While you're staying home to stay safe, here is a flavour of the excellent attractions and museums in NewcastleGateshead who have virtual tours available to watch whenever you like! The online tours around exhibitions and archives are a great chance to discover venues you might not have visited in Newcastle and Gateshead or help to remind you of what's to come when you can visit the North East once again.
Explore the rich heritage, art and culture on offer in NewcastleGateshead with these virtual tours from the comfort of your homes during the lockdown:
For many, a trip to a city's museum is a great way to get to know the history and heritage of a place. Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle city centre is a brilliant, free museum that is packed with fascinating exhibits and history. While the museum is closed, visitors are invited to have a nosy around in the archives and store rooms instead! Find out what incredible artefacts and exhibits they have in their stores and get a sense of what it must be like to catalogue and look after such a collection. Take a deeper dive into their collection here.
Great North Museum is one of 10 museums, art galleries and archives across Newcastle, Gateshead and Tyneside. Explore all the Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums from your home with a whole host of podcasts, archive photography and digital art collections.
Find out about how you can enjoy art and culture during quarantine with TWAM here.
If you've never visited BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art on the Gateshead banks of the River Tyne, then add it to your post-coronavirus lockdown places to visit! In the meantime, you can get some fascinating behind-the-scenes insight into some of BALTIC's exhibitions. The contemporary art centre has made sure its current exhibitions, although not physically accessible, are available digitally. Discover how personal experience helped shape artist Joy Labinjo's exhibition or enjoy a Spotlight tour of Animalesque / Art Across Species and Beings by BALTIC's knowledgeable front of house crew.
BALTIC are also providing weekly creative resources so you have no excuse but to have a go and get creative yourselves!
Browse their full list of virtual exhibitions, podcasts and resources here.
The National Centre for Children's Books can be found in Ouseburn, Newcastle and is a brilliant day out for families as well as book enthusiasts. During the lockdown, Seven Stories have shared some of their past exhibitions online so whether you've visited a hundred times before or you've never been, you can enjoy the wonder of children's books. Explore the magical world of Enid Blyton or discover how timeless classic The Tiger Who Came To Tea was created in an exhibition dedicated to author and illustrator Judith Kerr.
It's like you were there now... you can enjoy a virtual day out at Beamish Museum with this summery virtual tour of the outdoor attraction near Gateshead. Plan what you'll do on your next visit to Beamish Museum when you are able to explore the award-winning, family-friendly attraction in the future.
As part of their #LifeGoesONline series during lockdown, Newcastle's award-winning science museum has created loads of brilliant online videos, experiments and virtual events to keep science enthusiasts of all ages entertained. Now you can explore some of their exhibits from home including a virtual tour of the Brain Zone or Life Science Centre's most recent addition - the Space Zone. This is a brilliant resource for anyone home schooling or just to keep your brain cells fired up!
Using the magic of Google Street View, art lovers can now go on a virtual tour of Laing Art Gallery despite the Newcastle city centre gallery remaining closed due to the coronavirus restrictions. The art gallery opened their latest exhibition not long before the UK went into lockdown so not many people were able to appreciate the art by William and Evelyn De Morgan on display. Not quite the same as wandering the splendid halls of Laing Art Gallery, virtual visitors can now take a look at the new exhibition through a series of photos and commentary on the Laing Art Galley Instagram grid.
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I know very few of you will have had the chance to see our new exhibition of work by William and Evelyn De Morgan before we closed our doors, so we’ll be sharing photos and some of the information you would have seen in the exhibition on our social media instead. First up, Night and Sleep by Evelyn De Morgan (1878, oil on canvas). Swipe to see a picture of this painting. The figure of Night floats through the evening sky, his dark pink robes reminiscent of the sunset, and his billowing cloak darkening the sky behind him. He floats arm in arm with Sleep, who gently scatters poppies onto the earth beneath. Poppy seeds were distilled to make laudanum, a sleeping drink, which was commonly prescribed to Victorian women for ‘hysteria’. However, it was addictive and easy to overdose. Evelyn was very conscious of the constraints on women in her era, and would have had this situation in mind when painting this picture. Visually, the painting recalls the ‘art for art’s sake’ sentiment of the Aesthetic Movement. Evelyn travelled regularly to Italy, where she was inspired by the work of Renaissance artists, particularly Sandro Botticelli. She made small copies of his paintings on her visits and has used his floating figures in this composition.
Discover more art, local history and fascinating archive stories from the Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums online here.
Arguably one of the most sort after tours in Newcastle takes place in Ouseburn with the opportunity to go into the historic Victoria Tunnel. It's entrance can be found in Ouseburn beside Hotel Du Vin and the tunnel, which dates back to the mid-1800s, leads underground to the heart of Newcastle. In 2008 The Victoria Tunnel was carefully repaired and opened for guided tours thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund and Tyne & Wear Partnership. The Ouseburn Trust now run these extremely popular and atmospheric guided tours lead by passionate, volunteer guides.
Unfortunately - the tours cannot run at the moment during the global pandemic, however, you can experience the tour online with this short taster video by Ouseburn Trust. Perhaps you should dig out your head torch, stand in a puddle and turn your lights off to watch it!
Another great tour you can take from the comfort of your home is The Alnwick Garden. Explore the Northumberland garden in all its glory before checking in on their famous Cherry Blossom!
Blossom Watch is back for 2020 so enjoy the magnificent bloom of spring blossom as it starts to emerge. 2020 also marks the 20th anniversary of the award-winning garden. Read more about The Alnwick Garden's history here, including a message of hope from The Duchess of Northumberland who is behind the garden.
Happy anniversary to Alnwick Castle who, this year, celebrates 70 years since they opened to the public. Despite currently being closed, you can still take a virtual tour of the historic castle with interesting videos of different areas of the historic Northumberland castle. Take your pick from lots of brilliant videos on their Facebook page. Here's a slightly more gruesome one about The Dungeons but nonetheless, fascinating!
The Auckland Project in nearby County Durham is a great day out (for post Covid-19 times!) and is a visitor destination centred in and around the 900-year-old Auckland Castle. The castle was home to the mighty Prince Bishops of Durham and was a place of great power and grandeur. The recently restores historic sites and attractions that make up The Auckland Project include a Spanish Gallery and restaurant, Faith Museum, Mining Art Gallery, Auckland Tower visitor centre, re-imagined Walled Garden and Deer Park.
Enjoy their fascinating video below which takes you around the recently and lovingly restored Auckland Castle with insight into how the team had conservation of history at the front all they were doing.
... shut your eyes and you're in one of Newcastle's beautiful city-based parks, Jesmond Dene.
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