a VR headset.

Harry Potter Exhibit at the British Library

British Library created a truly magical exhibition, full of gorgeous illustrations and insightful commentary, dedicated to the world of Harry Potter books and beyond - from fantastic beasts to The Museum of Witchcraft & Magic.

The Old Royal Naval College Greenwich

The Old Royal Naval College is a part of Maritime Greenwich, a World Heritage Site in Greenwich (London). Take this 360° virtual tour and immerse in the unique atmosphere of The Painted Hall which features 40,000 square feet of walls and ceiling depicting 200 figures including kings, queens and mythological creatures. It was completed between 1707 and 1726 by the artist Sir James Thornhill and is considered to be one of the greatest decorative painted schemes in England.

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