If you’re still at home and don’t feel comfortable travelling yet, there is plenty of entertainment available on your phone or computer at the click of a button. Anyone interested in history can enjoy online walking tours and panoramic videos, helping them to discover interesting places without leaving their homes. Here are some of the best.
America’s Summer Roadtrip, USA
Non-profit organisation, The Pursuit of History has announced a free live streaming event named America’s Summer Roadtrip which will debut on August 1st on both a stand-alone website and the organisation’s Facebook page. The road trip will travel around the country with 12 one-hour-long streams conducted by expert guides from 12 different historic sites.
America’s Summer Roadtrip will include destinations including Historic New Bright Landing in New Jersey, a Revolutionary War battle site, and The Rebecca Nurse Homestead in Salem, Massachusetts, home of women convicted during the Salem Witch Trials.
Other sites covered will include New Mexico’s Chaco Culture National Historical Park, which features ruins of the Southwest’s most advanced and largest ancient Pueblo villages, and Powell, Wyoming’s Heart Mountain Interpretive Center, a WWII Japanese American confinement camp.
Batalha Monastery, Portugal
Google Arts & Culture allows you VIP access to some of the most interesting historic buildings all around the world without leaving your home. Use the site to find out more about one of Portugal’s most spectacular monasteries, the Batalha Monastery. Admire the architecture, the interiors and the sculptures that are hidden inside, as you delve into the building’s rich history.
The Acropolis is one of the most important sites in the world, but you don’t have to fly to Athens to discover this impressive monument. You Go Culture allows you to explore the Acropolis via video, showing the structure both from the ground and as a bird’s eye view (something that you couldn’t see in person!). The virtual tour takes you deep into the 2,400-year-old history of the building.
Tower of London, England
Use the interactive website CYARK to explore one of London’s most visited historical buildings without the crowds. This virtual tour includes video footage, 360-degree images, a street walking experience and plenty of information about the iconic building. Learn more about the crown jewels and the very grisly history of the tower.
A visit to Pompeii is one of Italy’s most impressive historical experiences, but you can also enjoy it online thanks to CYARK. Find out what happened immediately following the huge eruption and how the city was preserved in ash from the volcano, discover what the site looks like now following excavation works, plus learn about what life was like pre-eruption.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Known as the ‘city of temples’, Angkor Wat attracts huge crowds most of the time. This year it’s a little different, but you can still tour the temples from the safety of your own home using the Virtual Angkor project online. This project using 360-degree video simulations to show what life would have been like in the 13th Century, as well as offering a virtual tour of what the site is like today.
Probably the most famous stone circle in the world, Stonehenge may be out of reach for a visit in person this year but you can still marvel at the rocks using the English Heritage virtual tour. This online tour includes a 360-degree image from the centre of the stone circle, as well as several videos offering information on its excavation and design. There are also CGI images showing the landscape at different periods in time.
Many of us won’t get chance to visit Petra in person during our lifetimes, but the magic of the Internet makes one of the oldest cities in the world accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. Take an online tour with a guide showing you around the most iconic sights, including gorges, tombs and ruins – as well as looking out for locations used in Hollywood films such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
The Great Wall of China
Spend some time on Google’s Heritage on the Edge site to explore the Great Wall of China using impressive 3D maps. This tool allows you to discover the longest man-made structure on the planet without travelling halfway around the world, providing information about the history, heritage and conservation of the wall.
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.