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The best virtual museum tours from Paris to Italy and London and how to keep up to date with Kent's museums online

Are you a culture vulture or just missing the chance to explore beyond your garden gate?

These online sites have some sights you can see without going anywhere

Take a virtual tour of a museum
Take a virtual tour of a museum

Tate Britain, London

The online portal offers virtual tours around the rooms which show a chronological display of Britain’s greatest artists of all time. You can guide yourself around and get a glimpse of British art from 1545 to the present day.

To view, click here and for more information on the gallery go to tate.org.uk

Get a look inside Tate Britain Picture: Martin Cooper
Get a look inside Tate Britain Picture: Martin Cooper

British Museum, London

You may not want to venture into the centre of London right now, and the museum itself is currently closed, but that doesn't mean you can't still take a look at it. You can take a virtual tour of the outside and its precincts.

To take a walk around the outside click here To find out more about the collections, go to britishmuseum.org

The British Museum in London Picture: Holidu
The British Museum in London Picture: Holidu

Natural History Museum, London

The world class visitor attraction and leading science research centre in central London is an icon, with unique collections and unrivalled expertise. Its staff care for more than 80 million specimens spanning billions of years and normally welcome more than five million visitors annually. Famous for its dinosaur specimens including the first fossil ever found from a Tyrannosaurus rex and an Iguanodon, one of the first species ever described as a dinosaur.

For 112 years its grand entrance hall was home to Dippy the Diplodocus much-loved skeleton but a few years ago it made way for a blue whale skeleton, found to be held together by old Kent Messengers. Take a walk around the deserted museum by clicking here.

The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum

Science Museum, London

The central London museum's world-class collection looks at scientific, technological and medical advancement across the globe with iconic objects and stories of incredible scientific achievement.

To check out its galleries and sights click here.

Musee d'Orsay, Paris

A little further afield, but that's the joy of online. Visit the museum on the banks of the Seine virtually and you could see a Van Gogh or works by the great Impressionists.

To find the tour go to artsandculture.google.com/partner/musee-dorsay-paris To find out more about the museum go to musee-orsay.fr

Musee d'Orsay in Paris
Musee d'Orsay in Paris

Musei Vaticani, Vatican City

No art lovers’ (virtual) trip around Europe would be complete without a visit to the Vatican Museums, located in The Vatican City, a city-state located in the heart of the Italian capital Rome, with a grand collection of public art and sculpture gathered by the Roman Catholic Church over the centuries. See the 360 degree tours by clicking here.

You can also find out more about the virtual museum tours around the world at facebook.com/Holidu

You can see some spectacular works at Musei Vaticani Picture: Holidu
You can see some spectacular works at Musei Vaticani Picture: Holidu
Musei Vaticani Picture: Holidu
Musei Vaticani Picture: Holidu

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Head off to the Netherlands, where the world famous Rijksmuseum is in the capital, Amsterdam. The most important museum in the country, both in terms of the number of people who visit and the works on show. It is dedicated to the fine arts, crafts and history of the country. You can actually walk around the museum in a similar way to using Google street view. Click here to take a tour.

Brighton Pavilion Picture: Adam Bronkhurst
Brighton Pavilion Picture: Adam Bronkhurst

Brighton Pavilion

The exotic palace in the centre of Brighton with a colourful history was built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV. Mixing Regency grandeur with the visual style of India and China, it's usually a mecca for tourists.

Take a virtual tour by clicking here.

And here's how you can get a look at Kent's museums and get a virtual update on what goes on behind closed doors at the moment:

Explore the Beaney in Canterbury while its doors are shut and see the mummified cat Picture: Rob Davies
Explore the Beaney in Canterbury while its doors are shut and see the mummified cat Picture: Rob Davies

The Beaney, Canterbury

They may not have swanky virtual tours, but you can still take a digital meander around the family-friendly city centre museum to tide you over.

It is posting one-minute videos on its Facebook site at facebook.com/TheBeaney/ or you can look at the museum's exhibitions - which include such delights as 18.35mm wide Old English Dragon Pendant, foundisolated and alone in the Kentish soil, and the Egyptian Mummified Cat, whose face can still be seen, but whose insides were removed and filled with earth or sand before being wrapped in bandages. The museum is also home to the original Bagpuss, loan by filmmaker Peter Firmin for long-term display along with Noggin the Nog and the Clangers. They are in the People and Places Gallery on the first floor.

Bagpuss is at home at The Beaney in Canterbury Picture: .The Beaney, Canterbury
Bagpuss is at home at The Beaney in Canterbury Picture: .The Beaney, Canterbury

The museums are currently due to reopen on Thursday, April 30.

Explore at canterburymuseums.co.uk/beaney/explore/

Picture: The Beaney, Canterbury
Picture: The Beaney, Canterbury

Maidstone Museum

The museum in Earl Street may not be doing virtual tours, but on its Twitter feed for younger ones, you can follow Spike’s daily activities where Spike the dino explores some of the museum's secret spaces.

It's a chance to see some sights you might not normally see and alongside his adventures, there are downloadable activity sheets with info-activities to learn at home and sheets to print out at home, plus information about an object which Spike has taken a selfie with. Follow the museum on Twitter @MaidstoneMuseum and share your own pictures of your completed sheets and the fun you've had using #SpikeDinosAdventures. The museum is closed until further notice. Find out more here.

Follow Spike's adventures at Maidstone Museum via Twitter Picture: Maidstone Museum
Follow Spike's adventures at Maidstone Museum via Twitter Picture: Maidstone Museum

Attics tour, Knole, Sevenoaks

Knole is currently closed - though its wider estate is open for walks, if you arrive on foot - and so tours of the historic attics are cancelled but the secrets these largely unseen spaces hold can still be seen in a fascinating video produced for the National Trust which gives you a taster - until you can book up for the week day tours again.

The Retainer's Gallery at Knole, Kent, part of the attics at Knole
The Retainer's Gallery at Knole, Kent, part of the attics at Knole

Go to nationaltrust.org.uk/knole/features

For more things to do at home during the coronavirus outbreak, click here.

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