Armchair Travel with Lorraine Simpson

Armchair Travel with Lorraine Simpson

So, you are not quite ready to pack your suitcase but still want to discover places that are on your bucket list.

There are many great virtual tours available right now that you can experience right from the comfort of your armchair and for me I even got to visit some of the places from my home country I had never seen, like Buckingham Palace. When I left England, it was not open to the public and I rarely go back in the summertime when it has been open, so this was great for me!

Here are a few of my favourites and some I featured on the Cityline Segment this week.

Let’s first go to England

Being British I of course love to show people my beautiful country.

So many places in UK now offer you the opportunity to experience it right from your armchair.

We can actually visit Buck House. That’s what we in UK call Buckingham palace and the Queen wont be there as she is holed up in Windsor Castle. But we can do a full 360 degree tour of Buckingham palace and you can see how Pink it is – LOL!

While Buckingham Palace is seen as the administrative hub of the Monarchy, it is also very much a family home, in addition to holding The Queen’s Gallery and the Royal Mews. The Queen gave birth to Prince Charles and Prince Andrew at the Palace, and to this day notice of Royal Births and Deaths are still attached to the front railings for members of the public to read. The Christenings of The Prince of Wales, The Princess Royal, The Duke of York and Prince William took place in the Music Room and many Royal Weddings have been celebrated at Buckingham Palace, most recently The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s.

The offices of those who support the day-to-day activities and duties of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh and their immediate family, such as the Private Secretary’s Office and the Privy Purse and Treasurer’s Office, are located at Buckingham Palace.

Then we have some amazing museums in UK and they now have some of the best visual tours that exist on the internet today. You could literally spend a full day exploring the British Museum online. There is so much to see, interactive tours, 360 views, blogs, videos, audios, and podcasts. You can click on individual objects and it will keep you fascinated for hours.

After all this you will want to have time for tea and as I also run the Downton Abbey Fan Club and each week I host an afternoon tea online.

You get a list of what to bring, two free scone recipes, one is the official recipe so you can bake your own and join me for afternoon tea.

You basically join me for tea and scones virtually. I show you how I make the tea, tell you about the history of tea and even share my scone recipe. We talk about the Queen and where she is currently, and I share with you pictures of Highclere Castle, funny stories of the visit back in 2018 where we blocked the drive of the Earl of Carnarvon but didn’t worry as we thought he was the help as he was in a minivan and then met him at dinner red faced. I may even have a VERY special guest!

But wait there’s more virtual tours of places around UK!

Edinburgh Castle — Edinburgh, Scotland

A historical fortress, Edinburgh Castle’s elevated position allows it to dominate the city’s skyline. Sitting on top of Castle Rock, it initially served as a royal castle and is an important monument in Scottish heritage.

This 360 aerial tour not only takes you around the castle itself, but also provides an opportunity to see across the whole of the Scottish capital.

Chatsworth House — Derbyshire, England

This historic home in Derbyshire has been home to the Cavendish family since 1549, but opened its doors to the public in 1708.

Now, you can go on a virtual visit and enjoy their beautiful gardens from your browser.

York Minster — York, England

York Minster is the largest Cathedral of its kind in Northern Europe. Not to mention, it’s a truly beautiful and historic site. Marvel at its unusual stones and medieval stained glass via the York 360 website.

You can even go to Abbey Road Studios — London, England

Audiophiles will love taking a virtual tour of this iconic studio that is, perhaps, famous for being the recording place for The Beatles, as well as many other British rock bands. It’s been a tourist hot spot since 1969, but now you can enjoy a tour from your home, presented by Google.

Amsterdam

First of all you can really get into the spirit of things – literally by making yourself a cocktail using the Dutch Tipple Bols.

On their website there are recipes for every drink you can think of and many more!

Then with your Boss Cocktail in hand you can take a virtual Boat Cruise on the Canals of Amsterdam.

Starboard boats is an Amsterdam based company that offers luxurious canal cruises. It is a 360 degree boat cruise and really makes you feel like you are on the boat.

Next of course- no visit to Amsterdam is complete without a visit to the Anne Frank Museum.

However, in reality, the lines are usually very long, so although I have been to Amsterdam I haven’t personally been inside the Anne Frank Museum, and this is a great way to see it. The Museum has released a series of films chronicling what it must have been like for her to live there. They are all in Dutch, but they also offer English subtitles.

Lastly, if you feel you want to see more but be hosted by a local, you can actually book an interesting hour learning about Amsterdam’s History with an live local expert –  Sebastian.

Travel through time and learn about Amsterdam from one of the cities greatest storytellers! Find out about local life while stepping into the universe of a local: his home. From Anne Frank to WWII and many other landmarks of the past. Time travel into Amsterdam’s past with Sebastian in this private history experience. Learn about the origins of this canal-laced city and hear about how it has stood through time. From the Golden Age to the Nazi occupation in WWII. All from a charismatic storyteller!

Get insights into the different neighbourhoods and connect over your shared passion for history. Have something particular in mind? Give Sebastian a shout and he can make this experience fully customizable.

Hey, did you ever go to the Vatican?

Again, it is a place I haven’t been as it is always so busy. The good news however is that you can tour the Vatican now – all the rooms , the interior artworks , seeing it all virtually.

Lastly lets take a trip further afield to Dubai

Honestly, the Visit Dubai Website is so interesting you could spend hours discovering what they have to offer. You can watch the series featuring Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson. You can experience falconry and literally walk the streets in 360 degree tours.

You can experience iconic buildings, learn about the food and even watch a horse race.

The country being one of the richest in the world and the virtual experiences are as you would expect from this “larger than life” amazing city of opulence and wonder.

Everything in Dubai  is bigger, grander and to experience it from your armchair will only make you want to do this in person one day!

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