You may be dreaming of your next holiday and the good times ahead, but don't forget you have the ability to do some virtual sightseeing from the comfort of your home. Modern technology has allowed some of the top attractions close to Best of British parks to share a glimpse of what's happening behind the scenes, whilst they remain closed. We can use this time to create a list of where we'd like to visit when we are free to holiday again. Some of our best loved tourist attractions are offering a variety of options so that we can still feel connected to their conservation and education work. When we are free to travel, consider visiting the following places that have gone above and beyond to stay connected.
The award for blazing a trail and being ahead of the game must go to Chester Zoo who have been keeping us entertained with live broadcasts. Not surprisingly, they are the most visited zoo in the UK and are trying to keep up their vital conservation work and funding by providing regular animal adventures. Recently we were treated to an elephant pool party on a beautiful April day via their Facebook Live programme of activity. The zoo is home to 35,000 animals and 128 acres of zoological gardens ready to explore. While they are closed, check their Facebook page for more wildlife adventures and when they re-open, consider visiting to meet the animals and support their conservation and education activities in person.
Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight
If you prefer some drone photography, take a look at Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight. English Heritage have shared a bird's eye view of the castle, which has been an Elizabethan artillery fortress, a king's prison and a royal summer residence. When it re-opens, you can meet loveable donkeys and see them at work, visit a museum and see the castle's Edwardian garden. The panoramic views from the castle walls will place you at the heart of the Isle of Wight's history.
The Roman Baths, Bath
The Roman Baths, at the heart of the City of Bath World Heritage Site, attracts over one million visitors a year, making it one of the most visited heritage attractions in the UK. They consist of the remarkably preserved remains of one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world. The city's unique thermal springs rise in the site and the Baths still flow with natural hot water. The Roman Baths are below the modern street level and have four main features, the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House and finds from Roman Bath. Visit the Baths using their wonderful walkthrough feature and prepare for a visit when they re-open. Bath is a beautiful city with much to offer, add it to your list of places to visit when we are able.
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
The National Museum of Scotland has become the first museum or gallery in Scotland available for exploration online via the Google Arts & Culture’s Museum View experience. The Museum's galleries have been captured digitally in partnership with Google Arts & Culture, which works to make cultural and historical material accessible online. So, why not give it a whirl?! There has never been a better time to test these incredible innovations. Find out more about all the galleries or individual objects, with themes such as Scotland's Early Silver or the archive of Scottish fashion designer Jean Muir. When the Museum re-opens, you're be familiar with the layout and we're sure you'll have a list of exhibits you want to see in person!
Hever Castle, Kent
Hever Castle is a double-moated 13th century castle set in the village of Hever in Kent, which was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I. After falling into disrepair, it was purchased in 1903 by the Astor family who used it as a family residence. Until William Waldorf Astor purchased the castle, only a modest garden existed around the castle walls. Today, thanks to his efforts and those of the gardening team, they have rejuvenated the gardens and have made the castle estate a wonderful place to visit. Join Dr Owen Emmerson, Castle Supervisor, as he provides a variety of virtual tours. If you're also interested in the gardens, join Neil Miller (Head Gardener) for a tour of the tulips.