Virtual Tour Of London: If you hear London calling, but you just can’t travel, take a virtual tour of London from home. You can visit the British Museum, stroll through the grand halls of Buckingham Palace, and see a performance at Shakespeare’s Globe. All you need is an internet connection. We’ve also compiled a list of books and movies set in the city and a playlist of some of London’s greatest musicians. Until the next time you find yourself in a British pub, here’s your virtual travel guide to London.
Virtual Museum Tours in London
London’s huge museums are legendary, and you can now visit them from the comfort of home. See antiquities from around the world like the Rosetta Stone, Egyptian mummies, and Parthenon marbles on a virtual tour of the British Museum. Also, be sure to check out Curators Corner for engaging videos about specific items in the collection.
To hone your art at the National Gallery, try exploring its collection of masterpieces online. The Cortland Institute of Art offers a high-resolution virtual tour of how the gallery appeared in 2018 prior to its recent renovation. You can zoom in enough to see the texture of Van Gough’s brushstrokes on his own portrait with the bandaged ear and read the plaques describing each piece in the collection.
London’s Natural History Museum gives you 9 ways to explore its collection from home. You can also hear Sir David Attenborough guide you through the Hintz Hall specimens, which include blue whale skeletons, fossil trees, and meteorites as old as the Solar System.
Virtual Tours of London Landmarks
No trip to London, virtual or otherwise, is complete without checking out some of England’s most iconic landmarks. Take a virtual tour of the Houses of Parliament, which sit beneath the Big Ben clock tower. At Buckingham Palace, proceed through the royal residence and click on the information bubble to learn more about each room’s furniture, paintings, and history.
You can step back in time with a narrated 360-degree virtual tour of the Tower of London. Learn about the bloody history of the palace and see the crown jewels kept inside. Shakespeare’s Globe Theater also offers a 360-degree experience of its stage. You can also watch free recordings showing a rotating range of performances such as Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Or you can rent from a huge catalog of Bard’s plays.
Explore more of the United Kingdom’s famous landmarks on Expedia’s Things to Do From home page. Take a virtual tour of The National Museum of Computing, Stonehenge, and more.
Books Set in London
If you need a break from screen time, you can take a virtual tour of London’s old school—with a book. London’s rich literary history gives you plenty of reading material to choose from. Here are some recommendations:
- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (fiction, fantasy) by Neil Gaiman (fiction, fantasy) – An average London businessman stumbles upon a girl bleeding profusely on the sidewalk. When he stops to help, he falls through the cracks of reality into a realm called Neverwhere.
- Londoners by Craig Taylor (non-fiction) – A collection of personal interviews with laymen. The full title says it all: Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now – As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It.
- Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (fiction) – During post-World War I London a high-society woman prepares to host a party and reflects on how her past has shaped her present.
- Bleak House by Charles Dickens (fiction) – Considered by many to be Dickens’ best, this Victorian novel follows the interconnected stories of both the rich and the poor in London society.
- London: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd (non-fiction, biography) – A History of London from the time of the Druids to the early 21st century. Ackroyd provides insight into how the past resonates in the present.
- Brick Lane by Monica Ali (fiction) – The perspective of an immigrant about London as told by young Nazneen, who leaves her home in Bangladesh for an arranged marriage to an older man.
Movies Set in London
From James Bond to Harry Potter, many blockbuster movies have been shot in and around London. But if you really want to experience London in all its glory and glory, check out these movies where the city takes center stage.
- 28 Days Later (2002) – A man wakes from a coma to find London surrounded by a zombie apocalypse.
- Love Actually (2003) – This popular Christmas movie classic features a star-studded cast (Hugh Grant, Martyn McCutcheon, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney) and 8 interconnected stories about love.
- The King’s Speech (2010) – An Academy Award-winning historical drama about King George VI’s sudden ascension to the British throne and his struggle to overcome the barrier of speech.
- Shaun of the Dead (2005) – Sean works a dead-end job, has a rocky relationship with his girlfriend, and his flat-mate is a slob. Then, suddenly a corpse appears in London. A witty satire that both pays tribute to and pokes fun at horror movies.
- Attack the Block (2011) – A street gang of London teens defends their block from an invasion of hostile space aliens.
- A Hard Day’s Night (1964) – The Beatles were from Liverpool, but they filmed this light-hearted musical in London. Follow famous British bands as they escape hordes of fans and live it up in the UK capital.
Music from London
To engage more of your senses, why not take a virtual tour of London through music? We’ve curated a playlist of some of the most popular London bands of all time. Hear from artists ranging from Led Zeppelin to The Spice Girls to Adele. Turn up the volume, or plug in your headphones, to watch Expedia’s London playlist on Spotify. If classical music is more your style, stream concerts by the London Symphony Orchestra.
For more virtual travel experiences, plan a virtual trip to Rome or take a virtual tour of some of the most beautiful places in the world.