If you’re looking for culture and education while you’re at home you’ve come to the right place. Some of the UK’s top museums and art galleries have pulled out all the stops to make sure that we can still explore what they’ve got to offer without leaving our sofas.
From virtual tours of the exhibits to activities which you can do at home, there is something for everyone. There is plenty to learn from the worlds of art, history and science, and these online museums make for the perfect resource for home-schooling.
Here are 24 museums and art galleries that you can visit from home…
The iconic British Museum in the capital has developed a number of ways that you can virtually visit. The online collection has over 4 million objects and artefacts to discover and there are also school resources available which cover all areas of the curriculum and are suitable for all ages.
Visit the Great North Museum from home with their virtual tours. Journey from the Ice Age to the Iron Age and check out the biology store where there is a huge collection of vertebrate specimens. There are videos embedded in the tours to explain more.
Oxford’s museum of art and archaeology has world famous collections ranging from Egyptian mummies to contemporary art. They have thousands of objects and artworks in their online collection for you to search through and they set a daily challenge on their Twitter where they provide inspiration in the form of one of their artefacts for you to get creative.
You can explore the whole of the SS Great Britain, Bristol’s most visited attraction, with a virtual tour. Look around both above and below deck of one of the most important ships in maritime history. Perfect for inspiring future generations of engineers.
The Natural History Museum has partnered with Google Arts and Culture to bring its exhibits online. Learn about natural history trailblazers, moths and butterflies and minerals, rocks and gems – there’s plenty here to keep a curious mind busy for hours.
This museum explores 2000 years of Merthyr’s history. They’ve added downloadable content to their website with activities such as designing a coat of arms and creating a WWII evacuees pack. There’s also a weekly podcast available which uncovers the hidden history of this part of South Wales.
Famous for its amazing collections of art, design and fashion, the V&A Museum has put its collections online for you to explore. If fashion over the years is your thing you will be spoilt here with shoes, costumes and wedding dresses through the ages to discover.
From Tennyson and Dickens to Bronte and Chaucer and everything in between, there are thousands of the British Libraries collection items available to browse through online. You can filter by date, themes, creator and language so if you’re home schooling, you’ll be able to find something to fit any topic.
The Royal Air Force Museum shares the story of the RAF of the past, present and future. You can now visit the London museum by taking a virtual tour of its collections and exhibitions – almost as good as being there!
While the awe-inspiring Anglo-Saxon royal burial site is closed, they’ve put together some activities for families and children to enjoy. Choose from colouring in an Anglo-Saxon belt buckle, researching Anglo-Saxon origins and learning some fascinating facts about the artefacts.
Discover the town and district of Alnwick’s distinctive heritage from this local museum. If you’re local to the area you can find out more about the street that you live on and search for information about your family.
The National Football Museum has provided lots of activities to do at home. Design your own football kit, make your own trench football game and learn some of the key techniques of sports journalism.
On Brighton Museum and Art Gallery’s website, you can discover archaeology, fashion and fine art collections. There are also activities to take part in including making your own mosaic.
There’s lots you can do at the home of the World War Two codebreakers. Explore the different types of machines and code used during the war, explore the collection and listen to the Bletchley Park podcast.
The Big Pit National Coal Museum allows you to explore a real coal mine and you can do a virtual tour online with the Google Expeditions app. You can also discover the museum’s collections online and learn all about washing clothes before washing machines were invented with the help of a downloadable activity pack.
Wales’ industrial and maritime heritage is usually explored with cutting edge displays and interactive technology so the museum has taken this online with over half a million objects for you to discover and a clever search functionality which means you can either browse or find exactly what you’re looking for.
There are plenty of activities available on the museum’s website. Build your own rocket, get to grips with coding and explore Britain’s aerospace heritage through videos and downloadable resources.
Learn about the history of East Riding and browse past exhibitions from the comfort of your living room. There are also activities for you to do to teach little ones more about animals, archaeology and cooking.
Choose from a number of activities to do from home and learn about the museum’s most intriguing objects. Each Thursday, a new activity to do from home is published on the museum’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
On Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays York Museum Trust release new content on their social media channels – our favourite is the curator battle on a Friday where museums across the country debate whether they have the best object from a chosen theme.
Discover more about Viking life and culture through Jorvik Viking Centre’s online resources. There are lots of videos to watch and activities which compliment these – a perfect history lesson!
Visit this midlands art gallery virtually by taking a tour around past exhibitions and discover Turner Prize winning artists with audio interviews to go alongside the tours.
Take a virtual tour of this contemporary art institution. Discover the Hope Hippo Animalesque exhibition and get to know the works of different important artists through BALTIC’s videos.
Explore the National Gallery’s story of European art by taking a virtual tour of some of its rooms and the Central Hall. Immerse yourself in Renaissance masterpieces from Italy, the Netherlands and Germany.
All you need is a laptop, computer or mobile phone to immerse yourself in the National Portrait Gallery. Take a virtual tour of some of the rooms and galleries and see which influential people you can spot.
Journey through time with the Tate’s interactive timeline. Exploring British art from 1545 all the way up to the present day, the collection is arranged in chronological order so you can look at a snapshot of time and fit this in with what your child is studying.