Coronavirus: Pay a virtual visit to one of the region’s many attractions during lockdown
Our region is blessed with some wonderful attractions that, sadly, we are unable to physically visit right now... but luckily, technology has gone some way to closing the gap.
From zoos to museums, art galleries and heritage homes, many of the fantastic visitor destinations in our area can be enjoyed through virtual tours and online exhibitions.
The Covid-19 outbreak means that we all have to be sensible, look after our health, and do nothing to jeopardise the health of others. Fortunately however, this doesn’t mean that our appreciation for some of the great things on our doorstep has to come to a complete halt...
Ironbridge Gorge Museums
A World Heritage Site and the self-described “beating heart of the Industrial Revolution”, the Ironbridge Gorge is home to some amazing museums, the spirit of which can also be enjoyed from afar.
Ironbridge Gorge Museums offers several online exhibitions and digital collections that can in fact be viewed from the comfort of your own computer screen.
Those available to enjoy include ‘Vote Or No Vote? The 1918 Votes For Women Installation’, ‘Letters From The Trenches, Maurice Darby 1894-1915’, ‘The Elton Collection – The Railway Alphabet’, and ‘A View Of The Iron Bridge’.
Each of these exhibitions features a wealth of material – from historical photographs to artistic works – along with informative and descriptive written commentary, allowing anyone who visits to delve into the rich heritage of the gorge and of Britain as a whole.
National Trust – Sunnycroft, Shropshire
The National Trust cares for many properties, parks and estates that, while physically closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, can still be enjoyed through virtual tours, one of which locally is the delightful Sunnycroft.
A rare Victorian suburban villa, Sunnycroft, Shropshire, tells the story of a brewer, a widow and three generations of the Lander family.
Once prolific on the outskirts of towns and cities, this style of house, sited on prime commercial land, is rapidly diminishing as they are knocked down or turned into flats, hospitals, offices and schools.
The house at Sunnycroft offers you the opportunity to explore a rare survivor, encroached on all sides by modern housing estates.
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has also launched a virtual tour for visitors to explore from their own homes.
First opened in 1885, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is housed in a Grade II listed city centre landmark building. There are over 40 galleries to explore that display art, applied art, social history, archaeology and ethnography.
The online tour allows people to click and explore the attraction without even having to leave the comfort of their own armchair. A representative from the attraction tweeted: “On this tour you can wander around our art galleries, and no one is standing in the way of your favourite painting.”
Various tours are available on the gallery’s website, including The Round Room, Industrial Gallery and Edwardian Tearooms, Art Galleries, the Staffordshire Hoard Galleries and History Galleries.
Filmed in summer 2019, these four tours show users the art and history galleries that the museum has to offer.
RAF Museum Cosford
Virtual visitors to RAF Museum Cosford can take an online tour of various exhibition halls, including Test Flight, Hangar 1 and the museum’s National Cold War Exhibition.
A well-established and popular attraction, the purpose of RAF Museum Cosford is to share the story of the Royal Air Force – past, present and future – using the stories of its people and its collections in order to engage, inspire and encourage learning. The museum’s website also features a number of online exhibitions, featuring a range of incredible photography and fascinating narrative descriptions.
Exhibitions available to view from home include ‘Air Transport Auxiliary’, ‘Sir Alan Cobham’s Flying Circus; A Life of a Pioneering Aviator’, ‘617 Squadron and the Dams Raid’, ‘The Royal Flying Corps Centenary’, ‘The Polish Air Force in WWII’, and ‘History of the Battle of Britain’.
Dudley Zoo and Castle
Wildlife lovers need not fret – you can get still get your fix of exotic nature via the webcams at Dudley Zoo and Castle.
At present, webcams are set up to allow you to check in on the zoo’s Sumatrantigers, Daseep and Joao, and its fun group of humboldt penguins in Penguin Bay.
The cameras provide a live feed so that keen wildlife enthusiasts can observe the behaviour of these wonderful creatures without even having to leave their houses.
The zoo, which opened in May 1937, covers an area of approximately 40 acres including an 11th century castle.
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