Owl at Osborne House in East Cowes (Allan cox)


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As the country continues its vital period of social distancing in response to the Coronavirus outbreak, English Heritage is highlighting 30 of the historic buildings, monuments and sites available to visit online.

Using Google’s unique digital technology, the stories of 29 English Heritage sites around the country – from Osborne on the Isle Wight to Chesters Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall – are brought to life and shared via the Google Arts & Culture platform. The partnership broke new ground for Google Arts & Culture as the first time they had worked with a heritage organisation or a multi-site institution.

Last week, English Heritage took the decision to close all its staffed historic sites from 18th March and cancel all public events during the closure period. Some free-to-enter sites with large open spaces remain open for periods of exercise, but these are sites in quieter spots away from crowds, allowing visitors to maintain social distancing.

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English Heritage Curatorial Director Anna Eavis said:

“As we join together to meet the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak, we are all looking for ways to continue doing the things we love whilst observing the necessary limitations of social distancing or self-isolation.

“English Heritage is offering everyone the chance to experience our historic sites from home, and learn about them in new ways. You can witness the movement of the sun and stars over Stonehenge, using our great Stonehenge Skyscape tool, and see some of our historic masterpieces and rare artefacts in fantastic quality, created in partnership with Google Arts & Culture. We look forward to welcoming visitors back to those sites which have closed as soon as it is safe to do so, but until then we hope these online experiences will allow people an escape, and the chance to learn something new.

“We are proud to be the guardians of more than 400 places around the country which together tell the story of England. If members of the public enjoy visiting online and want to support us through this difficult time, the best way to help is to join English Heritage at www.english-heritage.org.uk/join.”

Osborne, Isle of Wight – https://g.co/arts/pE9b1y479SLuafk68

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Take a 360 video tour of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s palatial holiday home on the Isle of Wight in the company of English Heritage curator Michael Hunter, including the Italian terraces with views over the Solent, which reminded Prince Albert of the Bay of Naples, and the Indian-inspired Durbar Room, designed to reflect Queen Victoria’s position as Empress of India.

Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight – https://artsandculture.google.com/search?q=carisbrooke

To experience other locations around the country visit g.co/EnglishHeritage and https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/skyscape/.


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